I have spent £100 on nine writing competitions over the last few days, just for a change from the regular submission process. The results won’t be out for a few months for most of them, but I always find it best to consider that as lost money, and anything I may get back is a bonus.
Do I expect a profit? Well, even one placing in any of those competitions would go some way towards it, but historically I have not done particularly well in this area – runner-up in a comedy contest for £30, and third in a flash contest for £100, being the only two placings I have had. Both of those were last year. I never really put much emphasis on competitions until a couple of years ago, and by then I had submitted through the regular channels hundreds of times. I find that contest writing is almost a different skill; in some ways more precise, more pure, and in other ways more reliant on luck and a little inside knowledge.
So, fingers crossed I know the right people.
Sounds like the right attitude to have. You have to be in it to win it – you have nine chances of getting something back. I think with these competitions you have to look at the results over time, as you only need one or two wins a year to come out in profit. Even if you get nothing from these nine, another one later this year might land you a couple of hundred quid. I’ve heard people say writing competitions are a lottery, and I understand what they mean by that, but a lot of entries will fail simply because they haven’t followed the contest rules, or they haven’t come up with something original, or any one of a dozen other reasons, leaving a relatively low percentage of entries to be considered for a prize (depending on the competition), so if you can write and you can follow rules you’re in with a chance. I’ve read the judge’s comments after the event a few times and that can be quite revealing. Best of luck with this batch.
Thanks for the words, Bob. Ten percent of any winnings sound good?