When I first started writing, I wasn’t scared to submit to contests more than I was to submit to agents.
Agents are less intimidating to me. While people consider them the gateway to getting published, I always saw agents as people who are looking to create a business partnership. Submitting to contests, however, was someone actively judging my work. And not just judging. In my imagination, the organizers were gods, scrutinizing every word, looking down on my poor unfortunate writing and laughing as they sang a song about how stupid I was to even consider submitting.
Then I found Write Club, and my thoughts on the subject changed.
What is Write Club?
As a quick explanation, Write Club was started by D.L. Hammons, loosely based off the movie Fight Club. You anonymously submit a 500 word story with a pen name into a slush pile. From the slush pile, it gets narrowed down to 30 writers, and then other people online vote for their favorites in 15 bouts. Over time it’s narrowed down to finalists, and the winner’s announced at the DFW Writer’s Conference.
This is a very bare bones definition of Write Club, and if you want a better idea of it, check out the link above.
Why did this contest change my mind about submitting to contests?
The idea that no one would be able to associate my writing to me took some of the stress out of it. I always saw contests as being judged as a good or bad writer. Instead it turned into “this work isn’t as enjoyable to me”. If someone didn’t like my work I didn’t think it would reflect on my abilities, it was just a matter of taste.
Then when I saw the entries, I realized it really WAS a matter of taste. I would read a piece and think, “This person is clearly the winner!” but then I’d see other people voting for the other person. I was baffled at what they saw in the other piece, but that was just the nature of the game.
And that’s when I realized that ALL forms of submissions were a matter of taste. There are some books I can’t stand that get published and hit top of the sales charts, and there are some books I love that never get noticed.
Write Club cured me of my submitting to contests fear, and I have to admit, I’m already editing my piece for next year’s contest.
Would you like to join in Write Club?
Submissions are open March 12th until April 1st or just check out DL Hammons’ page and follow his blog.