Sunday, February 10, 2008

Contests Again

I know you're tired of hearing about contests. But, writers, pay attention. When you enter a contest or sending something to an editor, this is the equivalent of a face-to-face job interview. What if a contest judge turns out to be the editor you wish to submit work to at a later date? Would you go to an interview with your hair a mess, no make-up, no shave, what-ever grooming ritual you usually perform?

And yet, I see entries that ignore guidelines completely, no doubt thinking the brilliance of the writing will over shadow the first impression. But if the first impression is that of sloppy work, the judge or editor may read no further. If you can't do the basics, if you ignore font size, line spacing, hand write corrections in this age of computers, leave off the synopsis or even the required cover sheet, then you most likely can't tell a story so well that the editor/judge will be willing to correct everything else for you. If you are not smart enough to follow simple directions then how can you possibly follow the professional editor's directions later?

I heard of a contestant once who said they were busy with another project and didn't have time to read the guidelines. If the writer doesn't feel the current project is important enough to deserve full attention, why should the judge/editor give any of their valuable time to that manuscript?

My advice, put you best manuscript forward, no matter where you submit it or it could come back to haunt you. It doesn't matter whether or not you are a newbie or multi-published author, always put your best work out there. When you don't, someone, somewhere will figure it out. They come back.

1 comment:

daydream said...

I agree. How had is it to read what people want from you? I spend hours to proof read if I haven't missed anything in the guidelines and it's quite logical for other writers to do that. It is about your writing, so excuse me, but who do you think will read those guidelines except you.

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