There are plenty of contests out there for writers. Although not everyone agrees that contests are helpful for writers, I personally believe that there are many reasons why writing contests are a positive thing. A few are:

*Contests are a great way to step out of your comfort zone and test the waters of writing styles you wouldn’t normally wade into.

*Contests provide wonderful opportunities for feedback, and often, judges consist of published authors, editors, and/or agents. Finaling in contests sometimes means getting your work in front of the professionals who can possibly launch your career to the next level.

*Contests prepare aspiring writers for what they will encounter in the world of publishing, as a whole. Subjective opinions from readers, “losing out” to another book that a publisher deems more publishable than yours, critique that is not always pleasant but often is true, whether we want to admit it or not.

*The discipline of writing to a deadline, a word-count, or a specific topic.

So this post is for those who are interested in finding and entering great writing contests. I’ll list three here, but feel free to leave a comment with other suggestions of contests you’ve heard of or have entered before.

  1. The FaithWriters Page Turner. Of course, I have to mention this awesome contest. Created for FaithWriters Platinum 500 members only, the Page Turner requires only the first chapter of your current manuscript and a synopsis of the entire manuscript. It alternates between fiction and non-fiction (this year is non-fiction) and offers an AMAZING prize package of free editing of your entire novel, advertising, publicity, an award plaque, and  a giant cash prize. Take it from someone who knows, first-hand, how fantablous this contest is! Contest starts in January and runs through October 31st. More info on the official contest page:
  2. The ACFW Genesis Contest. This popular annual contest is put on by American Christian Fiction Writers. I have entered for the past three years and have been a finalist for the past two. Although I haven’t yet taken first place, I have received some very helpful feedback on my novels and have had my work read by the editors and agents that make up the judging panel in the final round. You must be an ACFW member to enter and there is an entry fee ($35) but it is worth every penny. Requires the first 15 pages, plus an optional one-page synopsis. Contest opens in February and runs through March 31st. Finalists are notified between May 1st and 15th. Winners are announced at the annual ACFW conference in September. More information at:
  3. The Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition. Though not a Christian contest, the WD Annual Writing Competition does include an Inspirational category. More than $30,000 in prizes is handed out in this popular writing contest, put on by the nation’s best writing magazine. Grand prize consists of $3,000 cash and a trip to New York City to meet with editors or agents. Writer’s Digest will fly you and a guest to The Big Apple, where you’ll spend three days and two nights in the publishing capital of the world. While you’re there, a Writer’s Digest editor will escort you to meet and share your work with four editors or agents! How cool is that! If you want to get in on this one, you’ll have to act fast. Deadline for entries is tomorrow, May 14th. More information here:

Have any writing contests you’d like to share? Post the links in the comments section.

If you win or final in any writing contest, please come back and let us know. We’d love to celebrate with you! Good luck!

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