Writing For A Competition – Master The Basics

Posted on: 28th May 2014

When you love to write, it is normal that you would be attracted to writing competitions. There are many types of writing competitions – some require witty slogans, others require you write poems, yet others require that you write an apt caption to a picture or product and so on.

If you look at the above description of writing competitions, it might look that they are diverse and would require different inputs and effort. Wrong! The basics never change with writing competitions and if you want to improve your chances to win, you will need to master the basics:

  1. Understand What The Sponsors Want – you would lose even if you are most talented if you do not grasp this particular key point right at the beginning. Your entry should support and promote their product/ service and possibly highlight some of the best benefits/ features. Do not openly market it – but you have to focus on the service/ product and put it in the bets light possible.
  1. KISS – this stands for “keep it short stupid”. Keep this rule in mind; it will serve you good in everything you do. When you are writing for a contest, this advice is worth its weight in gold. Use minimum words for maximum impact. Check it out – some of the best slogans or advertisements are one-liners.
  1. Stay Away From The Beaten Path - don’t be afraid to beat a new path. Whether you are writing for 25 words competitions or poems or story competitions always think out of the box. Move away from the regular and expected stuff. Bring in innovation and be adventurous; find a unique angle and focus on it. All judges are fed-up with the run-of-the-mill entries. Always look for ways to stand out in the crowd.
  1. Proofread, Proofread And Again Proofread – never ever submit anything without proofreading. Ridiculous mistakes can be averted by being particular about proofreading. Sometimes the mistake with just a letter of a punctuation mark can completely change the meaning of the sentence. Check how punctuation changes the meaning of the sentence, “Woman without her man is nothing.”:
  • Woman, without her man, is nothing.
  • Woman: without her, man is nothing.
  1. Stay Away From Anything Cliché – sometimes they just slip in. Beware that clichés pulls down the quality of your work. Use metaphors, similes, hyperboles, alliterations and so on. Spread your wings and soar as high as you can to showcase the best of your capability and talent.

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