In the Spirit of Competition…

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Libs, ready for game day. (As you do if you live here.)


Youngest Junior Hall is hanging about here for a bit as he reorganizes his life goals (which mostly just means building up his bank account so he can move into his own place). And it’s not too terribly difficult sharing space again, but then he’ll forget and walk into the house when I’m watching some sporting event.



Me (yelling): HOW did you think that was a good idea, throwing a pass when Julio has seven guys guarding him?

John: Do you have to yell?

Me: Yes. How else is that coach gonna know what to do?

John: Oh, that’s right. I forgot you’re an expert on every sport.

Me: Well, maybe not an expert. But I know enough not to throw–WHY DID THEY DO THE EXACT SAME THING??? (This is where I turn off the TV and leave the room.)

John (groaning): What is wrong with you?

Me (yelling from the kitchen): There is nothing wrong with me. This is how I watch football.

And baseball, and maybe even a tense golf match (though I’ll admit that there’s not as much yelling whilst watching golf.) It’s just that I’m a little competitive; I like to win. And I feel that my yelling in the privacy of my own home–to name just one of my many winning strategies–helps my team on to victory.

I have winning strategies when it comes to writing, too. And I’ve shared a few over at The Muffin today in “How to Win Contests (Or At Least an Honorable Mention)”. There’s no yelling, just pretty good advice for any writer, no matter what competition you choose to enter.

(But just an FYI here, the Falcons did win last night so who’s wrong now, John Hall?)

Friday’s (Scary) Fun Find: October

So here we are in October and that can mean only one thing, y’all: MY BIRTHDAY!

Yeah, it’s pretty scary. It might even be fun. But it probably won’t be as scary fun as the cauldron of Halloween writing contests I’ve stirred up for you. Take a peek at this creepy lot: Halloween Ghost Story Contest (Brought to you by those creepsters from New England. I’m already shiverin’ in my boots. Also, age groups from elementary to adult. BOOooooooOOOOooooo.)

Scariest Opening Scene Contest (Sponsored by the Tell-Tale Publishing Group. And hey, it’s just the opening. Plus, you can win the Vincent Price Award. Vincent Price, y’all. A chill just zipped down my spine.)

Halloween Short Story Contest (From the folks at Amberjack Publishing. And the winner will get $500. Yeah. Five hundred dollars. ACCCK!)

So off you go–scare up some good writing. And by good, I mean horrible. OoooooOOOOooooo.

Spring Contests = Summer Spending

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIs there anything more fun than winning that first place blue ribbon?

Yes, I know that’s not exactly a blue ribbon. But it’s a very pretty, winning blue bow to help us keep our eye on the prize. Which is winning a contest and getting money.

And yes, I know, affirmation is swell, too. But don’t you feel a lot better with cold hard cash in hand? So on to the contests:

1. The Saturday Evening Post Limerick Contest has a new pic up–and no entry fee. All you need to do is write that funny limerick and send it in by June 3rd. It’s a great exercise in meter and rhyme and telling a story. So if you need a break from a big writing project, try this itty-bitty writing project and have a little fun.

2.  The Dream Quest One Poetry and Writing Contest is accepting entries through July 31st. The fees are reasonable, and previous winners are available to read if you’d like an idea of what they’re looking for in a winning entry. And you can send poetry OR a story. And win a nice pay out. I work harder when there’s an entry fee and a nice pay out. And with summertime laziness fast approaching, this could be a great incentive to…well, work.

3.  The Mark Twain Humor Writing Contest has a deadline of June 30th, so you have plenty of time to polish up a submission. I really like this contest because it has a lower entry fee for young writers–and really swell cash prizes. The entry fee is a bit steeper, so expect competition to be tough. But don’t let that fee scare you. I know plenty of funny writers who could win this prize, and keep in mind that they’re looking for your voice, not a work that sounds like Mark Twain. Be your witty self and win.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to Kathy Temean’s Writing and Illustrating blog that’s packed with writing info and contests and tips and I don’t know what all. I know the banner reads “for children,” but it’s so much more than kidlit. (Like the Dream Quest One and Mark Twain contests I found there!) I’m all about finding those buried writing gems out there in the vast waters of the Internet, and her blog is a sparkly treasure, so give it a look-see.

Then choose a contest now. Maybe by summer, you’ll be waving big bucks in my face.

(And P.S. I’ll send you a blue bow if you win.)

Hey Writers! Now It’s My Turn to Help YOU!

ImageThe minute I came across this contest from the Tallgrass Literary Review, I thought of you.

Now, wait. Just wait a minute before you decide this contest is not for you.

There’s no entry fee. None at all. So you don’t have to think about whether the story you have is worth the bucks to submit it. You have nothing to lose.

But maybe you skimmed the contest guidelines and saw:  The Tallgrass Literary Review gives preference to manuscripts about life in Oklahoma and the Great Plains, and the magazine favors themes relevant to the Great Plains such as rural life, family life, immigration, nature, and Christianity. And you think that because you don’t live in the Great Plains area, you shouldn’t bother sending in your story. But you should know that the editors also said this: However, the judges will consider every submission regardless of genre, theme, or setting. Moreover, authors do not have to be residents of Oklahoma. Writers from every state and country are welcome to submit manuscripts. And if you read the guidelines, you saw this: More than any other factors, the magazine judges works based on their quality and originality.

You can write quality. You can write with originality. Even though it makes you nervous, considering that it’s a literary magazine. You’re afraid your writing is not literary enough. But you have been at it for a while, writer, and you have a learned a thing or two. Challenge yourself. Give your writing a chance and send it to the Tallgrass Literary Review by September 30th.

Your story can’t soar to the top of the winners’ list–unless you give it wings!

Contest Time!

ImageHere’s the thing. When I’m rushing to catch up, I zip through the inbox and social media, clicking and dumping anything interesting into my favorites. The plan is to look at it later.

You know. When I have time.

Yeah, that doesn’t really happen. But the interesting things at the top of the pile get a look, and so we have a few contests today:

The Green River Writers 2013 Contest has a couple features I like. It’s pretty inexpensive and has lots of categories. So if you pen poetry or prose, you have till August 31st to get your entry in.

The Quirk Books “Looking for Love” Fiction Contest is open now, and the grand prize is $10,000 and publication from Quirk Books. I like that there’s no entry fee (and any publisher with “quirk” in the title is automatically awesome), but having to mail the manuscript, not so much. Anyway, if you have a quirky 50,000 word love story that you don’t mind paying a couple bucks to mail, you have till October 1st to get it in.

And now, I’ve got to run. Time and inboxes wait for no woman.