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Tag: Competitions

Don’t Be A (Disqualified) Dork!

Don’t Be A (Disqualified) Dork!

The annual short story competition run by one of the writers’ circles I go to has just closed, and once again I’m staggered by the number of entrants who failed to read the rules. I just don’t understand it. I deal with the administration of some of the entries before they are passed on to the judges, and part of that admin work involves checking that entrants have met all of the competition’s rules. The two most commonly broken rules…

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500 Words

500 Words

The results of the Flash 500 short story competition have just been announced, and I’ve been waiting to see who’s won … not because I entered, but because I was the judge. When you judge a competition you judge it blind, which means you have no idea who wrote each entry. You judge the entry, and assess its impact upon you as a reader, out of the batch you’ve been sent to adjudicate. So it’s always with excitement that I…

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And The Winner Is …

And The Winner Is …

Last weekend was the annual NAWGFest writers’ weekend, full of fantastic workshops and talks. The highlight is the Gala Dinner on Saturday night when the women dress up and look absolutely stunning, and the men dig out an old shirt they once wore for work a few years ago. It’s at this dinner that the winners of NAWG’s writing competitions are announced. Judges, like myself, have read all of the entries, cogitated, considered and then picked a winner and some…

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Run Out Of Things To Say?

Run Out Of Things To Say?

I’m in the process of judging a couple of competitions at the moment, and there’s one observation that’s really standing out to me: Entries way under the maximum word count. All competitions set a maximum word count. Entries that exceed this are disqualified. I’ve seen a few competitions that also have a minimum word count: but not many. I don’t feel comfortable setting a minimum word count, because if you’ve got something to say, and you can say it successfully…

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Irish Travel Competition T&Cs

Irish Travel Competition T&Cs

Alex Gazzola (http://mistakeswritersmake.blogspot.co.uk) has spotted that the Irish Times are running a travel writing competition (for writers based in Ireland – http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/travel/travel-writer/submit-your-story), and it’s another classic example of why writers should read the terms and conditions of every competition they enter, just so they know what they’re signing up to. I took a look at them and … well, I just started laughing.

Advice for Writing Competition Entrants

Advice for Writing Competition Entrants

I was recently interviewed by Helen Walters for her competition column in Writers’ Forum, and the piece has just been published in the July 2016 issue, out now. I thought I’d repeat some of the tips here, but if you can, do go out and buy the magazine for the full interview, and also because it’s packed full of other useful articles for writers too. What do you look for, when judging a short story competition?

What Is A Competition

What Is A Competition

A student recently queried with me the value of entering competitions. What’s the point, because, in her opinion, she didn’t think her entry was of a good enough quality. Well, let’s just hang on a minute there, shall we? There’s part of me that wants to remind entrants to ‘know their place’. You are the entrant. You do the writing and entering, and leave the judge to the judging!