Dear short story contest entrants,
We have some good stories submitted to our monthly competition but there are a few points that I, as a judge, would like to know.
What prompts you to enter a writing competition, other than the prize?
Don’t you want to submit a piece that’s absolutely perfect?
I see many ‘almost’ good stories and why do they not make it onto our list? More often than not because of the following:
- Poor spellings or words misused, example quite when it is evident that the writer means quiet. Your spell-check is not likely to pick up on an error like that. But a contest judge will. Please read, read, edit and read through your work several times before you hit ‘publish’ or ‘send’ or ‘submit’.
- Simple typos! I’ve seen words scrunched together that would definitely have been picked up by your regular Word document that could easily have been fixed. That would have made reading the story an easier, more pleasant experience.
- Standardisation. What’s that? If you spell a word with a capital letter in one part of the story, make sure you follow that throughout. If you use American spellings stay with those, don’t mix and match US & UK spellings.
Improve your winning chances. Be more rigorous when you review your story. And for all of you who haven’t yet made it to the winner’s table… keep submitting. We love your stories, let us also love your writing.
All the best