I once heard someone advise authors to enter contests so you can say you are an award-winning author. How do you feel about that?
Are you impressed when an author tells you (or there’s a sticker pasted on a book stating), “This book was a finalist in the Little Miss Muffet contest,” or simply “Award-winning book.” What does this mean? Well, it means that this author (or the publisher) entered the book in at least one contest—maybe a whole bunch of them—and the book snagged an award. The book might have won a prestigious honor after being entered in one major competition or it might have received 2 honorable mentions out of fifty contests entered.
Sometimes an author is proclaimed as an “Award-winning Writer.” This is an impressive title. But again, what does it mean? Did the author win a ribbon at the county fair for her short-story when she was ten? Or was she chosen the best from a group of 100 (or more) fine writers in a major contest?
Are the results of a contest a legitimate measure of a superior book or superior writing? Sure, sometimes. Certainly not always. Who judges these things, anyway? Sometimes, of course, the judges are credible—sometimes less so. And every judge harbors bias. No two judges in any contest always totally agree.
Some contests are judged according to popular vote. I won the People’s Choice Award for a photograph I entered in the county fair last year. The judges bypassed my photo, but fair-goers voted it first place overall.
Sometimes we enter contests hoping to get the positive feedback we need in order to keep writing. For some, entering contests can become rather addicting.
What are your reasons for entering contests? Have you won awards for your writing or your books? How do you use them in promoting your work/books?
If you are interested in entering your work in contests, there are numbers of writing contest directories online. Just use keywords, “writing contest directory.”
And Good luck!