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  • Writer's pictureElsie King

The Value of Entering Competitions

Starting a new year with some wonderful news is well... wonderful.

On the 3rd. of January I received an e-mail saying the my short story entry for the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) Sweet Treats anthology is a finalist and my story will be published in the middle of 2023. Yay.

In 2022 I was shortlisted in the RWA Emerald Competition for my second novel A Suitable Heir. This book is currently being considered by a publishing company. In December I also learned that my first novel, heavily changed around and edited last year, has also been shortlisted for the Emerald Competition in 2023.

I find that entering competitions can be scary, but the feedback from judges is invaluable and has increased my confidence and improved my writing. I have entered competitions in the past and got no where. The feedback, if you are lucky enough to get it from a competition, can be disheartening and confronting. But I have come to realise that the most negative, difficult to accept feedback is actually the best. A negative review makes me really look at my work. I find that if the critique has merit, I will make sure I change my writing for the better. Some critical feedback will challenge you, but it can be examined and dismissed. If I reject a critical review, it is something that I have carefully considered and I will also consult with other writers for a second opinion. This process strengthens my writing.

The RWA has a number of competitions for their members and they are brilliantly organised and supportive of entrants. Entering a competition also increases a writers skills in producing a professional submission and fine tuning the formatting process.

My advice is to take the plunge and submit your work for a competition. You will learn more about making a professional submission and improve your writing. It's wonderful if your work wins or gets shortlisted, but the real purpose of being in a competition is to get feedback, learn and grow.

Cheers Elsie King.

copyright Elsie King 2023

Photo copyright L.C.Wong 2023

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