Read to Write

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ImageI’ve always been told you have to read to write. Never thought I would start writing because of reading old magazines. Some of these magazines were older than the ones at a doctors office, or the ones we used to use as coasters at the Kokomo Tribune, but within those dust covered, curling pages, I found three free writing contest to enter. So it’s time to stop reading and start writing!

Naturally, I enter writing contest for the chance of winning. The prizes range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Not to mention the gratifying validation that you’re writing is reader worthy and publishable.

Winning a contest would look great on my writing portfolio. Like a potential employer, a publisher wants to see evidence that you are a good writer and a safe financial risk. This can be proven with published clips and awards. My portfolio isn’t so bad: I’ve published in the Correspondent and the Kokomo Tribune, and I write for Textbroker, but I’m worried some of my writing experience may be getting a little dated. After all, I haven’t won a writing contest since high school.

This year, my sister submitted an entry as well. I told her it was good practice. She thought I meant writing, but I think it’s better practice for getting rejected. After a couple of years of not winning a short-story contest, you go from being depressed to just shrugging your shoulders. It may be a little premature to worry about rejection, considering I haven’t finished one of three books I plan to write, but I think it never hurts to prepare for that first rejection letter. I tell my sister, and I will see that she holds me to it, that I am going to frame every rejection letter I get. I hope I have enough wall space.

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