This is a follow-up to my previous blog post about contests (read here), and I thought it best to clarify a few things.
First of all, I am not bashing contests. Not one bit. They can work really well (just check out all the success stories of writers finding representations through contests), not to mention they offer other fantastic things. One of which, is feedback. This is extremely important for a writer because it helps a great deal. Another fun things about contests are the writer friends you make – the support of other writers going through exactly the same thing as you is invaluable. I’ve made such wonderful friends through contests, heck, I’d say 90% of the people I follow on Twitter are people I met through contests. So again, to clarify, I’m not bashing contests.
Secondly, while contests do have all these fantastic things about them, they are not for everyone, and they aren’t for every manuscript genre out there. For some writers, participating in a contest is just not a path they choose, and there’s nothing wrong with this, but for some reason, I often feel like there’s pressure to participate, as though if a writer doesn’t take every possible path, it means they’re not committed or something. In my opinion, writers should just do what they feel comfortable with, and that’s all. Again, contests can be great, but they’re not for everyone, that’s all. As for genres, some are easier sells than others. For example, Young Adult is popular right now, romance and contemporary seem to be a trend, so those might be easier to get into contests since the agent wishlists are looked at before choosing. Other genres are a little harder to get in (Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, etc.), but still not impossible.
All in all, my previous blog post was never to say contests aren’t in any way good, or that people shouldn’t participate in them – I was just sharing my views on my personal experience with them, and wanted to explain why I made the choice not to participate in them anymore. I had tried explaining a little through Twitter comments, but with 140 character limit, I figured posting a blog would be simpler.