Most gardeners don’t enter contests, unlike writers who are bombarded with competitions left and right. So this post will be mostly writing, less growing.
I have one strict rule when it comes to writing contests, never pay a fee. I don’t care how prestigious a contest is (like Writers of the Future Contest), I will never pay a dime to have someone judge my work while there are other contests that do not charge a reading fee. When it comes down to it, if a story is good enough to win a contest, its good enough to be bought by a normal magazine.
One area where people fail to look in for contests is at work. Large corporations tend to have essay contests open to their employees and family members. I have won two of such contests in the past few months and the prizes are pretty decent if not generous.
The best thing about entering corporate contests is that the competition is low. The essays I wrote did not take mush time. Three drafts and I didn’t even show it to my reading group. But that’s the difference. Regular Joes and Janes don’t write three drafts, they don’t check for typos and they defiantly don’t pay attention to things like spacing, bios, or fonts. So, for a writer with the most basic of skills and experience, willing a company contest is a breeze.
The problem with such contests is that they are not promoted outside the corporate atmosphere or even inside it very much. You have to search these contests out.
As for me, I’m going to let my friends and family members know that if their job is having a contest, I’d be willing to ghost write it of a cut of the prize. For now, I’ll post my winning essays on a new page here for those who are interested in such things.