Competitions: for a long time a way for organisations to fundraise and for new writers to feel hopeful that they may be published and even get some money for their work. I’ve entered a few myself in the past and had the odd ‘honourable mention’ in the final line-up – but no pennies.
Publicising these events seems a bit haphazard. Some get national coverage, others only a few lines at the bottom of a page in a limited circulation paper.
Recently I acquired a copy of a quarterly magazine, Kudos, which has a comprehensive listing of competitions – forty pages of them. I hadn’t realised there are so many. The list gives a lot of information and, usually, a web address to find out more.
I love reading about these competitions: their rules and requirements and what the prize is. Some are so specific (a story for bedtime, a poem of fourteen lines) some are very general (open poetry, unpublished novel).
I also love reading the winning entries. I like to tell myself ‘I could have done that, (given time – lots of it).’ But I didn’t do it – too lazy, too distracted, not focussed enough. Someone else with energy, focus and the talent to write well did do it. I salute them for it; they gave me something great to read and that nice feeling of ‘I could do it if …’