Contests – First Page Contest

As a former actor, I understand the trials of marketing oneself (and accept them, begrudgingly). Many of the things we do in life are contests of a sort. Job interviews are a competition against others to see who will win the prize of being hired. Auditions are job interviews in which the actor often competes publicly against his/her fellow job seekers. Writers submit queries or pitch their work to agents to hopefully join the ranks of the published.

Gaining access to the agents is a sometimes difficult and costly thing (at conferences, for example). But contests can sometimes help get your work noticed. Are they worth doing? Of course they are.

I just finished (a couple of weeks ago) participating in a a contest called the 3-Day Novel Contest. It’s similar to NaNoWriMo, except the contestants have only three days to write a much shorter novel than is suggested for NaNo. Or more likely, a very long short story, or very short novella, take your pick.

At the end of three days, I was exhausted, but had a (reasonably) fully-formed novelette that actually was coherent. A miracle. If, out of the other 300 or so contestants, I happened to win the contest (another miracle), my novel would be published. A prize worth having, obviously. The winner will be announced sometime early next year, and I will edit and polish it some more while I wait.

However, having an agent look at some of my other writing in the meantime would be a good thing. I have one finished novel, If a Butterfly, which (I have stated elsewhere) is way too long for most agents to consider, so it might soon take a back burner to my second novel, The Jagged Man, which needs some more rehearsing before it can go on the stage.

When opportunities arise, writers should take advantage of them, so I’m going to enter the First Page Contest being hosted by the blog, Writer Therapy.

Prizes are:
Query critique from agent Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger
Query critique from agent Molly Ker Hawn, The Bent Agency
1st Chapter critique from Nicole Resciniti, The Seymour Agency

You should check it out.


About michaelsirois

Just a retired educator taking a stab at the Great American Novel.
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One Response to Contests – First Page Contest

  1. pk hrezo says:

    Hi Michael! Good for you! I’ve learned a lot from entering contests. Often they’re fruitless, since the competition is so fierce. But the networking and feedback gleaned during these times is so valuable. Always worth a shot, if you’re not afraid to put yourself out there. 🙂

    Good luck!

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