Today I got a piece of news guaranteed to make a writer smile — I won a contest!
In a previous post, I talked about Twitter contests. They provide excellent opportunities to meet other writers, get critique partners and polish your work. There really is no downside to entering — win or lose, participants learn all kinds of things. Feedback is almost always part of the deal, and writers can gain objective suggestions to improve their work.
I entered a contest by some awesome people at The Scribblers Blog (thescribblersonline.com). The Scribblers are a group of writers who met a couple of years ago at a writing course and decided to start their own group. Since their meeting, several of their members have become agented.
The Scribblers offer all kinds of articles and advice on their blog — but they also offer contests.
This particular contest was called #1st50. Participants sent in the first fifty words of their manuscript. A panel of judges first chose a longlist, then a shortlist, then finally today, the winners. I tied for first place with an excellent writer named Oscar Allen. I saw his post and was pretty happy about my entry being compared to his work — it was good.
During the process, this contest hooked me up with a couple of dozen new writer friends on Twitter, but more importantly, through feedback and critique, I developed a manuscript opening some judges thought was worth scoring first place.
For winning, I will get my first page critiqued by some experienced writers, and my polished page will be posted on their blog site. But the real first prize was the validation that some talented folks found my entry worth voting for.
This definitely put a big smile on my face.