Whenever I read submission calls for entering writing contests, the first thing I look at is the word count and the deadline. I try to do something I haven’t done before, for example, I entered a contest for a flash fiction story, 750 words. This forces the writer to be concise and whip out a beginning, middle, and end of a story in short-short order. The flash fiction process forces writers to kill most of their little darlings.
I’ve learned to be ruthless, bwa-ha-ha-ha!
Most contests require writers to pay a submission entry fee, anywhere from $3 to $20. I found it’s easy to sink bucks into multiple stories, so I’m selective about which ones to enter.
The Alaska Writers’ Guild, however, doesn’t charge an entry fee for members. So I thought, cool, I’ll enter a story I wrote about my husband’s nightmare about bears walking around unnoticed, except for a few people. They blend in with humans like in the movies, when aliens live on Earth and blend in with the humans.
And so I won first place in this month’s contest for my story, Assimilation!
As I plod forward each day on my novel, Otter Rock, it helps to stop every now and then to write a short story and toss it out there, to see what happens. If it hits its mark and readers enjoy it, then you have hope that your novel won’t suck either.
It’s the little things that keep us all moving forward with hope
Now, back to Otter Rock…
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