If you check out the Carrie McCray Contest, you will see that there are four first place prizes. One for poetry, one for first chapter novel, one for short fiction and one for non-fiction. There’s a two hundred dollar first prize in each event. Win one of them and you’ve paid for half of your conference registration. Win two, and well…you can do the math. Win all four and you can walk away with money in your pocket. I’m beginning to sound like a carnival vendor.
Writing contests flourish across the country. You are often competing against a thousand or more other entries. In the Carrie McCray Contest you are only competing against other writers who are attending the SCWW Conference with you. Do the math.
Entering contests is a good discipline to incorporate to polish your skills. It forces you to lock into a due date, limit yourself to a specific word count and re-write that feature article you’ve had sitting on the shelf for ..how long has it been? Plus it doesn’t look half-bad on your bio. You’re a writer, right? It never hurts to get your work evaluated by judges who make their living as wordsmiths. Keep in mind, this is not a critique. You are not going to get your entry back with red ink on it. You will only know whether you won or not.
Here’s how it works. Read the requirements for submission at www.myscww.org/conference/mccray. Choose one or more forums to submit your work. Give it your best shot. Mail us four copies…that’s right, FOUR COPIES, no later than AUGUST 20TH. That’s a biggie. We have to have them in by August 20th to mail out to the three judges in each category. (hence the need for four copies – see our previous blog to get information on the judges) and to give them adequate time to evaluate and return.
Three judges will read your submission and score it based on a thirty point scale: ten points for content, i.e. originality and creativity; ten points for structure, i.e. grammar and mechanics; and ten points on style, i.e. cohesiveness, story arch, and success in fulfilling your objective. After these three judges have each separately scored the entries, the scores will be sent back for a cumulative score between all three judges.
That’s it. We want to see your best stuff and we want to give you credit, along with $100, for your hard work.