I've been poking around on the web, trying to find some quickie writing contests. I recently placed second with a short story, Couldn't Be Easier, in a contest off the site, http://www.writers-editors.com/.
I was grateful for the recognition (and the $75 prize!). But I also appreciated the deadline. Nothing like a deadline for motivation. For an ex-newspaper reporter like me, having these book biz deadlines such a long, L---O---N---G way away makes it seem like they're not real. Very different than showing up at a plane crash or a workplace shooting and having to collect and dictate your story within a couple of hours.
Another competition, from Writers Digest online, offers this month's prompt: Three people in an empty movie theater. It's cold. Go. Good exercise, and $100 for the best short piece off the prompt. No entry fee, either .... You can't win if you don't try, right?
Pro or con on contests?
I say thumbs up. Even if entering takes me away from Mama Rides Shotgun, my second book in progress, contests are a good way to polish skills and think creatively.
Or, maybe they're just avoidance . . .