Five mistakes to avoid while giving a writing contest

Just like some people need money for their work, writers crave affirmation and reward. Everybody likes to win the competition. It gives you validation and boosts your confidence at a certain level as well.  Participating in a writing contest isn’t child’s play. There are many pitfalls that you must avoid.

Here are five mistakes you should avoid while giving a writing contest.

  • Not going through the Terms and Conditions and FAQs page: Generally,  the writing contest’s first page contains themes and word-limit and submission guidelines. Now, they play an essential role as well. But it would help if you also went through Terms and Conditions, and FAQs as well. For instance, you might be asked to submit your work in a specific type of font. Or, you might not be allowed to use a certain kind of language as well. Many people end up making the same mistakes and get disqualified in the process.

  • Having confidence is a good thing, but overconfidence can destroy you. While many people tend to start their work a day before the deadline, you should not choose that path. This statement might ridicule you, but it’s a bit of valuable advice. If you complete your write-up three or four days before the submission date, you get to proofread your work many times. Proofreading your work with fresh eyes helps you correct your mistakes which you might be making unintentionally. Also, you tend to see what you actually meant to write and what you ended up writing.

  • Not reading last year’s entries: Just like in the entrance examination, you tend to refer to the previous year’s question paper, it would help if you refer to the previous year’s entries as well. Themes change, but the pattern of the judge doesn’t. While going through the winner’s write-up, you may realize what the judge desires to read in a contestant’s entries.
  • Not checking the deadline: Some of the writing contests have the last date and time for submission. While you wait for the deadline date, you forget about the time of submission. Generally, the writing contests have submission time as 12 in the midnight. But some have deadlines as 8 or 9 in the night. It would be advisable if you submit your write-up a day before the deadline.
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  • Giving yourself logic before entering: There are many competitions which might overwhelm you at the very beginning. There are various factors. For instance, you might underestimate yourself by giving yourself excuses. Or sometimes, the fee is too high. It’s okay to back out because of financial conditions, but it’s not okay to underestimate yourself because you felt lazy.

These are some of the mistakes which you can avoid before participating in a writing contest.  After all, it’s always better to play safer than being sorry.

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