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To Enter or Not to Enter Writing Contests
If you are a freelance writer, it is because you love to write. Why not put those abilities to use and enter a writing contest? You have nothing to loose and a lot to gain. You can find writing contests by simply searching the Internet. Writing groups and message boards may also have listing for these contests. No matter what you writing genre maybe poetry, fiction, non fiction, there is a contest out there for you. Read about them and choose which ones are right for you. It is not necessarily about winning or loosing but about the experience and knowledge that you gain to get there.
Whether you win or not there are still valuable things that can be learned or gained by entering into contests. Entering writing contests will help you hone the skills that you have. Try something new, you may choose to write in a niche that you normally wouldn?t. You get constructive criticism from someone new. Someone that doesn?t have to worry about hurting your feelings and that is unbiased can be a wonderful asset to your career. The feedback you receive can be invaluable to you. It will get your name out there and give you a place to showcase your work.
Depending on how good your story, if you make it to the next round your writings could be in front of editors and agents. This feedback and criticism is even more important than the first. Do not your eggs all in one basket. Enter a couple contests to get multiple feedback sources. Not every editor or agent is going to agree. By entering multiple contests and find common points about your writing that need perfecting you will be able to concentrate on a general consensus about your abilities.
There are some downsides to entering writing contests, too. Chances are that a simple contest is not going to launch your career into star status. Do your research just as if you were going to write an article about contests. For many contests you give up your rights to your entry whether it wins or not. You need to decide whether or not you are willing to give up all rights to your story. If you win it is not a big deal, but if you loose your giving your work away. Are you willing to do this?
Research the contest. You can search the Internet for reports or opinions on contests run by the company. You can find valuable information on if the contest is legitimate, if entering has had any effect of previous entrant?s careers, and if it is really worth it in the long run. The bigger and well-established companies will give credibility to your work if you win. But the bigger and more well know the companies are will also bring in tougher competition with well know authors.
Some companies offer contests as a disguise. Yes they will give away prizes and declare winners but their main goal with the contest is advertising. It can be in the form of offering you to buy obscure book featuring your contest submission. Sometimes it is an editing company that offers a discount for its services or a company that will offer you discounts on writing classes.
A writing contest is just a possible stepping stone. Whether it helps you or not is the unknown, but it definitely won?t hurt you. It may help you reach the next level of your career. You and only you will be able to make the decision on whether or not writing contests are a good move for your career.
Freebie Etiquette (Yes, There is Such a Thing!) When you are on the hunt for free stuff, it can be easy to be so blinded by the offers that your manners go flying out the window completely. You may also just not realize that when it comes to taking advantage of freebies there is a general code of conduct that it pays to follow. While you are racking up the free stuff, keep these common courtesy rules in mind so that you are doing your part to keep the hunt for freebies fun and enjoyable. Freebie etiquette rule number one is to remember that there is a face behind every freebie, no matter how distant it may seem. Since so many freebies come from websites and you don?t actually have interaction with a human being while you are getting them, it can be very easy to forget that someone (or very likely, a lot of someones) worked hard to bring you that website and that free deal. If you have a problem with a website or a form while trying to get some free stuff, deal with it as respectfully as you would if you had to approach a customer service rep in person. Leaving foul-mouthed posts on a message board or unloading a barrage of outrage on a customer reply form isn?t the way forward. Someone ? a real person ? will have to help you, and you?ll get a lot further by treating them with respect. Respect is also the name of the game when it comes to rules attached for freebie offers. There are often restrictions in place for taking advantage of free offers, such as the age you have to be to cash in on the offer or how many offers per household can be taken. Sure, there are plenty of ways to get around these rules and ?trick? a company into giving you an offer for which you are not really eligible. However, when you try to simply bleed out as many free offers as you can, you?re only making it hard on companies to be able to keep bringing these offers to you. If this freebie isn?t for you, take a back seat and make room for the folks who can take advantage of it. Your time will come. Related to this last rule is the idea of not being too greedy when gobbling up the free stuff. Just because something is free doesn?t mean you should use a ?smash and grab? approach and go for as much as you can get of anything you can get. Remember that there are a lot of other people out there who like to get in on the freebies, too, and think about how you would feel if you lost out on something you really wanted because someone came along and took them all. Don?t take more than your share of any free offer, and don?t take things you don?t want or need just because they?re free. Everyone loses when you do that. Last but not least, if you have an opportunity to say thanks for a freebie, grab it. Of course, this can be hard to do when the free offers you are taking advantage of are found on the Internet, but there are still ways. Look for the customer comment field in the request forms you fill out to get your free stuff and leave a quick thank you there. You can also write a thank you on message boards and chat rooms that are associated with the freebie websites. The good will generated by your gratitude will only help convince companies that freebie offers are useful tools for reeling in the customers.
Is Christian Publishing the Easy Road to the World of Writing Success? (Christian publishing) Any community with a special interest will pay for products that cater to that special interest. If that community is of significant size, you can bet that there will be products galore geared to them. There is money to be made where there is a need for a product. The Christian community is one such group that has a desire for a very specific product. They are interested in products that explain their faith and expand their knowledge of what is less understood within that faith. They also seek encouragement in what is already agreed upon. Because of all of these needs, there is certainly a market to be entered into within the Christian publishing network. The question is, since the group is exclusive, does that mean that there are too few writers for the consumers? Is it easier to get published when you?re not competing with the best of the secular authors? Those are difficult questions to answer with any certainty, but there are some topics to explore within that subject. Degree of Expertise In one genre of Christian publishing one qualification is essential. To write with expertise on subjects of faith, it is necessary to have the correct education. A seminary degree at the very least is required for convincing publications. The publishers do not accept authoritative writing from those without the proper education. When it comes to education, separate Christian denominations will expect degrees endorsed from those specific denominations. You may have expected that a Christian would need to write for the Christian community, but the requirements can be much more stringent. Just as a pastor or preacher must have the proper education to teach a congregation, a writer on subjects of theology or other topics from the Bible must also have the credentials to back up his claims. While it is not possible for every writer to obtain the correct degree for authoritative writing, there are other kinds of writing that will easier to achieve within Christian publishing. Experiential Knowledge A huge portion of Christian publishing is made up of personal stories. A Christian has unique experiences related to his faith. People who seek encouragement will buy books that relate to their own circumstances. A typical human problem is grief. If a Christian can effectively write about their grief from a perspective of faith then those writings will be helpful to other struggling Christians. Other important subjects include doubt, blessings and prayer. A lay Christian can back up their experiences and observations with scripture and therefore be much more relevant in their writing to the Christian community. If the writer?s material is not sufficient to fill a book, there are other outlets within Christian publishing for those who are able to inform and encourage fellow Christians. Magazines and church bulletins often publish poetry and short stories for the building up of believers. The Bottom Line Christian publishing may not be necessarily easier to do than secular publishing. If your heart is in the ministry to other Christians however, it may be the best field for you to attempt writing for. Christian publishing is not a ?first step? to enter into the publishing world. Most publishers are only looking for sincere and relevant publications. They will avoid writings done only for the money and will favor those with the honest goal of furthering the message of the Christian faith. Specific communities are looking for products geared to their lifestyles, but the best candidates for creating those products are those who have talent invested in that community. Entering into the Christian publishing world will be a similar task to entering into the scientific publishing world. It will take dedication and work. The writer will come out with a deeper understanding and faith of his own.