How to Submit Writings to Contests

Writing contests mean a great deal to writers who are looking for recognition and/or funds, and can be an excellent way to get published. However, there are several concerns involved in this – in addition to revising and editing your work until you feel confident enough to submit it in a writing contest, there is also the necessity to pick and choose the right kind of contests to enter, in order to further and promote your work.


  • 1

    To begin, make sure you choose wisely when it comes to selecting the contests you want to enter. Do not write up hurried, sub-standard drafts for every contest you come across; rather, choose only those contests that cater to your writing style, and the topics and genres you are interested in – these might be anything from creative non-fiction or fiction, to poetry. Look through both online and print networks – a great website to browse for this purpose is Only select the contests that are advertised in reputable magazines and writer's websites.

  • 2

    Now, once you have selected the contest you plan to enter, do some background research on the contest, and on the company/magazine that is sponsoring it – this is essential, even if you have chosen to enter a contest advertised by a reputable brand, so do not enter or submit money blindly. Look into the validity of the contest, read feedback from people in the comments section, and ask around for information.

  • 3

    Once you have assured yourself that the contest is legit, read through the rules and guidelines for the contest carefully. It is important to be knowledgeable and professional when you are submitting your work, so make sure you read the criteria (to ensure that you are eligible for participating), and all the fine print (to make sure you know legal details, like whether you will lose the rights to your work after submission).

  • 4

    After all these details have been worked out, it is time to work on your entry. Polish and edit your piece, and revise it as many times as you can, to make sure it is absolutely perfect. Weed out misspellings and grammatical errors, and try to get another person to proofread your work, to catch any mistakes that you might have missed.

  • 5

    Finally, do not lose heart if your writing does not get accepted, or does not win. Keep trying, and apply to multiple contests at a time, in order to increase your chances and stay in the game. Persevere, and understand that the competition is vast – many famous writers had their work rejected multiple times before they managed to make it big.

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