Author, Barbara Studham

Creator of memoir, fiction, and the children's picture book, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


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Writing Contest

Avoiding Writing Contests

Despite writing seriously for ten years, I have never entered a writing contest. Do not ask me why as there is no specific reason. Perhaps, therein lies the problem; there is not one reason, but many.

A contest I recently considered, laid out the rules along with a picture of the judge. She resembled my high school English teacher: short frizzy hair, thick-rimmed glasses, and sardonic smile. An award winning writer, she did not impress me as someone who would welcome my measly entry. I imagined her nose crinkle in disgust as she opened my envelope, her condescending glare at my name.

Okay, so she has specific judging rules to follow which rules out bias, but what if her friend enters the contest. Is she relationship-bound to announce her the winner. I envisioned sweat dampening her brow as she thought up numerous excuses to let her friend down lightly. Or worse, what if an entry with an attached note arrives from a relative—Psst, it’s Vera. I signed my entry under a false name, but it is really your mother-in-law. I ask you, what choice would she have other than to declare her the winner?

Before entering the contest, should I read her long list of books to get an idea of the style she prefers, or leave it to chance and hope she likes mine? What if she suffers a heart attack while reading my entry? Would someone gather the pages from off the floor, and replace them neatly in the envelope to be read at a later date, or, due to the urgency, would paramedics render it unreadable? What if I miscalculated the word count, would I suffer disqualification for one word over the limit …. I warned you, my reasons are endless.

Avoiding Writing Contests

So, there you have it. A few of my hesitations when it comes to contest writing, and why I don’t enter. Of course, you know it’s all baloney, don’t you. The REAL reason I avoid writing contests is because I am confident my writing is not good enough to win! But, you can be the judge of that by visiting the following link to download one of my ebooks.

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

Priced at around the dollar mark, they are very affordable. Oh, and please leave me a review when you have finished the book. Even a bad one is welcome!