Showing posts with label contests. Show all posts
Showing posts with label contests. Show all posts

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happy New Year!

I am back with my regularly scheduled posts. Last month, I had a cold and forgot about my post for December. I tend to write my post the month that it’s due, as I try to talk about something that recently happened to me or that I recently discovered.

I am always on the lookout for websites about writing, publishing, social media, books, etc. Here are several sites I found in the last year.

The Rate Your Story contest for picture books, novels, novellas and other kinds of stories runs through February 3. Good luck if you decide to enter!

Do you suffer from writer’s block? We probably all do at some point. Can you get out of writer’s block by using this map?

If you write for children, this is a new website, full of lots of resources.

This is a how-to article for authors on shopping at a bookstore.  A fun read!

This one is also for fun! How well did you do?

I hope you enjoy checking out these interesting and helpful websites. If you have any links you would like to share, please post them in the Comments section. Have a great 2014!

Debbie A. Byrne has a B.S. in Mass Communication with a minor in History. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is working on her first children’s book.





Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Writing for Theme-Based Contests

Writers draw inspiration from many sources, including words, phrases and pictures--and many contests require you to do just that. Writing about the same "theme" as other writers can be challenging but can also push you to greater levels of creativity in search of the unexpected angle.

As with any other type of writing contest, it's important to stick to the guidelines. Stay within the proscribed word count, use the required formatting, and DO NOT miss the deadline.

In order to succeed in theme-based contests, you have to look beyond the obvious responses and surprise the judges. You might even surprise yourself.

One of my earliest wins as a writer was in a poetry contest that wanted humorous takes on love. Rather than go for outright humor in every line, I set up a typically romantic scenario before delivery the final deadpan line.

red rose
valentine gift
treasured keepsake 
symbolic of our love
pressed flat

The judges got the joke, and I got first prize.

The first time I ran a contest, I asked entrants to write about "the first time." The phrase might bring to mind memories of first love or first sex, but I wanted to see something more. What I got was an eclectic mix of stories, including tales of skydiving, wartime, jail, and a woman's first encounter with her grandchild who had Down's Syndrome.

Whether you're writing for theme-based contests or simply looking for inspiration for your next project, keep an open mind. Details don't change, only your perceptions.

Trust your instincts. Don't be afraid of the "strange" ideas that pop into your head. Don't listen to the little voice that whispers, "You can't write that." If you hear that voice, get the "strange" ideas on paper as fast as possible. You're probably onto something good.



Betty Dobson is an award-winning writer of short fiction, essays and poetry. She also writes newspaper and magazine articles but is still waiting for those awards to materialize. In the meantime, she continues to run InkSpotter Publishing, which has three new books available and several more in the works for 2012.

Techniques for Cultivating Creative Writing Ideas by Deborah Lyn

Make cultivating ideas part of your writing process. Creative writing needs inspiration—motivation will follow quickly to get that personal ...