A couple more things to support the writing life. More installments coming...
ENTER A WRITING CONTEST:
Here's a repeat from a July post:
Winning contests can get your work published in high profile places and pay big bucks at the same time. The down side: Most contests require fees, though nominal. The most common writing contest sources are literary journals and conferences. For an ongoing, extensive list, check out this Creative Writing Contest blog. Poets & Writers Magazine also offers an online guide to writing contests here.
I rang in the new year with a submission to WanderWomen Write contest at the travel writing site Wanderlust and Lipstick. My next one will be the Tiny Lights Essay Contest, a personal narrative competition that "invites entries that feature a distinctive voice, discernible conflict and an eventual shift in the narrator's perspective." I may even enter a thing or two for their "flash" prize (under 1,000 words).
Have you ever entered a writing contest? Share an upcoming writing competition you know about.
PARTICIPATE IN AN OPEN MIC:
If you've got something you're working on, a polished piece you'd like to submit, or just a passage you've written for fun, trying out your work on an audience can be a good gauge of your progress. Check out your community for literary cafes, writing salons and poetry slams that offer opportunities for spoken word to be heard. It's also a great way to network and get your work noticed.
Admittedly, I haven't ever participated in an 'open' mic. I have, however, read with other anthology contributors on a mini book tour. Reading to intimate audiences resounding with laughter gave my writing legitimacy and gave me a sense of belonging to a community of writers. Whatever the context, witnessing the emotional impact of my words on readers motivates me to take more risks in my writing. Next time I see the opportunity, I'll head to that open mic to try out some new work.
Have you read aloud to an audience? If so, how did it impact you and your readers?