Writing for Competitions, with Laura Malvory
Writing for competitions has many benefits. It ensures that someone, somewhere, is reading
your work. It gives you a goal and a deadline. It can give a break from research, and it can force
the writer to write outside their usual scope.
You probably have a notebook filled with ideas, and ways ofgenerating ideas. Recently, Laura
has been listening to podcasts like 99% Invisible, This American Life, Stuff You Missed in History
Overland has a short story prize, up to 3000 words, and while there is an entry fee, you can win a
$6000 first prize, and you get publihed, which will help exposure. You pay a bit less for a
subscriber. To get started, follow the contest of journal on Twitter and Facebook. Know the
readership. Good competitions will list their judges. Is it blind submission (Your piece is allocated
a number)? Or are you up against well-known writers whose names will appear? If there’s a limit
on words, and a theme, stick with it.
The Big Issue does fiction as well. The Big Issue Fiction Edition 2013 had the theme of “Make me
smile”. 2012’s theme was “The End of The World”
In September, QUT holds the QUT Creative Writing Prize. It used to be published in REX, now it
gets published in Kill Your Darlings for an undergraduate, and Lifted Brow for a post-grad. The
undergrad prize is open to any student who is enrolled in a KWB coded unit.
Beware of scam-artists: Where a prize is more than $1000, a $5 fee is acceptable. A $20 entry is
probably a scam. The names of the judges should be published.
Other suggestions include international competiti