Winning A Short Story Competition Is Easy – 5 Tips That Will Take You There

Posted on: 17th June 2014

Short Story CompetitionYou love writing short stories and you feel you are great at it, yet you have not won as many prizes you think you deserve. Here are a few special tips that will improve your chances to win the grand prize of short story competitions:

  1. Read and understand the rules of the contest – start at the beginning. Read the rules for the competition/ contest. There are many writers who first write the story and then read the rules just before submitting the entry. You cannot work backwards in this case; when and if you do, your entry will fall short on many accounts.
  1. Computer cannot be trusted to check grammar, spelling and punctuation – it does not matter how advanced a software you have to help you check grammar, spelling and punctuation. It is not enough. Human eyes are needed for these types of editing – and nothing else will do. Computer’s auto-correct are notorious for putting is howlers. You cannot afford to risk that with your entry.
  1. Fancy fonts and letter sizes are a no-no – the judges have to read thousands of entries. Their eyes and minds are tired. If you send your entry in with a peculiar font that is difficult to read, with letter sizes that are to large or too small for comfortable reading, in all likelihood your entry will be rejected.
  1. Have a “believable” plot – writers need to build credibility in their readers’ mind. This is your biggest challenge; it is critical to get fiction sound like realty or the reader will lose interest. Not only should the reader believe, but also want to know more with every line that read. You need to build a tension in the mind of the reader to want to get to the end, to find out what happens.
  1. If it is not too interesting to you, it will not for others – do not be indulgent with yourself. If you want to win, you have to be your most exigent critic.  If you find that the story leaves you unmoved, then this is definitely not the entry you want to submit for the contest. Do not worry, most of the time a little re-writing and strong editing can actually turn the story around completely.

Take a good look at what you wrote, and inject into your story enough intrigue to have the reader beg for more. Your story should have the reader’s eyes hurry through the lines to reach the end.

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