Although I am self-published with my little book ‘The Jersey 12 Days Of Christmas,’ I still aspire to be what is known as ‘traditionally published’ through a well known publishing house. Here is a defintion by Gene Mirabelli at Critical Pages:
“The names of The Big Six may be familiar to you as distinguished old publishing houses. They are Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Random House, Macmillan, The Penguin Group, and Hachette. Only two of The Big Six are US companies: Simon and Schuster, and HarperCollins. The others are foreign: two are German, one is British and the other is French.”
Until I get a manuscript accepted by a big publisher I have to motivate myself to keep going. There are no deadlines to work to by eager editors or animated agents. I have to keep going by myself through days of wordy drought and barren ideas.
To keep me going I enter writing competitions for the following reasons:
- I am a big believer that you ‘have to be in it, to win it!’
- some competitions give comprehensive and incredibly useful feedback sheets
- competitions are good practice for following submission guidelines, eg: target age range, genre, word count, font size/type, etc.
- and finally competitions give you a deadline to work to.
Above is a certificate I recently received for the KBR Unpublished Picture Book Manuscript Award 2013. I didn’t win but I did receive something just as important – a reason to carry on with writing – a sign that I am on the right track! I had earned a certificate of Highly Commended! The feedback was that my story had humour, a lovely character and scope for wonderful images.
The feedback also had some hints at how I can make it even stronger and this has given me some direction.
Here are some of the writing competitions that I have entered throughout the year:
Why don’t you give it a go, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain!