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The Vagaries of Writing Contests

Following my own advice from a previous post: I'm entering contests. There's a cost involved, besides postage - the entry fees, which run about $15 per contest. I'll receive subscriptions to a handful of litmags- some I'm familiar with, others not so much.

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The reality: odds are against winning any of these. In fact, I received one gently negative reply from a contest official just yesterday. Contests aren't necessarily won by the "best." As yesterday's turndown letter implied, they most often receive many worthy submissions - hence they can award to one that fits some sort of judicial preference.

But should I (or you) win a contest, it puts your name in Poets& Writers, maybe in other writer mags, where agents can find you. 

Admittedly this is sort of like the lottery, or maybe American Idol, but that's how this new writing-to-publishing model seems to work.

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Winners & losers

Love the sign. LOL
Personally I never enter contests. Bad enough getting rejection letters from editors. Have enough to make a papermache pinata.

I am a hit 'em up kind of girl. I never cold sell and never wait for someone to find me. I love finding editors, agents and publishers in a crowd or online and talking with them.

I find connections much more personal and I realize they are human too, so when I get rejected I don't feel so bad.

This week I am having a major UK poetry publishing house on my website talk about their new line of books. Also a few other editors stopping by. You should drop by, might find a nugget in the sand.

Gabriella Hewitt
Excitement. Suspense. Passion.
www. GabriellaHewitt.com

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You're absolutely right,

Gabriella - personal connections are much better than the long distance hit-up. Some of us live in the sticks, though, so it's harder. 

I'll make a point of visiting, and thanks for the offer.