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Short Story Contests - Submitting Stories For Prize Money
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Writing short stories is enjoyable. They don't take long to write and they are fun to do.
There are magazines who accept short story submissions, and there are plenty of short story competitions with what seems to be more opening up all the time.
And submitting your work to short story competitions can be even more profitable than submitting them to magazines because the prize money can be quite substantial with some paying thousands of dollars.
The biggest of these every year is the BirdPort Prize and the BBC short story competition.
These prizes are huge. The 2013 top prize in the BBC competition was a whopping ?15,000. That equates to around $23,000 US dollars. Not bad income from writing a short story.
But not only is the prize money good, but writing and submitting short stories to competitions has another big advantage too.
Anyone who's a writer knows that it's an extremely solitary career. You sit alone and write all day and never allow anyone to interrupt you because you need absolute focus if you want to earn money from your writing.
This is where writing short stories for competitions can help.
If you do a quick Google search of the internet, it's easy to find hundreds of short story competitions.
You then need to find as many as you can to enter. It doesn't matter if it's one of the big prestigious competitions or one run by a small website. What you need to do is find plenty that you can enter, whether you have a story ready, or a story idea in your head, or not.
Make a note of the closing dates for each of them and list them in order from the closest date to the furthest away.
Then come up with a story idea for each one. You can think of them all at once, or think of them one at a time as you progress through your list.
If you find a dozen or more competitions, it can keep you busy writing for up to a whole year. And with guidelines to follow and deadlines to meet, it will make you feel less like you're working alone and help you stay focused because you won't have time to waste.
There are writing competitions that publish all the short listed stories in a anthology. So even if you don't win the top prize, having your work in a publication such as these can help to get you known as a writer so it's great marketing.
And if you enter as many competitions as you can, you could end up with your name as an entrant, or as a short listed contestant, on many websites all over the internet which is also great marketing.
There are 2 different types of competitions. Paid and free. It's up to you whether or not you want to pay to enter. But if your ideas great and your writing is good, and you win a few prizes, the entrance fees could be a good investment.
Having said that, there are plenty of places you can enter for free to begin with.
But don't forget the 3 most important things.
Read the rules. Read the rules. Read the rules.
I cannot emphasize enough how important this is because no matter how good your work is, if you haven't followed the rules for submission, or you haven't formatted your work correctly, your entry might be voided.
So if they say to enter by post, don't email your submission. If they want you to fill out a lengthy submission form, fill it out correctly. If they want your work double spaced, double space it.
So all you have to do now is surf the net, find as many competitions as you can that are suitable for what you can write, and enter them all by following the rules of submission and meeting all the deadlines.
It will be fun and (hopefully) more profitable than you could ever have imagined.
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