The right words can bring tears of joy or inspire a new passion. The wrong words can wound you with pain deeper than anything physical you’ve endured and make your mind stutter with confusion. Words are powerful. They flow in and out of us all day; often without a great deal of thought or effort put into them. There are those times you do hear something that makes you feel, makes you remember, and makes you smile at a memory you’d long forgotten. Remember those times. Connect with them. Feel them. Write them.
Write every day. Find something to inspire you and write the lines that make you feel. To help you along, I’ve started an Instagram account (@everythingonpaperisperfect) dedicated entirely to helping you write. Each day I will post a quote or a story prompt. These posts are meant to inspire you to create, to love, and to believe in yourself.
In addition to those daily motivations, I have found several excellent resources for keeping the ink flowing and I’ll share them with you each week. I’ve entered two contests and I am working on my entry for a third. The first contest was for the 9th Annual Writers’ Digest Poetry Award and it closed on October 31, 2014. The requirements for submission were simple. The poem could be in any style and had to be 32 lines or less. The Winner receives:
A $1,000 in cash
Their poem published in Writer’s Digest and promoted on WritersDigest.com
A copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market
I honestly haven’t written a great deal of poetry in recent years. I wrote a lot of poems during the Angst Age (any year ending in teen) and into my early twenties, but not as much in the last decade. This contest spurred me to pull out some old favorites, re-work them and even produce a few new ones. The poem that I selected for this contest was one that I originally wrote at the age of 17, though I did make some changes before submitting it.
Once you’ve submitted an entry to Writers Digest you can’t print it anywhere until the winners are announced. When the required time is expired, I’ll post an update with a link to the winning poem and a copy of my submission ( only slightly terrifying, but, moving on- ). One of things that I like about the contests on W.D. is that they don’t claim life-time exclusive rights to your work. They do request certain first-print rights; however, those aside, your work remains yours. The specifics can be found under the terms for each contest.
I also entered the shorty story contest that closed on November 24, 2014. The challenge and prompt:
Write a short story, of 750 words or fewer, that begins with the following sentence: I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over. You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.
I love the prompt. My story took a bit of a turn and I hope the judges (and you when I can post it) get a kick out of it. I enjoyed writing it and I’m anxious to share it with you.
My third submission is for the Your-Story contest which closes on January 15, 2015. You can enter it by going here and following the directions. As with all of the contests, once the winners are announced and I’m allowed, I’ll post my submission along with a link to the winning entry.
These contests are a great way to keep your pen moving and to step outside your comfort zone by trying something new.
Your homework: Pick a contest and enter it!
Click above or go to WritersDigest.com and search for their competitions.
Don’t forget to follow on Instagram @ everythingisperfectonpaper for your daily writing inspiration.
“See” you next Friday!