literary freak

Writing Contests Against Writer’s Block?

literary subject

Heyaa lil’pies!

As today’s Thursday, I’m here to deliver a new literary related blog post! If you have read the latest literary related blog issue, you would already know that today’s subject are… writing contests! I will also talk about a new little project at the end of this issue!

But what of them? 
I believe there are three types of writing contests. We have those organised by

– official publisher office, official organisation and so on.

– blogs, YT, forums, facebook pages, etc.

– a circle of writers.

Each of them has the same ability : giving a renewed inspiration to the writer. Even though they are different because of the ones organizing them, because of the finale prizes, because of their rules, they all give the same feeling. They give motivation. Inspiration. They are one way to eradicate a writer’s block (which definitely is the worst thing that could happen to an author, are we all agreeing on that fact?)

Writer’s block is the most awful thing that can happen to a writer. For real.

Let’s take each types one by one.

Bristol Short Story Prize 2015 flyer

First, we have those organised by renowned organisation. Be it publishers or official prizes (such as Prix du Jeune Écrivain, a French prize, for those who know about it). These contests have the advantage of offering rather high prizes. If we take publishers, they can offer to publish one of your novels. Some others prizes may offer some programs free, like maybe Scrivener. They’re usually divided by ages, with juniors, young adults, adults, or they can be accessible to anyone. The latter can offer less opportunity to younger writers as they will be in competition with adults. However, as some of these prize are only open to authors that were never published before, this age difference might not be of any importance. After all, talent is not a fact of age.

I personally participated to one official prize, named Prix Clara, opened to teens from 12 to 17, if I remember correctly. I was 15 at this time I believe and I made it to the twenty-five last chosen. I didn’t made it to the finalists, but at that time, being into the last round made me so proud – and I still am today. The importance of such contest is to know that your text is read and judged by professionals. Either critics, writers, publishers, but they are from the literary domain and they know what they’re reading.

Therefore, when an author has some professional approval and critic about his written work, I guess it gives a new impulse and helps writing again, or continuing to write.

Illustration used for a contest organized in 2011 by the HPF association

Same goes for the contests organised by The Internet, which is our second type here. Either from forums, blogs, YouTube, websites, anything. They can be on an imposed subject, on a completely free topic, they can be age restricted or not. The thing with those is that the text is not judged by professionals but by the ones organizing the contest, either amateur writers themselves or not at all, but they can also be judged by people of the community. In that case, it gives the author what the people that are going to read and maybe buy any books he’ll write in the future think of his writings, his plots, his protagonists. It gives a more realistic feels of what would be the popular opinion.

I believe such an opportunity can give a real boost to a writer’s inspiration and motivation. Seeing people commenting his work, either positively or in a constructive way, in hopes to help him improve, can only but higher up the writer’s spirit. Sometimes, the prizes themselves can even boost the author, as we all know a little gift is always a great reward.

I, myself, participated to a few of those, as I am part of a writing community (HarryPotterFanfiction, which you can guess is a website and a forum where we post and discuss about Harry Potter… in French, though). I really appreciate the fact that this contest are lead by a community I am part of, dealing with theme I come to appreciate, and that I get to have the opinions of people sharing my interests. It is also mainly thanks to those contests that I end up writing again, after what seemed like weeks and weeks of writer’s block. A simple contest idea can boost me up all over. It’s one of the best feelings ever.

the IFSO writers – not really a contest they’re helding up, but more like a little group where they cheer for each others and help their style to develop

Third of all are contests made between a group of writers! In this, no real prize, no real jury, except the group of friends, colleagues, acquaintances whom decided to lift up their spirits and motivation by organizing a little contest between them. They can either decide of a common theme and a due date, and they’ll have to have it done by then. After that, they’ll read each others text, give their thoughts. It’s a friendly type of contest, not a real one after all, but still is of a great motivation for an author. In this, you don’t have to fear a professional point of view or the realistic comments of a community. It’s only your friends and you, battling with your own inspiration and a due date. For those who don’t like stressful events, it can be a great way to compete in a friendly tone.

There we go, with our three different types, with three different motives, three different prizes, three different organization. But in the end, the same happens : you write. Either motivated because of the imposed subject, because of the competitive mood or even the due date. Three types with many diverse rules that all lead to help the writer surpass the supraduperhorrible writer’s block. It’s not the only way but it can be a pretty effective way that I can only but recommend. One single word, one single rule, one single motivation, and all could flow again. After that, all that is needed is to write, write, and write. 

As I know how important a writing contest, competition can be… I decided that every two months, I will organize a little writing contest! 

Every two months, I will deliver a theme and you will have one month to write a short story between 1000 and 10 000 words. The next month will be reserved for you lil’pies to read the text that will have been posted and give them one to five points. The short story that will get the more points will be elected winner and its writer will be interviewed and featured on this blog!

Isn’t that great? I hope you do find that interesting and motivating!

As for how we will organize this, you will have to send the short story to this email : littleunicorngladys@gmail.com and then I’ll do a post at the end of the time period with all the stories that I will have received!

Writing Contest December

As for this month, the theme will be WONDERLAND. Either something cute, either disturbing, all I want is something that is full of mysteries, originality, unreal things. Let your mind express itself. Let your inspiration expand. Let your dreams take over your reason. I want wonderland here!

You will have until January 11th to send the short stories at littleunicorngladys@gmail.com. Don’t forget, it has to be between 1000 and 10 000 words and the theme is WONDERLAND.

I really do hope this opportunity motivates you! Please do keep me posted about it, talk about it, share that contest and… write! This is all that counts. Write, write, write.

Here we go, that’s all for today’s blog issue! I really hope you enjoyed this little post, and that this brand new contest motivates you. Do give your thoughts on the comment section below or on Twitter and Facebook. I’ll gladly answer to them! I’ll see you again on Saturday for a critic post. Until then…

Loads of lil’kisses from a

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