Thursday 15 July 2010

Greed 1 - Selfishness 0

Should you let people know about a writing competition you've entered?

After all, the more entries the organisers receive, the smaller your odds of winning*. On the flip side, the better-supported a competition is, the more likely it is to happen again next year (or next month, quarter, etc).

Some competitions further complicate things by linking the prizes to the number of entries. Hence the dilemma - if your story is good enough to claim the top prize, you want that to be as big as possible, so you want it to have tonnes of entries. But, uh-oh, here come those pesky self-doubt gremlins... Is your story really good enough to see off a hundred other stories? What about two hundred? A thousand? Yikes. Maybe you should just keep your mouth shut and hope for the best.

The Catherine Howard competition is one such competition. So, More cash or a better chance of winning? Greed or Selfishness?

Obviously, in this instance, Greed won. Catherine Howard is the pen name of Linda Lewis, who has a regular column in Writer's Forum magazine. This is (as far as I can tell) the first competition of this type she's run, and I think it deserves support. Not least for the fact that the winner's prize is at least £100, increasing if there are sufficient entries, with an additional £50 donated to a charity of the winner's choice. The charity angle is a nice touch.

Check it out, see if you have something suitable to send. It's postal entry only - get yours in by 31 July 2010.

Good luck!

* Well, sort of - more on that later.


Teresa Stenson said...

As if to highlight how utterly selfLESS I am, I've just posted a blog with details of several competitions that are closing soon.

Really, I'd planned to do it anyway, and usually do a similar post every month or so. It makes my blog feel more useful, more than anything.

Thanks for the heads up on this one, greedy, looks good.

Dan Purdue said...

Good work, Tree. It just goes to show that you're a considerably better person than I'll ever be.

I've had my idea on the Sean O'Faolain comp for a while. After finding Tania's blog via yours I'm a bit concerned she's already reading the entries (even though the closing date is the end of July). I don't know why, but that makes me very nervous.

Dan Purdue said...

Oh dear - "my idea"?!? My eye, I meant.

You see, it's the greed that's the problem. It's blinding me to proper spelling.

Teresa Stenson said...

Yeah, I think she has started reading the entries. I know what you mean, it feels like it might make the judging process different. I'm not sure if it'd make it better or worse for us, it's just not how you expect a competition to be judged. Maybe it's more common than we think though, especially if there's a time issue.

Dan Purdue said...

It's less about the judging process and more the other writers that concern me. Who are these organised souls, who get their entries in with so much time to spare? Should we fear them, or do they just send in any old thing they have lying around, without all that oh-so-important last-minute polishing?

The good news is that Tania says not many of the stories have 'grabbed her' yet. There's still hope!

Teresa Stenson said...

Ah, okay, I see. Last year some time I thought I was well good cos I sent a story off a week early, only to realise I'd sent the wrong version. I think I saloon-ed about it... It was a lesson in not being so smug when you think you're organised.

I think as well (from Tania's post) that she really wants a good bit of micro fiction, a really good short short story, cos she's a big advicator of them, and writer of them too.

I'm not sure if I've spelt advicator right... you know what I mean. I should google it.

Teresa Stenson said...