As a new writer, I entered my books, short fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays into contests: local, state-wide, and nation-wide. I did well, considering I was unpublished and unproduced, winning first and second prizes, along with a semi-finalist and a few quarter-finalist placements.
The two placements I’m most proud of were in screenwriting where I placed in the top 100 in two different years with two different scripts, and where both years had over 12,000 entries covering nine categories. That’s a lot of entries to compete against!
Now, I’m an indie publisher and I’m still open to entering quality contests.
Why enter contests?
- It’s a way to garner attention from publishers, producers, and agents.
- It’s a way to obtain feedback from unknown readers, agents, and editors.
Should you enter contests? My answer is a resounding yes! Actually, I entered far more contests than is on my list. Years of submissions. And then, finally…well, the list shows what persistence can achieve.
Bluecat Screenplay Competition
David & Goliath, 2017, Quarter-finalist (272 quarter-finalists out of 3272 entries)
Writer’s Digest – Top 100 in each category named. Both years I entered there were over 12,000 entries with 8 divisions.
Miss Mississippi, 1998, Television/Movie Script division, 63rd in the top 100
Still Waters, 1996, Television/Movie Script division, 51st in the top 100
Austin Heart of Films
Charlie’s Christmas Carole, 1998, quarter-finalist
Miss Mississippi, 1987, quarter-finalist
Charlie’s Christmas Carole, 1997, semi-finalist
Still Waters, 1996, quarter-finalist
College Bound, 2006, Lamia Ink! Inc. First place.
Out of Balance, 2005, Creative Writing Graduate Award-Drama. Honorable Mention (2nd place), WMU English Dept. Judge: Charles Smith, Ohio University
The Funeral Question, 2004, Lamia Ink! Inc. Finalist
The Elevator, 2004, Creative Writing Graduate Award-Drama, WMU English Dept. Judge: Jeremy Dobrish, New York.
“Bread Pudding,” 2023, Write Michigan short story content, semi-finalist (top 10 of the adult category with 1,200 entries).
Fuss and Feathers, 1990, Georgia Romance Writers, Maggie award (unpublished), 3rd place (Traditionally published as The Man on the Romance Cover under Starlog Press, and published again as Determined Hearts under Sharpened Pencils Productions LLC)
Fuss and Feathers, 1990, Romance Writers of America, Golden Heart (unpublished division), semi-finalist
Cross Country Fire, 1989, Romance Writers of America Golden Heart (unpublished), semi-finalist
“Grandma’s Reflection,” 1989, Tallahassee Writer’s Association, (unpublished division) 1st prize
“Recapture Your Feelings,” 1989, Tallahassee Writer’s Association, (published division) 2nd prize
“Seasons of First,” 2002, SunnySide Up Publishing, finalist
“50,” 2001, Kellogg Community College literature contest, 1st place