Should You Enter A Writing Contest?

A fantastic post originally reblogged by my wonderful friend Jex. It contains great advice on how to become better known in the literary circles. It also promotes wonderful creativity and the experience of entering competitions; revising, editing and submitting your work. Enjoy 🙂



Contest season is upon us. If you write poems or flash, short stories or creative nonfiction (personal essays or stand-alone pieces of memoir), then you may be thinking about entering a few of the many writing contests coming up. For first-timers, that means it’s time for worrying about whether or not your writing is up to snuff and second-guessing yourself over which piece has the best chance of winning–not to mention endless kvetching about where to hazard your chances, such as they are.

I may review particular contests in a later blog. At the end of this one, I’ll provide links to viable contests. But for now, let’s linger over an even more important issue: how do you know when you’re ready to enter a contest?

This may come as a shock to you, but I think this post could be proof positive that you are ready. If you are…

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This is the working title I have given to my second concept for a novel. I want to store the first writings of it here and if you wouldn’t mind giving me feedback that would be wonderful 🙂 Please keep in mind this is a very, very early attempt. Thank you 🙂


The journey to the High Court was always perilous for her people at this time of year. The golden sunshine shone down on their carriage with intense venom. Snow sighed and pulled the silk back over the window, being enveloped once more in its cool calmness. The silk was made especially for her family by the Oracles and she appreciated them beyond all others. Her people thrived in the crystal snow and silver moonshine and could not understand why her father was insisting they make the journey now. The High Court existed in a realm between all others and every season had a turn of being predominant; at this moment it was Summer with its treacherous sun. Snow sighed again and adjusted her spiders silk gown. In turn she heard her father sigh;

“Do not fret so Snowflake,” her father pleaded. He was Frostfall, King of the Winter Fae and she was sure she had never heard him plea before, what was he up to? “This is merely a trip to acquaint ourselves with the other Fae people’s. You know things have been tense between us and we do not want war to break out.”

“Father,” she began tentatively. “You worry beyond measure. I know of the myth where the War of the Fae begins and I think you put too much merit into it. Why did I have to attend?” She knew she was whining but couldn’t help it. She had been happy hunting and defending the borders when she had been called home. She was surprised her father had even remembered her existence. Yes she was the Crown Princess but she had been sure her father had been intent on naming one of his several other children as heir. She was the only child by Queen Winter before she had been killed in a riot and that made her sole heir but she was allowed to not like it.

“You come because you are needed.” That was all her father would say and he sat back and shut her out once more. She knew she should be insulted but she had been shut out most of her life so she was indeed used to it.

The dress felt alien to her, like it was too heavy and it over encumbered her. She longed for her Nightsilver armour and pure Nightsilver bow. Then she felt invincible, away from the politics and drama of the court. No one could touch her, ignore her or demean her. She had no responsibilities there and it felt wonderful. She brushed a lock of silver hair back behind her ear and winced. Her hair was a sign she was of royal blood; her family were signified by their silver hair, piercing ice blue eyes and blue tinged skin. When away she had sought different ways to hide it and blend in with the green-eyed, black-haired demeanor of her people but had failed miserably. Instead she had woven a tail about the bastard child of the High King unwanted and unneeded and for the most part it had worked.

She sighed and was just about to settle back into her contemplative whining when a heavy object hit the side of their carriage. It was quickly followed by another and another. The horses screamed in protest and bolted, breaking their fine Nightsilver chains and leaving their passengers behind. Snow stood, a little unsure of what to do in her father’s presence. He never condoned her fighting in any sort of way; he prefered she sit back and let the men fight in her stead. Her luminescent wings twitched in annoyance at that thought.

She could hear the footmen fighting outside and feared for them. They were part of the army but they were not her father’s elite, the men he usually took everywhere. Perhaps he had not expected an attack of this level on this particular journey. Whatever the reason he should have been more prepared and the warrior side of Snow rebelled.

She was taken aback however when her father stood, moved in front of her and drew his sword. Even she was not foolish enough to go outside, they would lose their strategic ground, surely he must know that. In any case he adopted a defensive position and waited. She hoped he did not need to fight as he hadn’t done for an age and she was unsure how good he was anymore.

They waited in silence while the fighting quietly ended outside; she wept silently for the footmen as she knew by now they must be dead. They had been good men and all with families who loved them. How would she ever be able to face them again?

Suddenly, the door to the carriage flung open and both were dazzled by the harsh sunlight. Her father faltered, as she somehow knew he would, and she had to listen as a sword sliced through his ceremonial armour and pierced him. She screamed. Still blinded by the sunlight she felt for the sword and started swinging it almost wildly, hoping she wasn’t injuring her father in the process. She could hear male laughter coming from all directions. How hilarious it must be to see a woman struggle with a sword. She wished again that she had her bow, then they would not be laughing as hard; she loved to shoot things blindfolded.

This carried on until someone grew tired and decided to hit her over the head and pick her up. She was trying her hardest to stay awake but the blackness of oblivion was quickly replacing the golden sun spots. She caught a brief glimpse of her father knelt as if in pain and in a pool of his own silver blood. She hoped he would make it; her heart broke at the thought of him dying. She tried to get to him but the overwhelming darkness consumed her…


Thank you for taking time to read this 🙂 I would love just a general thought on how I could improve it. Thank you.

Love, Lust and the Bard


How do you create a convincing love story? How do you portray the unending emotions and the passion that ensues? Don’t get me wrong, writing a romance or an ‘adult fiction’ book is the furthest thing from my mind but I have started to wonder what makes a convincing romantic strand of your overall narrative weave.

In I Cast Magic Into the Darkness, my characters Lucas and Aly have a deep love bordering on a soul connection but I worry that I put too much emphasis on this. I’m writing the novel so that the emphasis is on this connection they have. Since Aly is the current, and penultimate, reincarnation of the Angel of Death she is fated to bring Death and suffering to everyone she loves so the fact that nothing has happened to Lucas so far is a miracle to her and she’s desperate to hold on to that. I fear I am constantly repeating myself on different aspects of the relationship, I am unsure how to balance it as I only want it to be part of the main focus instead of the entire main focus.

Another aspect I’m unsure of in my novel is the love scene. I have tried to write it showing the beauty of their coupling and the obvious love they have for one another. It is quite a descriptive part of the writing but I used soft and delicate vocabulary to show it wasn’t just some random sordid love scene thrown in there for the Hell of it. I worry it sounds corny though, almost stereotypical in a story revolving around a couple and the connection they share. I will keep on with it in my editing process however. It’s just something else to concentrate on while I try to establish the bond they share 🙂

A great example of a romantic fantasy filled with destiny is Christine Feehan’s Dark Carpathian series. She adds in so much wonderfully fantastical aspects to her story that it is not so obvious that the stories mainly revolve around a Carpathian seeking their lifemate. A great example of a story with romantic notions is Holly Lisle’s The Secret Texts series (book review of the first book Diplomacy of Wolves to come soon). This story mainly centres around Kate Galweigh, who is a shapeshifter, and the plight of her family and everyone she comes into contact with. This story mainly has a fantasy theme running through it but the aspects of love are still there.

Have you had the same problem? I don’t want my novel to be repetitive; I want the love my characters share to be outstanding but not over take the entire novel. Could anyone give any advice? 🙂

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