As per the current guidelines, April 12 is the deadline for this year’s contest. (Other years we’ve had earlier dates.) This means that the post office must stamp your letter before or on April 12. So DON’T WAIT TO THE LAST MINUTE TO MAIL IT! Don’t trust a government office to do the right thing. <g>
Why should you bother to enter?
1. Your odds at winning are better than playing the lottery!
2. It’s fun to have a little bit of hope in the mail! We writers enjoy having manuscripts to various magazine, newspaper and book publishers because the more we have out there, the more chance there is we’ll have something published or that we’ll win a particular contest. (Remember you can enter more than one story, poem, and/or personal narrative/essay in our contest!)
3. If you don’t win, you don’t lose either. It just means at this particular moment, you weren’t chosen. You still have a piece of writing that you can take and submit to OTHER contests and publications. (see the list at right where to submit) This is why we do not publish your work on our website or in our newsletter. That would be “using up” your *first rights. We want you to be able to SELL and/or publish your first rights elsewhere. After that, you may sell *second rights as many times as you can.
This depends upon individual magazine and newspaper writer guidelines. Many take second rights. The larger, glossy publications may only take first rights.
4. Besides our first, second, and third place winners, we give honorable mentions. The honorable mention winners do not attend our awards luncheon, but they still are winners.
5. By winning our contest, you can use this as a “credit” in your cover letters for future submissions to editors. It is also good on your resume for work study situations and college applications.
6. By polishing your writing for this contest, you become a better writer.
7. You may discover you have more skills in writing for different categories of writing. One young man thought he could only write personal narratives. He tried writing a short story and won in BOTH categories.
8. The more you write, the easier it becomes. The more you write, the better writing skills you require. And we hope you’ll have fun!
Have questions? Ask them here!
*First rights – Publication publishes your material the first time, once. Then the rights go back to you.
*Second rights – Publication publishes your material after it has been published before. Then you get the rights back so you can sell the material to another place again. If you sell it a third time, this is still called selling second rights.