California Writers Club Young Writers Contest

How to be a winner! 

Check to make sure your submission follows the guidelines.  As the entries are coming in, I am discovering that some of the short stories aren’t double-spaced. This means these stories won’t be read.  

*In a poem, (actually this is true for short stories and personal narratives too) cut out as many abstract words as possible.  (love, friendship, death . . . )  Replace them with concrete words and your senses.   (concrete words:  a spider, a tree, a glob of glue)  (senses:  relate your topic to one or more of the five senses . . . hearing, touching, tasting, seeing, smelling)

*Use more action words than adjectives. Instead of “the leaves are orange and bright” you could have “bright orange leaves fall” . . .

*Try to have a middle to your short story.  It’s easier to write a beginning and an end! In the beginning, the character is introduced with a problem.  In the end, the problem is solved.  But in the middle, the character must work at solving the problem.   Complications arise.  Problems get in the character’s way and he/she must figure out how to overcome them. 

*Have fun writing!  If you enjoy the process, you reader will enjoy the story!


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