When I attended the San Francisco Writers Conference a couple of years ago, one of the things they stressed was how important it is to build a writer’s platform.
Yes, the p-word that I’m sure you’ve all heard about. They said in order to build your platform you need to blog, get facebook and twitter accounts, join writers groups, etcetera. They also mentioned the need to join writing contests. Apparently, the more praise and awards you get and mention in your query letters, the more agents will be attracted to you.
After the conference, I surfed online and searched for writing contests. To my surprise, everything I saw had an entrance fee of at least $10. Some even went as high as $50.
Wow. I better start saving.
Then just a few weeks ago, I attended the Paris Writers Workshop where during a few of the lectures, writing contests were mentioned. They advised that it is not necessary to join because of the fees involved, saying they were mostly scams.
So, should you join or not join? Who do you listen to?
Sure, it is probably not right to charge us fees to join these contests, but in the end, it’s still a business. It’s really up to us whether we are willing to pay for these fees or not in order to take a chance and put our stories out there with the hopes of winning.
I think that if we carefully pick the contests (making sure they’re not scams) we want to join and only send our best work, then I believe our money will be well spent.
How do you feel about writing contests?