Literary Contests – Writing Workshop: Your Worst Enemy
Good morning everyone, and welcome one more day. Today in this Writing Workshop I want to talk to you about Literary Contests, and how they can help or harm us as writers.
Who wins a literary contest? In theory, the one who writes the best. But that’s how it is? Is quality rewarded? This is where we come face to face with the monster. What do you think?
I had a teacher who wrote, and he even published a couple of things. The poor man was continually demoralized by the contests. He knew he did well, but he always, always, always stayed out or, at best, he was a finalist. And he always told us that he was behind very bad works. I guess at some point I would end up quitting.
The subject of contests is complicated. Who wins a literary contest? In theory, the one who writes the best. But that’s how it is? Is quality rewarded? This is where we come face to face with the monster. What do you think? Do you think your vote based on strictly literary criteria? Who is not taking into account who writes it?
I am one of those who think that these types of contests have too many cons: in some, there is only one member of the jury, in almost all the jury can read the name of the author (a story written by me will never have the same consideration as one written by Reverte, and that’s how we started badly), and it’s completely normal (up to a point), no matter how much it is said, the members of the organization of the contest will want theirs to be the best, the most prestigious. It is not the same to reward a stranger as a consecrated writer.
The contest can elevate you, myself, I have been a finalist in some and it is a considerable rush, but you always have the worm … the fatal thought, the bad taste in your mouth (I assure you that it is worse to finish second, than last). And you start to suspect, and you think … Is that so good?
Are others really better than mine? And, you fall, if you are unlucky enough to be able to access the material of the rest of the participants, you will surely realize that they have left you behind by works much worse than yours. And that’s what really fucks. But, in other cases, your work, which will surely be worse than another, will be among the first.
In a contest, the quality of what is written is rarely really rewarded; If the contest is from a publisher, they will always bet on theirs before you, even if what they write is nothing or less, if the contest is from a specific town, it is not necessary for me to comment. and if it is a contest in which the votes are public, then better stay away, here the one who knows the most (or the one with the greatest power of convocation in the networks) wins.
The contests are good as an exercise, if you are stuck and do not know what to write you look for contests, you look at the topics, you cheer up, you write something and you get out of the pothole. But don’t take the contest seriously. Literary contests can undermine your morale for nothing. They are real kites because you know that what you do is good, but you do not find the support you need.
The expert ghostwriter is a special being, who needs the recognition of others, who needs constant support, the happy pat on the back- “It’s cool, man, really, you write about the ciborium.” do. And we fall apart very easily, especially when they play with our work. We are statues with feet of clay, we need to be constantly propped up.
So if you were planning to participate in a contest, this is my reality, I wanted to share it with you so that you have a different point of view, And I don’t want to say that they are all rigged (I see you coming, that you are easy-fang), nothing of that, but it is very complicated (rather impossible) to be 100% objective when judging a work. There are too many factors, too many things that can influence the decision.
Enter a contest if you want, but do it as a personal exercise. And if you are not very clear about things, forget it.
What do you think? Have you ever participated in a literary contest? How were your experiences? Have you wanted the death of a jury? I await your comments on the blog and on Twitter and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog.