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  • Dianne McCartney

Climb Your Way To First Place

Minimize your obstacles and win a writing competition with a little extra preparation:


1. Read the category descriptions with care. You’d be surprised about how many writers don’t understand the difference between the genres.


2. Don’t take the proper formatting for granted. It’s essential that your entry look as polished as possible. In my experience, this one step will jump you in the top forty percent.


3. End your entry at an intriguing place. You want the judge to wish there was more to read. There is a maximum word count, but you don’t have to meet it, just don’t exceed it.


4. Challenge yourself by entering a category you haven’t tried in the past. You might do better than you expect.


5. Write about something you are passionate about, whether it’s your favorite pet, or a social injustice.


Question of the day: What’s the strangest advice you’ve ever received from a contest judge or group critique?

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