Of course, it's not just the money, it's the prestige. It's the doors that will open to you as a writer. Here are a few tips to help you succeed:
1. We writers are often the worst judges of the worth of our own work. Time and again, winners contact me and note their surprise that I selected a certain poem or story because it was, in their opinion, the runt of the litter. I myself won First Prize in a top contest with a little essay about my pet rabbit that took me all of two hours to toss off. In fact, it took me longer to fill out the entry form, find an envelope, write out a check and take the entry to the Post Office than it did to write the thing! (Thank goodness, you don't have to go to all that trouble to enter a Tom Howard Contest!)
2. So, don't stop at one entry. Send two or three. Or even five or six! This is one of the tips in my book, Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS.
3. Another tip from my book is to take a look at some of the entries that have won prizes in the past. For instance, one of my hobbies is Egyptology. I've even written a couple of novels, "In All His Glory" and its sequel, "Prophet, Priest and King", plus several dozen short stories set in Ancient Egypt. When I looked through anthologies of past winners, I could not find a single literary competition that had published or awarded a prize to any such stories. Not one! So I never bothered to submit any. (Needless to say, they are welcome in the Tom Howard Contest).
4. On the other hand, I'm also a film critic. For many years I wrote reviews for two rival newspapers (using a pseudonym of course). Looking through back anthologies of winning entries, I did find a contest that had awarded a prize to a movie script. So I sent them four. One of them (needless to say, the one I thought the least of) won First Prize!
All three of our 2009 Contests are now open. You'll find full details at respectively http://poetrycontests.exactpages.com and http://shortstorycontest.0catch.com Alternative sites are http://www.geocities.com/rastar330 (for traditional poetry), http://www.geocities.com/rastar330/poetry.htm (for poetry in all styles and genres) and http://www.geocities.com/rastar330/prose.htm
Judging for the 2008 Tom Howard Poetry Contest is now proceeding smoothly and the results will be announced on February 15, 2009, as anticipated.
Just a reminder that all subjects and genres are welcome in all our Contests. But, as said above, the judges are human beings, not robots. We all have our likes and dislikes, so take my tip and take a look at some of the entries that have won prizes in previous contests.
"Watching Time", our latest anthology of winning prose, has for the third time almost completely sold out. The good news is that the wholesaler managed to find a few copies and that Amazon has purchased them. So once again Amazon (and Amazon alone) has this book on sale for only $12.95. Please click this link:
WATCHING TIME: Anthology of Prizewinning Essays & Short Stories
Another piece of good news concerns the reprinting of "Mr Christian and the Bag Lady", an earlier collection of Tom Howard Prose winners. This particular anthology has been out of print for years. But here it is, now on sale for the first time at Amazon:
Mr Christian and the Bag Lady: An Anthology of Prize-Winning Stories
Finally, and also at Amazon, is a new, expanded edition of my "Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS". The book has been completely revised, re-written and re-set. Despite all this, and an additional 20 pages of helpful text, the price has been lowered to only $12.50!
Write Ways to WIN WRITING CONTESTS: How To Join the Winners' Circle for Prose and Poetry Awards, NEW EXPANDED EDITION
A happy and prosperous New Year to you all!