|Contests & Activities Archives | More From This Day | Print This Issue|
This week: Spotlight on: purplesundayEdited by: Jayne
More Newsletters By This Editor
1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions
It’s easy to say, “go enter this contest” or “take part in this activity”. The truth is contests can intimidate even seasoned members. Whether it’s fear of competition, fear of making a mistake with contest rules, or plain old imposter syndrome, we often bury things in our portfolios instead of getting involved.
Sometimes it has nothing to do with fear. The reality is not every contest suits every writer, and not every writer is motivated by the same prompt, reward, or requirements.
By putting faces to the stories behind the contests, and providing greater insight into what’s available to WdC members, I hope to tamp down some apprehension about entering contests and provide our writers with new avenues to challenge themselves.
Choconuts Roasting was a member for only six months when she first considered creating a contest, but she hadn’t yet built up the confidence to start one of her own. She knew the importance of contests, as they’d been a major catalyst for her own writing. They connected her to other members, increasing her overall interaction on the site, and helping her settle into her writing style, preferences, and the WdC community.
While she considered what kind of contest she might bring to the table, she received an offer she couldn’t refuse - because someone had already accepted it for her.
"I had a few ideas, but I didn’t really know anything about running a contest. Then, I found myself volunteered to take over the "Verdant Poetry Contest ~ On Hiatus" [E] when the original owner was stepping back. It happened at exactly the right time." Her friend's heart was in the right place: Choconuts Roasting's love of poetry was well-known, her community involvement was increasing, and all she needed was a nudge in the contest direction. "It was a ready-made contest, and all I had to do was run it. As a quarterly contest, the onus wasn’t too great. As far as first contests go, I consider myself very lucky to have received this gift.".
Having done a fantastic job taking over an existing contest and putting her own stamp on it, Choconuts Roasting was asked to take over "Shadows and Light Poetry Contest" [E]. She jumped at the chance. "I have loved this contest from the first time I encountered it. Free verse poetry speaks to a place in my heart that nothing else quite reaches." It was meant to be temporary but eventually was transferred to Choconuts Roasting's port. "She [the original contest owner] transferred it to me because I had run it for so long, she considered it as much mine as hers. I am eternally grateful for this contest. It is a pleasure to run."
"Free verse poetry speaks to a place in my heart
that nothing else quite reaches."
Shortly after Shadows and Light, a member offered her "The Taboo Words Contest ~ On Hiatus" [13+], and she said yes without hesitation. Although she remains humble about the origin of her various contests - "As you can see, I’m better at taking over contests that are already up and running than I am at creating new ones" - the trust other owners have put in her and the sheer longevity of the contests themselves is a testament to her abilities.
It's those abilities that brought about the somewhat genius idea of the "Second Time Around Contest ~ On Hiatus" [E]. Knowing how close some winning entries were in her other contests - with the difference between first, second and third being just a whisper apart - she wished she could award more first places. One day, it came to her: What if people had a second chance? "I checked the list of contests that were currently running on the site, and I couldn’t see any that gave items a second chance at winning. Even now, I am floored at the quality of entries I receive for this contest. It makes me wonder how awesome the entries must have been that they first lost out to."
"I am floored at the quality of entries I receive."
Except for a few blips of one-round pauses for NaNoWrimo and a particularly busy Christmas, her contests have run continuously on schedule. For anyone testing out the contest waters, her advice is to only design and take on what you have time for. "I think it is always a good job to get to know a contest if you are planning to run it. Take a look at the kind of entries it receives, the genres. Know what you are taking on because it is a lot of work, and you want it to be for something you love."
That love doesn't always come cheap. Between her contests, she requires a little shy of 600,000gps. But she doesn't want that to turn anyone away from running their own contests, and she's quick to point out that her amount spreads over four contests. Asked if there's a way contest owners can offset their costs, she's quite matter of fact. "Oh, my gosh. Fundraisers make contests possible. It is that simple." She stresses that fundraisers, like contests themselves, are only as complicated as you make them. There's the "Mad Hatter's Tea Party" [E], her major fundraiser every March, and her "WDC Does The Movies!" [ASR] a few times a year. "My movies raffle … I just wanted a simple raffle that was based on something I love, and I run it every few months, as needed."
"Fundraisers make contests possible.
It is that simple."
Previously a contestant in the contests she's taken over, she knows it's daunting to put your work out there. "I love to read a bunch of creative, clever entries. The more entries, the better. It really is great to have as wide a range of entries as possible. If you have any queries about my contests, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m happy to help wherever I can."
Reading over the contest rules every time, paying attention to line or word counts, and sharpening your spelling and grammar are good habits to get into. Beyond that, her advice is to write to what speaks to you. " I want you to write from your heart. Write from deep inside yourself and write with honesty and passion. Try to be creative and to write something off the beaten path. I love entries that take me somewhere I had never expected to go. Be different. That’s good."
"...take me somewhere I had never expected to go.
Be different. That’s good."
Choconuts Roasting's contests:
"If you have any queries about my contests, don’t hesitate to ask.
I’m happy to help wherever I can."
Running four times per year, Verdant Poetry is designed to have nature act as the writer's muse. It's a wonderful spot to try your hand at form poetry (when a form is required), and switches it up between prompt-based and prompt-free rounds.
This contest is best summed up by its own tagline:
"Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance." ~Carl Sandburg. Running monthly, with a 40 line limit, this free-form poetry contest is not theme or prompt based. Deceptive in its simplicity, it pushes writers to both unleash and corral their creativity.
Another monthly challenge, this presents a different challenge for writers: can you follow the prompt without using the words that would disqualify your poem? Can you do it and incorporate figurative language and literary devices? Of course you can. Give it a try!
While this is an incredibly popular monthly contest, don't let that keep you from throwing your hat in the ring. This contest requires you to have already entered your piece in another contest and not placed. The best part? You can take what you learned from the previous contest and revise your item before submitting it to this contest.
always make sure to read a contest's rules every time BEFORE you enter!
Some recent winners from Choconuts Roasting's contests:
"Autumnal" by Brian K Compton
"The mist that parts; the ice that melts  (~225 words)" by Kåre Enga, P.O. 22, Blogville
Want to find more contests?
Submit an item for consideration in this newsletter!
Have an opinion on what you've read here today? Then send the Editor feedback! Find an item that you think would be perfect for showcasing here? Submit it for consideration in the newsletter!
Don't forget to support our sponsor!
Do you prefer prompts that point you in a specific direction and force you to focus your work, or do you prefer open-ended prompts that allow you to run free with your ideas? Which do you find more challenging?
To stop receiving this newsletter, click here for your newsletter subscription list. Simply uncheck the box next to any newsletter(s) you wish to cancel and then click to "Submit Changes". You can edit your subscriptions at any time.
|Contests & Activities Archives | More From This Day | Print This Issue|