This summer I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m going to forward my writing career before finally jumping off the cliff with publishing a book. Time and time again I’ve returned to the thought of trying to publish a short story, and each time it crosses my mind, I’m more eager to do so. I’ve come to believe it’s a great solution, and by working to publish a short story I gain experience in areas that I’ve yet to receive any in.
By publishing a short story I would:
– Gain publishing experience, be it minor.
– Have the opportunity to finish something and polish it enough to have it published (for the most part, I’ve never “completed” something, as in, the final stages of polishing).
– I’ll be able to wave a finished piece of work in people’s faces and tell them how awesome I am (for real). Well, rather, I would be able to add a published piece of work to my portfolio. Things like that always look nice to prospective clients, and in turn, literary agents.
– An added bonus, there are lots of magazines and such that accept paid submissions. In other words, they pay you for your work, and quite a few pay pretty well. Even better, there are LOTS of fantasy and sci-fi magazines looking for fiction, so I think I’ll be right at home here…
The only real downside to any of this is that it means I would need to put some time aside to work toward creating another story, which likely means less time to work on Taichiren’s. Sometimes sacrifices need to be made, however, and in this instance I believe that it just might be worth it. So I think I’m going to go ahead and do it… sometime soon. We’ll see.
So I guess it might be a good idea to get to the point of this post. Now that you know a bit about what’s been on my mind, I can tell you about the writing contest that I’ve been looking at. It’s called ‘Writers of the Future’, and is a well established, quarterly writing competition for amateur fantasy and sci-fi writers. Basically, they’re looking for writers who’ve yet to publish anything big, and select a few people each year’s quarter to receive prizes and become published in their annual anthology.
Doesn’t that just sound amazing? A cash prize, publication, a trophy, even, and most importantly… publicity. That’s basically any amateur writer’s dream come true, the jackpot of beginning a writer’s career.
So it’s pretty much been decided for me that I’m going to participate in this, and I’m determined to win. Will I? Probably not, but aim high, I say. Since I would theoretically be competing against people who also have no professional experience, I’d say that I’ve got a chance. I wouldn’t say a large one, but a chance is still a chance… and in this case, that’s all I need to be motivated to try. And really, at the moment, that’s what counts.
At the moment I’m sifting through ideas in order to come up with something great. The idea will need to be ground-breaking, nothing short of phenomenal… and then the writing will need to be equally as good. *sigh*, talk about a lot of work. At least the upcoming quarter accepts submissions until the end of December, and if I don’t have something ready for then, I suppose there’s always next year.
Just keep swimming, eh?
In case any of you other fantasy or sci-fi writers out there are interested in taking a look at the competition, you can find their website here.
And OH, I almost forgot. The contest actually has two parts. There’s a contest for writers, yes, but there’s also another competition for fantasy and sci-fi illustrators! Yes, of course, they need beautiful artwork to go along with beautiful stories. So if you’re into creating fantasy or sci-fi stories, be it via words or art, and have yet to establish yourself as a professional… go check out the competition!
Cheers everyone! I’d love to hear what you think about the competition, or even better, if you know of any similar competitions for different genres.
Do any of you have plans to enter this contest, or maybe do now since I’ve mentioned it? Have you entered the contest before?