My Love of Writing Contests

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Entering writing contests may seem like a drag—they often have higher than normal reading fees and the chance at a monetary reward means competition is very steep—but in my experience they are absolutely worth doing. I wrote an essay that was weird and unexpected and everything I ever wanted in to say in an essay. It was unquestionably one of the best things I had ever written. I sent it…


The Only Guarantee in Writing Is Rejection

Friday, February 27, 2015

I started my writing career batting a thousand. The first story I ever submitted won a local writing contest. $500!!! It was the most money I ever earned from a short story. The second short story I ever submitted came in second place in a writing contest for a national magazine. $300!!! I was on fire! I scoffed at all these rumors of rejection. “Bah!” I said to the writing…


Using Competition to Fuel Your Dreams

Monday, February 17, 2014

I’m obsessed with the Olympics. I don’t know where this comes from, as I’m a lot less likely to win a gold medal for anything athletic than, say, watching Veronica Mars seasons one through three back to back in a weekend. Like when I was growing up—I was never the kid who came in first in gym class. I was the one won a t-shirt from the geography teacher for…


How to Succeed in Writing While Trying Pretty Hard, Actually

Monday, December 23, 2013

Last week The Debutantes shared their darkest moments as writers. This week, in celebration of the Winter Solstice or what have you, we’re looking at the bright side: When did we think that maybe—just maybe—we were going to succeed? You see the problem with this topic right away, don’t you? What the heck does success mean? And when do you know you’ve reached it? I’m sure that when the Debs…