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07.11.2008 Feature Article

Pointers On Winning Writing Contests

One thing a writer of either drama, poetry or prose, which are the three genres of literature, must first consider at the back of his or her mind before venturing into a writing contest, is that too many people are eager to win the prize, so that it could draw attention to them.

A writer must make sure he or she has read the works of other winners of the contest of interest, and compete with them in an indoor practice. This will ascertain and boost the curiosity of the writer to understand what kind of work is needed for submission. For example, it does not work in a contest where it�s children�s story that is required, and an author submits adult prose.

While the entrant should be considering whether the judges have biased mind over what are expected from entrant, the writer must duly write in the language that is required for the contest. For example, entry could not be required in French Language and the author submits English Language.

The work to be submitted should be error-free, as judges are not pleased with going further reading error-filled work, especially starting from the beginning.

The author stands the chance of winning a prize if he or she has a network of writers who will go through the work before submission, as no one is monopoly of ideas. The chance of winning is based on the comments of the reviewers telling the author the truth, not based on sentiment.

The author must not recycle ideas, because a lot of people who may have won the prize before were lucky to have judges who really read what they had wanted to read, not that the award-winners were too fantastic.

The author must not follow trend, as not everybody in the crowd have succeeded. The writer must look out for something that is unique to write on; it could be on ancient culture of a people or on the contemporary untapped issue. This gives the judges another sense of reasoning and as well judgment.

The rules and regulations governing the contest must be duly followed, so that the author does not become a dissident where rules are not followed, and his or her work thrown into the next bin. The font size must be considered and the gap of lines, where necessary.

While the submission lasted, the entrant must make sure that the work was already out before many weeks of the deadline. Some judges do not have patience still going through works that came latter to the deadline when they have already found what they wanted. So, it behoves the author to submit work earlier to deadline, as this gives more chance for the work to be reviewed by the judges.

All the aforementioned pointers can easily be brought under the concept that an entrant must assiduously study the work of the winning writers or even going as far as buying other materials that are related to the competition to study.

Odimegwu Onwumere is a poet and an author, and the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Oyigbo, Rivers State.+2348032552855. [email protected]

Odimegwu Onwumere
Odimegwu Onwumere, © 2008

The author has 586 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: OdimegwuOnwumere

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