My newest adventure has presented itself over the last couple of weeks. I have decided to enter a writing contest just to see what happens. Surprisingly, there are quite a few local and national writing contests that are available to new authors and I'm not sure why I didn't think to enter one before. Perhaps it's the ominous, "Here is your deadline and the reading fee... now write something amazing and we'll give you $500."
I printed out one of the contests, a new-author contest based out of Portland with a grand prize of $1,200. I could definitely use $1,200. Mr. Kawaii and I just rehashed the ongoing conversation about needing a new garden shed, I have flower beds to fill and a patio to build, our comforter has seen many better days and I'd really like to have some funny money to spend on salt water taffy and a trip to the casino.
Not that there are any guarantees that I will have the winning entry, especially since I haven't finished writing anything definitive to enter yet. But still I'm optimistic.
I remember a chat I had with one of my fellow writers over on Triond.com not too terribly long ago where he told me that he supports his writing almost solely by entering (and winning) writing contests. As I think of it, it's a great way to get work read rather than just having it sit dormant in a file buried somewhere on your computer, and who knows, maybe some editor somewhere will notice what a fantastic writer you are and request a copy of your latest novel or short story for publication. The sky is the limit!
I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out. Even if I don't win, although why wouldn't I, it will be a great exercise in writing with a purpose. If you have a short story, poem or novel buried in your desk drawer or brewing in the back of your mind, why not see if there's a contest that you can enter it into? Really, what do you have to lose?