12

Alas, no. As an unpublished writer, you absolutely should not submit anything less than a complete novel. A few quotes to this effect: You have to have a finished novel. There are no exceptions to this. The first step for writing a query letter is to finish the novel. -- Query Shark When you send your query, do not send an unfinished ...


7

There have been several similar books in the past, known as "armchair treasure hunts". However, these generally involve actual physical treasures that have been buried somewhere, and cracking the riddles in the book leads you to their location. The principle is the same, though: the author of the puzzle has to confirm that your solution is correct before you ...


7

A very good short story --or better yet, many of them --can definitely lead to a publishing contract for a novel. (In fact, that's been the classic path for generations of science fiction writers.) But not unless it's published. An unpublished story does less than nothing for you (submitting it as a sample of an unwritten novel is more likely to hurt than ...


6

Legal issues depend on where you live and who your contestants are. In the US, there is a difference between sweepstakes, which are games of chance, and contests, which are games of skill. Your proposal is for a contest. Inc has written an excellent article outlining the various issues. For a prize as substantial as $10,000, I would hire a lawyer to go ...


6

It's most likely a flash fiction contest. Flash fiction is generally limited to a certain amount of words or less, usually enough to make it a challenge to convey an interesting story. If you google "flash fiction contest", you'll likely find a number of them. As an example, Odyssey Con has their yearly OddContest, in which submissions are limited to 500 ...


6

I read for a contest run by a literary journal. There are a few rounds of reading. In the first round we weed out the pieces that are problematic from the start. So polish your piece to perfection. Fix all punctuation and grammar problems. In the second round we're reading stories that are all pretty good, and we read to find the ones that are seriously good....


5

Look at the books on your shelf. Collections often show where their stories/poems have been published before and what competitions they've won. Same with anthologies. So you're finding the contests that your favorite authors have participated in.


4

This is really the number one advice I can give anybody entering creative competitions: Learn how the competition works. Every competition has rules. Wordcount; formatting; themes. Some of them also have guidelines. Stuff the judges like; stuff the contest is kind of tired of; stuff that's considered particularly impressive, or that's OK but generally ...


4

Speaking as a professor, I have frequently been a judge (one of five for my field) for our annual poster contest (all sciences) in which students produce a poster describing their research, suitable for an academic conference (often actually accepted for display in such a conference). These typically take students about a month to produce, they are not done ...


4

It is tough to get published in a magazine or journal, but if you want to be a professional writer, I think that's the route to go. Most writing contests are not terribly high visibility, and quite a lot of them are expensive to enter. A single solid publishing credit in a reputable magazine is worth more than a hundred awards from contests no one has ever ...


4

As I recall, Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, Horace Smith, and whoever else their friends were, used to challenge each other to write things. Quite a few novels and poems came out of those friendly contests. A writing challenge forces you to step out of your comfort zone, stretch your creativity. Your "serious project" is a rut. Sure, as you go ...


3

My poetry is too terrible to consider entering competitions so I can't help from personal experience! But there's a Wiki of international poetry competitions including major international awards and I would imagine that any non-legit entries would be edited, so that would be a good place to start. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_poetry_awards ...


3

I agree with Standback that submitting an unagented short story to a publisher is not likely to entice them to ask for a novel. I believe the answer to your question is no. But I would modify this to say that publishing short stories and other forms of fiction, and winning contests, are good ways to improve your query letter when you seek representation for ...


2

When I was in graduate school, one of my creative writing instructors suggested we students name awards after one another, win them, and then tell magazine editors about it in our cover letters. The advice was flip, but served to point out that contests are often expensive to enter, whereas magazines don't typically charge reading fees. In the interest of ...


2

A lot of literary journals manage submissions via Submittable. I've never used it as an admin, but I know you can assign stories to particular readers and it keeps track of correspondence between you and the authors, and of readers' votes and comments. For submitters, it keeps track of what's been submitted, and the stories' status.


2

There are three resources I would look through. Writer's Digest - their different market guides (Poet's Market for example) list contests as well as a big section on different publishing markets. They will list info about costs and so on. The market guides are published every year. Poets & Writers I believe also lists contests. You can check their ...


2

There is a very strict standard format for screenplays, designed so that each written page of the script will take approximately 1 minute of screen time. The formatting is different for action and dialog in order to maintain the page/time ratio no matter what the content. So, if you follow the format, a script for an 8 minute movie will "magically" be 8 ...


2

Look at the competition from the judge's point of view. Whatever the theme of the competition, assume that the vast majority of entries will grab for its' low hanging fruit. If a competition is about vampires, most of the entries will deal with normal afterlife challenges, such as sunshine and madmen with wooden stakes. So find something new such as a ...


1

Are friendly writing contests a useful exercise? Yes they can be - not everyone is going to find them useful, but in the majority of cases it's more writing practice which is good. My writing group does a similar exercise - we do it in-session as a "20 minute challenge" and I've always found it's very useful. Even where I'm also working a so-called "serious"...


1

For excerpts, it should be fine as long as you're not publishing too much: If I publish an excerpt online, does that mean the whole work or part of the work is considered previously published? Generally speaking, excerpts are okay to publish online, as long as they are on the short side (relative to the work in question). Writer's Relief With ...


1

I was given a book which offered a cash prize to the first person who solved the puzzle. Because the time limit for claiming the prize had already expired and the book was not very engaging, I didn't bother even though I quite like solving puzzles. This was nearly thirty years ago and so the concept is not new.


1

It sounds like you have more of a novella, or mini novel. Try looking for novella contests or publishing opportunities. W.W. Norton Publishes an anthology called the Norton Reader every year. Reedsy has opportunities The Kindle Store can publish anything, really Really, you could just research publishers like you normally would, but as a short story ...


1

There's a Yahoo Group called CRWROPPS-B that distributes opportunities for writers, including flash and micro contests. Sign up for the email feed and you'll get tons of options. You'll have to go through the giant list occasionally to find what you're looking for, but you'll find what you're looking for there.


1

It depends on two things. What your skill level is. What you feel comfortable doing. I began writing with fan fiction and fan fiction contests. (Note: these contests were loose and open. They were not professional, and were simply somewhere to practice and receive criticism.) That's how I learned to write. If you're a beginner, still honing and ...


1

I think the best way to get started as a writer is to develop a portfolio of professional work. You can start by doing jobs for free or on sites like hire writers. I wrote an article about how to use the site to get content created and how to use it to make money. Check out the article hopefully it will be useful. Make Money as a Writer on Hire Writers ...


1

Joining other local writers, as Amanda Witt said, is great. There are also online databases and sites that will help you locate contests and markets, and even provide statistics on those contests. https://duotrope.com includes info on poetry and essay markets, although it has recently made much of the info available only to subscribers (only $5 a month).


1

Join a writer's centre in your city/homestate if you can. They have lots of advice and information on competitions that you can enter your work in. A few years ago I did a lot of legwork myself to learn about this process, and it worked really well. Also attend workshops/classes where you often learn from professionals and meet other like-minded souls.


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