OH FER 2013!


I hope you will excuse the sports metaphors, but I just do not know another way to express the disappointment. When I climbed aboard Word Press in October I was very excited to see the supportive blogging community with all the authors and sources of great information about writing, publishing and writing contests. It had been several years since I entered any writing contests, so I thought this would be a great time to do so as a way to get some exposure.

Now we will fast forward more than six months into the adventure and my list of successes in writing contests is basically non-existent. Oh for seven. These contests were all for short stories except for one, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. You know I feel like I am pretty realistic. I don’t expect every entry to win. In fact, if every entry won then I would think there was no competition, like I was the only entry. But you know when the rejections begin to pile up another feeling creeps in: my stories aren’t good enough.

Yes, I am a victim of my own need for validation. Perhaps I should be more mature in being satisfied that I am able to write and have the chance to share my work with others. Somedays I am, but today is not one of those days. Over the last month I have opened four e-mails that declared my stories not good enough to claim either the top prize or any runner-up positions. It is enough to make one run off screaming toward the exit of the blogosphere.

Quite simply, and I will insert my next sports metaphor here, I need a win. I saw the same thing with the high school band in which my kids are members. They went through a whole season with a smattering of success and it began to affect their confidence. Then they performed really well and received some trophies. Success breeds success. This past season, my son’s senior campaign, the collected an impressive load of trophies. In short they believed and that drove their success.

So what keeps me plugging away? People I have met online that tell me what I right is worth reading. Comments I read on my posts. Invitations from others to post on their website or blog. People like Josh Magill and Marian Lanouette. Others like Roberta Lerman of the Scribblers Ink Post Group on Facebook who continually provide positive feedback. They inspire me to not only continue but to encourage others. We are all part of the same process. Yes, some of us have no desire to be published. But no one writes without the desire to have someone read it.

So, what is the next step? Do I step away and admit defeat or continue to try, hoping to find the right contest? I would like to have your input. If you enter writing contests, tell me your strategy. Tell me what contests you like to enter and about your success. I am happy to share the details about upcoming contests and would be interested to hear about them from you as well.

About Joe Owens

Can you tell from my writing I love God? I hope so because that is what I want you to know most about me. I am also a writer who loves taking on fiction prompts and crafting a story. One day you will read my work in print. Until then enjoy it here! For free!
This entry was posted in Blogging Challenge, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to OH FER 2013!

  1. Oh, how I know the feeling. Not in regard to writing contests, but submissions in general — fiction magazines most recently. Two shorts were accepted — one for no pay, one for token payment — but so many were rejected. Oh, well…
    No, never admit defeat, and whatever you do, never stop writing. Just my $0.02, which may not be worth much.

    • Joe Owens says:

      Silvia, first of all thanks for reading and commenting. i so enjoy the one on one interaction. It validates my time and effort. I certainly will not stop writing, I just shall take more time to select which contests I enter. I have not tried magazines so far, but simply because of time constraints.

  2. It’s a long, hard slog, Joe, but don’t give up! I hope you get your win soon. The good thing about the Internet is that it is easier to find other like-minded writers who can encourage and give feedback.

  3. Marla says:

    I’ve never heard of some of those blogs or authors so color me a bit ignorant. I stay mostly on Fictionpress and Fanfiction and I love the authors there (well, more exactly the adult writers – too many tween angst stories for me.) As a writer, I’d say just keep writing and one day that perfect reader will find you and exploit you for the good. Cheers!


  4. Josh Magill says:

    I hear ya’ Joe!! But … You know me, and I would say keep writing, plugging along until something hits. I’ve “opened” (most rejections are by email now) nearly 50 rejections since November 2012 through now and have yet to win a contest, but what I have found are some fantastic editors and great places to share my writing. Sure, it may not all be novels and short stories, but essays, columns or reviews, but they are items being published. They are pieces that get my name out there and because of that more editors are willing to read my work. And though I didn’t win a contest, I was able to get a short story published in The First Line literary journal and recieved a small payment for it. All these things keep me going when despair of not winning a contest overwhelms me. I’m still able to write and share, plus The Magill Review, with seven contributing writers and other quest posts, keeps me busy and excited about writing … and continuing to submit.

So you took time to read what I wrote and I appreciate it, but comments are even better!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s