With this final post about contests, I wanted to touch on some of the elements that are minor in contests that I look at when reviewing.
Synopsis. I understand that synopsis are important, but I also believe that the work should stand on it’s own merits. If you want feedback on your synopsis, find a specialized contest that deals with synopsis only. Writing contests should be for just that, your writing.
The cost of the contests. After reviewing and entering contests, I have come to the conclusion that a fair dollar amount for a contest is approximately $1 per page, with a top dollar amount of $30. This is fair and pretty standard in the industry.
Revisions. Not all contests offer this, but when they do, I make sure to commend them for it. The opportunity to revise your entry before the final round is always an added perk. You want your work to sparkle before an editor/agent sees it and if a judge brings up a good point, it’s always nice to get to incorporate it into the work.
Finally, that added ‘umph’. In some contests they have something extra that adds to the appeal of the contest. Some contests have a published author critique the entry for the overall winner. Some contests have an extra bonus with an extra category for the best of the best. It’s just something that gives the contest that extra element, especially if an editor or agent is involved somehow. After all, isn’t that the overall goal? To get your work before an agent or editor?
Have I missed anything? Can you think of anything that would make a contest more appealing to you?