Writing Contest


If we continue in the same genre at the same work level, no matter our success rate, we risk falling into a rut. Our work becomes stale, cliché.

Contests force me to move.  Deadlines focus me. Looking at the contest judges as new clients creates new angles and avenues for my craft. The challenge in any artform is to move beyond a format that's become a copy of the last. 

A few months ago I edited a one minute trailer for the Filmsupply editing contest using their stock. (I had gorgeous film stock to work with.) My skills got more fine tuned. 

I set out to create a horror trailer using their stock files. Which was a nice challenge to convey a definitive genre using stock files probably not intended to be used for horror.

This current contest is a writing contest for Young Adult fiction. I knew it'd be difficult because of my usual subject matter and my style. Plus, it used to be an unspoken attitude that young adult and children's books were giving up on any serious writing. Then, R.L. Stine emerged from the sea of sameness.

I mean, why can't we all ride the seas of unfamiliarity? Right, Madonna? 

Changing up my target audience and specific genre is a growth opportunity. Sometimes ya gotta do whatcha gotta do. Roll with the punches. A writer's style and choice of genre will still be present regardless of the contest. Relying on clichés is taking the easy route. Going out of the comfort zone builds on skills. Don't miss the boat on the way to success. Now, that's thinking outside the box.  

I myself never get with joining the herd.


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