Since I started blogging, I’ve discovered a huge community of Christian women writers online. I have enjoyed reading their blogs and getting ideas and inspiration for my own blog as well as gathering writing-related information. A few years ago, Janet was posting about an online writing competition she had entered. I really liked reading her entries, but I also got interested in the contest myself. I joined FaithWriters and starting surfing around the site.
The topic for the weekly competition was Reading. I thought about it, trying to decide what I could write about. It was a broad topic, something I could write pages about. But finally I hashed out a story that I entered in the contest. It was a small sense of accomplishment for me, because I had:
-written something on a topic provided
-written it within the deadline and word count
-actually done something with my writing, rather than just leaving it sitting on my computer to be submitted “someday.”
It’s a short simple story, and I’ve already thought of ways to revise it. The point, however, was to write and enter the contest. And there are tons of contests around, from small free ones like FaithWriters to ICWF's Fall Contest to bigger ones with more expensive entry fees. Contests offer writers the chance to get feedback on their writing and, if they are among the winners, pay and even publication. Both Marcia Laycock and CJ Darlington had their first novels published by winning a contest.
You can find out about these contests by watching other writers' blogs or following writers' newsletters such as FundsForWriters. And as I said above, even if you don't win anything in the contest, just entering should come with a sense of accomplishment. You wrote something that you judged was good enough for this contest and you entered it. Good work! Keep going!