Why You Can't Win In Any Short Story Competition
Before you enter a short story competition there are several things that you can do to ensure that you story has a good chance of of being shortlisted in the competition. Here are some steps that if followed will increase your odds of being selected.
Advice for Writing a Short Story
If your short story is perfect in prose, has a strong plot and will surely impress the judges hold on a second, if these rules are not adhered to you are wasting your time.
High word count. This is one of the first and most basic rules to follow, competitions are usually strict on this matter. An example of this is a competition requires no more than 1000 words however your story is in excess of the stated amount, you will be disqualified from the running.
Not sticking to your genre. If the competition states children stores then you have no right to submit erotic stories. In the same breath if the story calls for sci-fi do not submit a crime story.
Sending in your entry too late. You should ensure that your story get to the office before the closing dates as this will ensure that it is considered.
Not submitting your entry with contact details. You should never forget to include your contact information when sending in your short story.
Not enclosing your fees. If the short story requests a fee then you should enclose the amount by check to pay the fee.
By getting the first parts of submitting your entry correct then you stand a better chance of competing with the other entrants for the main prize. Once you have mastered this then you can work on enhancing the reading experience of the judges, this means no spelling and grammatical errors. If you are submitting an entry by post always use crisp white paper and place it in a large enough envelope to prevent it from being creased and crushed.
Writing a story story correctly is not as easy as it may sound, Unlike writing a novel each word of your short story must deliver an impact to the reader. After all the start the middle and the end are compressed into a few thousand words. This means that your opening must be direct, your middle must must be to the point. Try cutting the fluff and get the reader directly into the action.
Get your pen out when you are preparing your draft, exclude the following words from your prose, adjectives that qualify inaccurate and weak nouns.
Exclude adverbs which qualify weak verbs examples include stare fiercely, could be glower. Add some polish to your writing style by looking for passive sentences. the Over use of verbs such as is , are, were, was will indicate passive writing. examples to look for “ man was walking” should be changed to man walked. If you follow these simple tips you stand a greater chance of being shortlisted for the main prize.