Test Your “Writing Competition Eligibility” With This Quick Questionnaire!


Ready to showcase your skills, creative writer? Or non-fiction writer?

Hey, the writing competition spectrum is wide open! Which is why this week’s Challenge is what it is:

Determine to enter a writing competition or two, and then actually do it.

These contests are perfect for writers who aren’t writing and writers who have written but still need to edit.

If you’re the first type, they offer you a motivational deadline. You can either write that story in time or be disqualified from winning the grand prize.

If you’re the second type, they offer the motivational fear of comparison. Will your fellow contestants be better? Will they get your grand prize? Not if you can help it!

Let’s explore the topic of your “writing competition eligibility” a little further with a quick questionnaire. For each question you relate to, give yourself 2 points. For every question you answer no to, give yourself 1 point.

Got it? Here we go:

  1. Do you have a story you really want to write but haven’t started yet?

  2. Do you have a story you really want to continue, but you lack proper motivation?

  3. Have you written a whole manuscript but haven’t gotten around to editing it?

  4. Have you ever caught yourself wondering whether your manuscript or manuscript idea is “good enough” to be published?

  5. Does the idea of competition motivate you?

  6. Are deadlines your friends, if only because they force you to put your nose to the grind?

  7. Have you tried sending out query letters to literary agents and publishing companies about your fully written and edited manuscript, only to hear crickets?

  8. Does the sound of grand prizes consisting of paid publishing contracts interest you at all?

There we go. Eight questions. Eight answers. Now add up your score.

If you find that your score is 0-7, then writing competitions are definitely not for you. You’re off the hook.

If your score is 8-13, then writing competitions might be something worth looking into for your own good and the good of your writer-related future.

And if you find that your score is 14-16, then start searching for writing competitions now. Toot sweet!

“Wait a minute,” you more math-savvy individuals might be saying. “There’s no way I could have gotten a score under eight. This ‘quick questionnaire’ is rigged!”

To which I’ll respond that “rigged” is such a negative term. How about we go with “doctored” instead. Doctors are good things, right?

So negativity (and adding skills) aside, it’s probably safe to say that writing competitions might be right for you. If they’re going to push you to write what you need to write and edit what you need to edit, then you should be all for them – provided they’re legitimate competitions, of course, and not scams.

And if you just really don’t think that’s the case, that’s genuinely fine too. Some of us do respond better to more personalized kinds of motivation, in which case a book-writing coach like Innovative Editing might very well be right for you.

Whatever route you take, writing competition or not, just make sure it’s the motivation you need.

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