Win a Writing Contest This Year

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As any writer will confess, with the first day of a new year comes new resolutions to “write more,” “write daily,” “write at least five pages a day,” or “get published this year.”

You’ll never get published if you don’t submit your work. So instead of watching endless episodes of “Breaking Bad,” or all three seasons of Seinfeld’s new Internet series about comedians in cars, try submitting your work on a regular basis.

One way to get published, and to get noticed, is to win or place in a writing contest. There are hundreds of contests every year, and many of them have no entry fee.

Make a resolution to enter one writing contest a month. You might not win, but you will have honed your writing skills. With luck, you may even get some feedback on your story or your writing style.

First things first. Find websites that list writing contests, and create your own writing submission calendar. Be sure to note the pertinent details, such as the deadline and word count.

Read all of the contest guidelines; there could be a theme or keyword you must write. Pay special attention to the submission guidelines. If you don’t follow the guidelines to the letter, your story may be tossed out immediately.

Here is one website that has detailed listings of writing contests coming up in 2014:

(http://writersviews.com/writing-contests.php).

Writer’s View.com compiles and posts an up-to-date listing of writing contests all over the world. The listing is free of charge; the site encourages winners of these contests to notify them so that they can feature the author’s work on their website.

***Bonus: Writer’s Views lists only writing contests that are FREE to enter!

Sneak preview of some of their listings:

Poetry Writing Contest
Springfield Film Festival and Springfield Art Institute have united their prize budgets to offer a writing competition for all levels and all ages to submit their own original poetry about Climate Change for a two round contest … more >>
Satirist Comedy Writing Contest
looking for the next George Carlin, the man referred to as, “a major force in comedy since 1960s and there will be no substitute for his insight, nor his tireless and hilarious attacks on the enfranchised …”, more >>
Love Story Writing Contest
is a contest for romance novelists and new writers who want to try writing about the magic of love and the everlasting love between a couple and their journey into deepest emotional bond that can be experienced … more >>

What are you waiting for? Pick a contest, any contest and enter. There is no fee; you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Photo credit: Huffington Post

No One Does It Better

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What’s your secret guilty pleasure? Do you ever daydream about being famous? Inventing the new wheel? Discovering the secret to immortality? After more than six decades, my guilty pleasures remain intact and enormously satisfying and save me from long-term therapy.

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Besides, a therapist might try to tell me that I need to get with the program and face reality, which is: I am not famous, rich, daring, brave or superlative in any way to anyone else on the planet. I know this; I’m not about to pay a shrink a hundred bucks an hour to tell me I’m just mediocre. The point of fantasizing is that you can escape your mediocrity for short bursts of time. Why don’t I get paid for this great advice?

One of my favorite pastimes involves an utter and complete refutation of my musical abilities. I possess an undying desire that compels me to pretend I’m a rock star or other world-wide celebrity adored by all. This indulgence requires regular stints of cranking up my old rock albums and performing for my cats and my living room furniture. My amazing stage antics carried out in front of the sofa are replete with humble bows and shy smiles that are meant to convey just how humble and stunned I am by the thunderous applause radiating from the cats, the plants and the knickknacks. Yes, I am the embodiment of humility even though I am the best singer, dancer and actress the world has ever known. Plus, I can juggle.

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Sometimes I use the vacuum cleaner wand as a microphone to wail out an old Stone’s tune, or when I’m in a more mature kind of mood, a chopstick to wildly conduct the New York Philharmonic. Leonard Bernstein pales in comparison to my wild contortions when I am conducting Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. (I once threw my shoulder out during the final crescendo.) If I am in need of approval, I play a live rock album and acknowledge the thundering applause of 500,000 people in New York’s Central Park, all there to hear my rock classics. With eyes closed, my living room becomes the musical venue of my choice: the Red Rocks Amphitheater, the Hollywood Bowl, Tanglewood, the Royal Albert Hall and occasionally, the Troubadour (when I am a fledgling Elton John just getting his start in front of a stupefied audience grateful to be a part of rock history.) I am truly a marvel to behold.

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If I can’t find a song I want to perform, I imagine I am the darling of the Academy Awards. I make a movie and win the Oscar for Best Director, Best Picture, Best Actress, and well, everything. I, for the first and only time in motion picture history, sweep all the categories, including Best Short Film even though it isn’t.

Another variation is that I sweep all the award categories in one year: I win the Grammy (song of the year), the Tony (best play and best actress), and the Oscar for best screenplay and best actress. I even win the Stevie for the best website and blog on the Internet.

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If I can’t be alone in the living room with my adoring masses, I daydream about my other unparalleled acts of accomplishment and heroism. All my feats are accomplished single-handedly: I save someone from a burning building; I karate kick the gun out of a bank robber’s hand; I foil a terrorist on my flight to Cincinnati. All of my astonishing, courageous exploits result in appearances on the Today Show, Letterman, Charlie Rose, and of course, the coveted, exclusive one hour interview on 60 minutes.

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When I get writer’s block, I imagine that I have just published the most phenomenal novel in modern history. Hailed as a cross between Dickens, Shakespeare, Grisham and Erma Bombeck, the New York Times Review of Books declares that my writing has the extraordinary capability of entrancing readers from all walks of life. My book is such a literary extravaganza that I’m sent on yet another round of TV guest appearances, where I am always modest, witty and charming; repeatedly shrugging off praise while I try to explain precisely why I am so brilliant.

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Let’s face it, I could sit around and imagine myself dirt poor, starving, ignorant, drug-addicted and tone-deaf. After an hour of that, I could remind myself of how lucky I am. Big deal. It’s ever so much more fun to slip into my white limo and sip Champagne on my way to the airport. I travel a lot because the United States government and all of the airlines granted me a life-time of free flights in gratitude of my single-handed heroism on board Flight 452 to Cincinnati, which by the way, saved the entire world from extinction. Aw shucks, it was nothing.

Submit Your Writing to this Interesting Quarterly Journal

cutcopypaste
Scissors and Spackle.com publishes a quarterly journal, online and in print. In addition to fiction, flash fiction, non-fiction and poetry, they also accept artwork and audio and visual submissions.

The quirky name is derived from the literal definitions of scissors and spackle: literally to cut and paste.

Check them out today at: http://www.scissorsandspackle.com/