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Do’s and Don’ts in a Writing Competition
21. January 2020 at 21:48
Why do people enter a writing competition? Few enter to practice. Some enter to motivate themselves to complete their stories. But there is a reason why everyone who enters a writing contest needs… Win! As an editor, writer and a proofreader that have been judging a hundred writing contests during those times, I have discovered what it entails to ruin chances and win an entry.

Let us get the obvious out of the way. Submitting grammatically correct and proofed entry in the needed genre that attains the needed word count and following the contest theme is just the minimum or the least requirement if you intend to win a contest. If you actually want to lose a writing competition, you can do all or any of the following:

-          Unknowingly or knowingly go against the grammar rules: if you intend to win, observe and discover the accurate and the necessary grammar. Again, I do not actually need to inform you about this or do I?

-          Do not proofread: Do I actually need to inform you to proofread? Personally, I am so lenient when it entails typos. If the piece is excellent and good but has one or two errors, I know that there is time to correct them before the story is published. Although not all the judge are so understanding and friendly and it goes without informing you that you closely need to proofread your writing before submitting to a writing contest

-          If there is a theme, ignore it: Writing an essay contests usually demand for pieces that match a particular theme or even abide to a theme rules and regulations. A better way to lose an essay writing contest is to write whatever you intend to write and ignoring the necessary requirements

-          Submit a Literary Master piece to a Supernatural Romance Contest: Yes, that is the recipe for failure. Generally, writing contest lean towards certain or a specific genre. If the genre is not totally emphasized, read the previously published stories from the contest to make a sense to that judge that will read it.

-       Writing 1500 words more than the Word Count Limit: You will actually not win an essay writing competition if you submit a 3500 word story to a writing contest demanding for pieces of 2000 words or less. Do not try that

Five Hints to Win an Essay Writing Contest

How do you win an essay Writing Competition? Here are the five hints below:

-          First, identify or see yourself as human: This may be a weird way to start a list of hints on how to win an essay writing contest, but let me throw more emphasis

Stephen King once emphasized, that “to edit is divine and to write is human” but rather than the term “edit”, you could replace the phrase “judge writing competition”, because  in a writing contest , the contest judges and editors plays the same godlike function

Why is one thrilling story selected over another thrilling story? Who knows? Even the judge may not know, but at least not objectively (however, they will usually have major reasons). To check and evaluate the actions of the Judges of a Writing Competition is impossible. All writing is subjective. A judge intends to say “this story is bad” or “this story is good”, but actually, they are just selecting in regard to their personal idiosyncratic idea or taste. Winning boils down to God or Luck or what the Judge might have had for lunch, dinner or breakfast that day

- What can the Writer do then?

He or She Should submit the pieces, pray that it win (and then go and write your next story and explore for a current context to submit to). Nothing else can actually be done I know it is not a very nice hint. If you demand for more advice than this, continue `reading

-          Your Major Character must be interesting: What interests human beings the most is contrast.

Darkness vs. Light, Evil vs. Good, a normal individual battling the evil inside themselves, a good hero battling or fighting the evil in the globe, an evil drawn, despite themselves, to a time of goodness

Life vs. Mortality, A woman, battling against a villain, against cancer that wants to destroy her, against the mortality banality of the present life

Contrast is so thrilling. Does your Major Character have contrast? If you intend to win an essay writing contest, he or she should

-          Surprise Endings: I prefer unexpected ending. All the judges do, although; detest out of the blue endings. A nice surprise ending can be forecasted from the very starting, but the author tactfully distracts you so that you never anticipate it (the traditional technique of distracting the reader is to apply red herrings). Red herring is a clue that takes the characters and/or the readers in the inappropriate directions.

-          Repeat with a Twist: In the previous few lines of a story, it is better to repeat something from the earlier to the previous in the story with a twist as this echoed finishing will reverberate with your reader giving emotional power and closure

-       Write you as if you know or you are aware even if what you actually know never occurred: This is also necessary as well

Cite This Article As: Tochukwu Benedict Ezeifekwuaba. "Do’s and Don’ts in a Writing Competition." International Youth Journal, 21. January 2020.

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