Yeah… sorry about the title. I’m a little nuts today. Wish I could say why, but that would blow the cover off my super secret identity. That all of you care so much about. *sarcasm* And of course, you would only figure it out if you watch obscure news from small towns in random states. Which I’m sure all of you do, searching for the identity of some blogger. *heavy sarcasm* But I’m not psyched about the idea of this trickling back to my high school and a flood of comments popping up here to ridicule me. So in the shadows I will remain. Moving on.
So I was thinking about by writing career a while back, and I realized I needed a few things:
1. Incentive. It’s great to sit down and write a little. But if I’m getting nothing out of it – no one’s reading it who will really appreciate it, not just say “It’s lovely” and hand it back, and nothing really comes of it – it gets sort of demoralizing.
2. Constructive Criticism. Parents, friends… it’s hard to get honest feedback from them. You need a total stranger to look at your work with no pity for you in their heart and tear it apart. That’s how you grow.
3. … And some cash wouldn’t hurt.
So how could I get all three things (Ok, the first two were the priority) as a teenage writer? The idea came to me eventually – and probably would have come sooner if my blood sugar wasn’t so low. I mean, it’s pretty obvious: enter a writing contest.
Now, at first I thought this would be tricky. I’d sent submissions to the Missouri Review, with demoralizing results, but once I actually read an issue, I realized that wasn’t the place for me. The selections were too… dry. Adult. I’ll be YA for the rest of my life, I’m sure of it. It’s just more interesting. And I’d entered a contest I’d seen advertised at school, and never heard back. But I just wasn’t seeing many options.
And then this crazy idea came to me – google it.
Yep. So obvious you might overlook it. So I sat down, googled ‘teen writing competitions’ and bang – loads of opportunities popped up. I’ve already bookmarked two I plan to enter. Of course, one prohibits improper language, which is sort of silly in teen lit, but whatever. Hopefully I’ll get some feedback, finally get to draw on my repository of stories, and hey – maybe win something. A girl can dream.