Newsletter: 13/4/21: Conference Poll, Snack-luck, Competitions and Figments April 15 — 19
I read an article a couple of days ago regarding the drive and reasons to write. It is a quick article addressed to students, but I think it has value to us as well. I particularly like the following quotes excerpted from the article: Why write? “To explore the conventions of a thousand genres and befriend a thousand tribes. To sing without moving your lips. To see faces in shadows. To flirt. To create the next Yoda. To realize there’s more in you than you think. To be human. Join the club. To make ‘text-to-world’ connections. To be immortal.” and of course Todd’s final question, which every writer and poet should regularly ask: “And why do you have to write today? Surely you have your reasons …”
We are already on our writing journeys, but it is nice to be reminded occasionally what it means to write and what it feels to first write.
Our next meeting is in ten days, on May 1. I hope you can make it. Also, the survey I promised last week — regarding the Words in 3 Dimensions conference on May 24-25 and the possibility of a snack-luck on June 5 — is up on the events page in our wiki. I have had a couple of responses already. Please take a moment and let us know what you would like to do.
In addition, we have several writing contest deadlines coming up. Writer’s Digest, in particular, has its 82nd Annual Writing Competition due on May 6. Note the other competitions listed at the bottom of the 82nd Annual Competition page. Read this article as well. Again read to the bottom where the best reason for entering writing competitions exists.
Reason 4. It’s fun.
Putting yourself out there is a difficult thing to do. I know. As a writer who also works at Writer’s Digest, I find extra pressure is put on my writing. It often made me fearful that failure would look so bad that it wasn’t worth the risk to enter contests or search for an agent. Well, I put that fear behind me this year. And while I didn’t win any contest (mainly because I’m ineligible for many because of my position at Writer’s Digest), I did land a literary agent, get a publishing contract and release my first book.
So I highly recommend entering your work in a writing competition. I hope you consider this one, which has a long history of finding diamonds in a sea of, well, other very nice jewels. And who knows: You could be the one face to face with agents and editors come next January. But you can’t get there if you don’t try.
The other running contests are:
- The Fountainhead Essay Contest is offered annually to encourage analytical thinking and excellence in writing. Top prize is $10,000, though there are more than 200 other cash prizes. Deadline: April 26.
- The Iowa Poetry Prizes are offered for the best previously unpublished book-length collection of poetry. The winning manuscript earns publication under a standard royalty agreement. Deadline: April 30.
- The 82nd Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition has many categories for fiction, non-fiction and poem writing. Early Deadline: May 6.
- The FIELD Poetry Prize is offered annually for the best unpublished collection of poetry. The winner receives $1,000, standard royalties, and publication. Submissions are received only during the month of May.
- The Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition is offered annually for the best previously unpublished chapbook collection of poetry. The winning manuscript earns $1,000, publication, and 20 copies of the chapbook. Deadline: May 15.
- The New Letters Prize for Poetry for the best 2013 group of three to six poems. The winner receives $1,500. Deadline: May 18.
- The Alexander Patterson Cappon Fiction Award is offered annually for the best unpublished short story. The winner receives $1,500. Deadline: May 18.
- The Dorothy Churchill Cappon Prize for the Essay is offered annually for the best essay. The winner receives $1,500. Deadline: May 18.
- The Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Award also has many categories. Deadline: June 2013.
- The 13th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition is also offered. Deadline: June 2013.
And, finally, for those of us thinking about publishing — and DG you know who you are, I have this competition, BookBaby’s $16K Mega Book Launch Sweepstakes, and this advice, The Single Most Effective Book Marketing Strategy An Author Can Use, which is one of our Group’s functions, and the reason we have member pages in our wiki. Check our Diigo for more advice.
With all those competitions, we need some prompts to spur our creative juices. Figment as always does not disappoint. However, in light of National Poetry Writing Month, I have other prompt sources you might want to check out as well. As a twist on the normal text prompts Bob Hunt has visual ones designed for poem creation, though they work just as well for prose too. Lisa Fantino on the other hand offers a prompt inspired by a poem, one which deals again with the writing experience and other pursuits.
Figment starts this week’s prompts with an opening line that pows, but how many ways can it and its context be interpreted. And the photo prompt portends the coming months. Wouldn’t you like to be in that park — I suspect it is Central Park? The remaining three prompts build character. Why does your character act in certain ways? What eccentricities does your character have and why? How does he or she act while under stress? What if your character were actually the opposite gender? What if his or her skin were translucent?
And that is all I wrote. Have a great, safe week, and keep writing,