The Writer's Cookbook

Writing, productivity, publishing.

Author: Cathy Bryant

Don’t Myth Out on Writing Competitions!

There are hundreds of writing competitions held every year, often with tempting prizes, yet many writers don’t enter.

There might be good reasons for this in some cases, but I’ve heard many that simply don’t hold water.

I’ve won 25 writing competitions and literary awards, and part of the reason why is that I’ve ignored some of the myths that prevent writers from entering and winning. I’ve also judged both poetry and prose competitions, so I know what not to do!

Give yourself the best chance by not falling for these common myths:

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The Elusive Art of Writing Confidence

I knew that I couldn’t write. I’d sent manuscripts to publishers twice in my teens, and they’d both been rejected, which proved that I had no talent. I still scribbled down my poems and stories, but I accepted that they’d never give pleasure to anyone but me, and that I was being self-indulgent and probably pretentious in writing them.

Eight years since last feeling like that, I’ve had over 200 poems and stories published, won 14 writing competitions and awards, and had two poetry collections published by small presses. My first novel, Pride and Regicide, is out in a few months from the prestigious publisher Crooked Cat. I still get rejections all the time, smile ruefully and carry on.

So what made the difference, and how did I get from the first place to the second?

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