To Contest or Not To Contest

So, just thinking about contests today, probably because I just finished judging my final Golden Heart entry in my packet. Will be sending in my scores either tonight or tomorrow night. Supposed to keep real hush hush about the entries so have no idea what I'm allowed to say or not say - so just won't say anything. LOL

What do you think of writing contests? I've entered several myself. All of them have been RWA contests from one chapter or another. I know writers that enter contests all of the time and others that have never entered a single contest. Some will only enter contests that have no entry fee while others stick to a certain selection of contests they like.

I myself have mixed feelings about contests. Contests can get you in front of an editor or agent in a short period of time. Plenty of writers have landed a publishing contract or agent via these types of contests. But plenty of people having nothing to show for all the contests they enter. I remember one contest where the contest winner did not get a request from the editor/agent, but several of the runners up did. The contest winner was trying not be upset, but you could see his/her confusion. If their entry was good enough to win why wasn't it good enough to at least get a partial request? She/he might have a point. But also, as someone pointed out, could be the agent/editor already had a book in the works too close to her entry or some other particular reason that agent/editor didn't think the book was the right match for them even if he/she felt it was the best entry in the category.

The few contests that I've entered have had me scratching my own head. Mostly because you'll get such a wide reaction on exactly the same words from different judges. One judge will give you a near perfect score while another will hate it and score you accordingly. Maybe I'll feel different when I win a contest (notice the positive thinking LOL), but at this point I'm not real sure what I think of all the contest hoopla.

What about you? What do you think of writing contests?


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