The Ladies Home Journal Essay Contest That I Didn't Win

I entered a writing contest at the end of last year that I did not win. When I went back to review my essay, it was peppered with mistakes and poor grammar. "That's okay," I thought to myself... "I'm still learning."I thought this might be a good place to share my revised and fervent story and welcome any advice or critiques on how I can tell it better. From one writer to another; your thoughts are indispensable and (very) much obliged!**Click image to read full article**...more

Why LGBTQ Discrimination in Writing Contests Hurts Everyone

LGBTQ authors were steamed to discover that after several years of doing quite well in the "More Than Magic" contest sponsored each year by Romance Writers Ink (RWI), the Oklahoma Chapter of Romance Writers of America (RWA), same sex romances were specifically disqualified from competing in the 2012 contest. The reason given was that "some members of the chapter felt 'uncomfortable' with the same-sex entries." ...more
Sad. Good post.more

Writing Contests: Why to Enter, What's Available This Year, What You Can Win

Then, in the late 90s when I was living in Dayton, Ohio, I entered the Erma Bombeck Essay Competition, sponsored by the University of Dayton -- where both Erma and I had graduated. I would go on to win an honorable mention, which scored me a certificate, I think, and I may have gotten a small cash prize, but I honestly can't remember. I was focused on having to read my essay at the awards ceremony, which is always nerve-wracking, but something I make myself do when given the chance. And I honestly believe that is when I returned to writing for real. ...more

Thanks for the great tips



Writing Contests: Scams or Opportunities, and How to Choose Which Ones to Enter

The heart of this round-up asks a question: Are writing contests worth it? There isn't a simple answer. The fact is that some writing contests are very worth it, providing writers a leg into the publishing world. Anyone can write a book; but few can publish a book (or poem or short story), and writing contests sometimes create an opening for someone who hasn't been able to get an agent to suddenly be considered for publication. Some writing contests are definitely not worth it, amounting to little more than a vanity press publication that will cost you more than you'll ever gain from the experience. And this post will help you determine which side of the worth-it chasm that contest you're considering falls. ...more

That's generally the way to go. My feeling is that if I didn't know the ...more

Should a poet plan on starving?

When I was young my mother, when I repeated my ambition to become a poet, advised me in typical no-nonsense fashion. “Poets are dead before anybody knows who they are.” Years later, as I worked steadily at trying to survive as a freelance writer, I continued to write poetry on the side. I published many poems, earning small amounts from educational publishers, magazines, contests and at least one Web site. Finally the day came when a publisher agreed to invest his money in my collection, A Poetry Break. ...more

Kim, thanks--I think it's the you-just-gotta'-do-it-syndrome with poetry (and really, with all ...more

Five great Web sites for writers

Want to know which digital camera is best for your budget and your purpose? Or how to shorten that URL to an easier-to-remember Web address? Or whether a Web site has published your content without legal permission? How about finding information about fair poetry and writing contests? Or maybe just find a site with forums, markets and writer-bewares (not to mention a free newsletter). Here are five Web sites useful to writers. Read more at Creative Writer US . ...more