Dramaquill's All Things Writing

May 20, 2014

Writing contests – 2014

Writing contests can be a terrific way to get your manuscript seen by those in the publishing biz. Often, prizes include publication.

If you do choose a contest with an entry fee, make sure that the prizes warrant the fee charged.

Here’s a short list to get you inspired:





Remember to read all contest info. carefully before sending your manuscript.

Now what are you waiting for?

January 30, 2012

Free Ezines for Writers

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One of the things I most enjoy about checking my email every day is finding a copy of one of the many *free* ezines that I subscribe to in my inbox.  It’s amazing how much free info. is there for the taking, offered up by some of today’s most respected individuals in the business. 

I’d like to share some of my favorites with my readers.  Most simply require a sign-up with your email address and that’s it.  No spamming…just access to great information.  Enjoy!  




http://www.writersmarket.com   (fill in sign-up box for FREE newsletter)

http://www.write4kids.com   (ezine link at very bottom of webpage)



I would have to say that the first four links are my all-time favorites, but any of the above ezines can provide excellent insight into this biz we call writing.

February 1, 2009

Contest entry fees: To pay or not to pay

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Sometimes, winning a writing contest can be an amazing way to get exposure, prize money, and if you’re lucky, a contract. 

But more and more contests are charging entry fees…and I don’t mean $5.00, either.  Recently I’ve seen novel contests that were charging as much as $50.00 to enter. 

Now think about it for a minute.  What if you enter four contests a year?  Each one costs $50.00.  Personally, I think the $200.00 in entry fees would be put to much better use buying paper, printer ink, stamps and envelopes for subbing to editors and agents. 

Whenever entering a contest, please do your research.  Paying an entry fee isn’t always a bad thing but there are factors to consider:

  • Is it a reputable contest – who’s running it
  • Does the entry fee match the prize
  • What is the entry fee used for
  • Who’s doing the judging
  • What are the terms if you win
  • How many prizes are there
  • Are prizes awarded based on number of entrants
  • Do you have to spend more money if you win

Let’s face it, a fifty dollar entry fee for an entire novel, where the prize is a publishing contract with an established, well-known publisher, would be $50.00 well spent.  However, that same fee, where the prize was a vanity press contract, would be, in my opinion, a waste of $50.00.  I wouldn’t even pay $5.00 if I was entering a poem on a site where the winners were chosen by online voting.  The fee has to reflect the prize.

So how do you find out which contests to enter? 

  • read everything you can about the contest
  • ask other authors if they have participated
  • ask your local librarian
  • read winners’ manuscripts from previous contests

To get you started, here’s a shortlist of contests.  Some charge fees – others don’t.  You decide.

Writer’s Digest’s contest fees are small in relation to the prizes.

Both for MG and YA first novels.  NO FEE.

For writers of fantasy and sci-fi.  NO FEE

Contest for playwrights – doesn’t appear to have a fee.

This site lists a ton of contests.  At the bottom of the site they tell you the types of contests they will not list, so they’ve done a bit of the research for you.


When it comes to writing contests, that really is the question.

November 27, 2007

Now here’s a contest that could boost a new writer’s career

So far I’ve blogged mostly about my suspense novel in it’s final revisions and my Nanowrimo suspense novel.  But in fact, I’m also a kidlit writer.  I write about eight original playscripts every year for our studio’s drama department and I enjoy writing rhyme, inspired of course, by non other than the master of rhyme, Dr. Seuss.

I’ve had several poems published in both print and online kids’ magazines with two more coming out in 2009 with Hopscotch and Boys Quest magazines.  I love writing rhyme and also have several rhyming PBs making the rounds.

I was first made aware of the Delacorte contest when my critique group was helping me with the POV and other issues in my YA novel, “Thinkers”.   This prestigious contest is offered up to new writers of MG and YA novels who have not previously had a book published. 

But the competition is stiff and the judging tough.  Several years, the prize was not awarded, indicating that the level of the entrants manuscripts was not sufficiently worthy of the Delacorte stamp.

So a piece of advice to those who might be intrigued to enter:   Polish…polish…polish those manuscripts.  Join a critique group.  Revise and edit.  Check and double check spelling, typos, grammar and format.   Hone your skills at writing dialogue, developing characters that make us want to cheer for them and plots that keep the reader flipping to the next page.

If you’ve done all that and really believe in your manuscript, then it’s time to enter the Delacorte.

Although the MG category is closed for 2007, there’s still time to enter your YA this year.


Good luck!  Maybe one of you will be the next Delacorte winner.

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