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Tips for Winning a Writing Contest

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Did you know that your writing skills can help you win prizes? Essay contests are a fantastic way to transform your originality and your grasp of the written word into great prizes. But how can you make your essay stand out from the competition and be chosen as the winner?

Here is a step-by-step tips for winning a writing contest and writing a nice essay that will win judges over. For the best odds of winning writing competitions, follow these procedures.

Tips for Winning a Writing Contest

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Tips for Winning a Writing Contest

Go through the essay contest rules:

Reading the regulations carefully is the first thing you should do if you want to win essay competitions. The difference between winning the competition and wasting your time could be one minor thing.

Pay attention in particular to:

  • Dates that the contest will begin and end.
  • How frequently you’re permitted to enter.
  • The number of characters or words.
  • The focus of the contest.
  • The standards by which the judges will select the winners.
  • Who the sponsoring business is and how they represent themselves.
  • Include any further information the sponsor may need.

You might find it helpful to print the sweepstakes rules, underline the key points, or make notes and keep them nearby as you write.

You can readily check the prerequisites off once you’ve done your article to make sure you haven’t missed anything if you outline the pertinent regulations in a checklist.

Develop a List of Essay Topics:

Many people want to start writing their essays right away, but it’s preferable to take some time to come up with a few distinct ideas before you do. Your initial reaction is frequently not the ideal one.

When you brainstorm, you should;

  • The best and most pertinent topics to discuss for your essay should be chosen, and off-topic ideas should be eliminated. You can also create a new topic that fits with the others that you may have missed.
  • Find a quiet space and settle in with a pen and paper or your preferred note-taking tool for a productive brainstorming session. Perhaps a hot drink and a nutritious snack would help you. Then, consider your subject and make a fast list of terms and phrases that are pertinent to your theme.
  • You shouldn’t try to make your ideas more polished or coherent at this point. Just remember the concept well enough so that you can explain it when you look through your notes.
  • Think of many approaches you can use to personalize the contest topic, approach it from a unique perspective, or make your entry stand out from the rest. Can you make a somber subject humorous? Can you surprise and surprise others with your ideas?
  • Don’t judge your ideas just yet; simply write them down. It’s best if you can generate as many ideas as you can.

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Make Sure Your Concept Complies With the Contest’s:

Look over all of your ideas after you’ve completed brainstorming to decide which one you want to develop for your essay contest entry.

Consider what might be appealing to the essay contest’s sponsor when you choose your choice. Have you thought of a strategy to include the sponsor’s goods into your essay? Does your idea align with the sponsor’s brand?

When Disney is the sponsor, an essay that may be wonderful for a Budweiser contest may absolutely fail.

It’s also a good idea to think about which of your rejected concepts can create a solid secondary theme for your essay at this point.

Use a Strong Hook to Captivate the Reader’s Interest:

When you sit down to write your essay, keep in mind that the first line is the most crucial. You should make sure that your opening paragraph stands out and draws the reader in.

When you begin with a strong, enticing, emotional, or humorous first sentence, you capture the attention of your readers and stand out in their minds when it comes time to choose winners.

Write your Essay’s First Draft:

It’s time to write down whatever you have to say at this point (or on your computer). Keep in mind that this is only a first draft, so don’t worry about using perfect grammar or whether you are using allotted words.

Instead, concentrate on if your essay strikes the appropriate emotional notes, how your experience comes across, whether you are utilizing the appropriate voice, and if you are effectively articulating what you are trying to say.

First drafts are crucial because they encourage you to write despite your hesitation. You’re just trying to communicate your narrative; you’re not aiming to be good yet. That story will be polished later.

Your writing is also organized by them. Your ideas fit in the right places, and you can see where they need to be reorganized to have a stronger emotional impact.

Finally, a first draft enables you to keep moving forward with your ideas without becoming bogged down in the details. You can also skip over the areas that are difficult for you while still making comments for your subsequent rewrite. You may make notes of time-consuming tasks like “add statistics” or “get a hilarious remark from Mom” and return to them later.

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Review Your Paper for Flow and Structure:

Examine your essay after you’ve finished writing it to make sure the flow is proper. Is your argument convincing and clear? Do your ideas naturally transition from one idea to the next? Are the transitions logical? When you read it out loud, does it sound good?

This is also the moment to eliminate unnecessary words and make sure you’ve adhered to the word count restriction.

In general, reducing word count will enhance your writing. The formula for success, according to Stephen King in his book On Writing, is: “2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%.” This means that the initial draft may always benefit from minor editing to highlight the strongest passages.

“Red Mittens” Should Be Watched Out For:

Terry Ryan wrote in her wonderful book, the Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, about how her mother Evelyn utilized “red mittens” to make her more successful at entering contests.

She said this:

“In a basket of mittens, a red one will be noticed. “The Red Mitten’s purpose was almost self-explanatory — it made an entry stand out from the rest.”

Evelyn Ryan employed a variety of red mitten techniques to make her contributions stand out, including rhyme, alliteration, inner rhyme, puns, and invented words. The judges may remember your essay’s red mitten for its deft wordplay, lightheartedness, or heartbreakingly moving story.

If your first draft seems a little uninteresting, think about whether you could spice it up with a red mitten.

Set Aside Your Contest Submission:

Once you have a draft of your essay contest entry that is largely polished, set it aside and don’t look at it for a short while. Put your essay aside for at least a week before the contest expires, and use that time to let the concept percolate in the back of your mind.

People frequently consider the specifics of what their essay needs to be flawless. as soon as they press the submit button.

Tips for Winning a Writing Contest

You’ll have more time to think of these brilliant ideas if you give your entry some time to stew in your mind.

Make one more Revision to your Essay Entry:

It’s time to give your essay one more polish now. Have you covered all the ground you wished to? Has your point been made? When you read the essay aloud, does it sound good? Can you reduce the word count any more to make the prose more concise?

It is beneficial to ask friends or family members for assistance during this stage. Read them your essay and gauge their emotions. Did they grin when it was appropriate? Was there anything that baffled them? Did they understand the story’s underlying concept?

Additionally, it is an excellent moment to check your writing for grammatical and spelling errors. It’s quite helpful to use a grammar checker like Grammarly to spot the small errors that your eyes might otherwise miss. However, since even computer programs can make mistakes, it’s advisable to have a trustworthy friend or family member review it before submission.

Read the Essay Contest Rules Again and Finally:

You’ve already carefully read the tips for winning a writing contest if you’ve been following these instructions. However, after finishing your draft and having some time to reflect, go over it one more to be sure you haven’t missed anything.

With your completed essay in front of you, go through your checklist of the essay criteria point-by-point to make sure you’ve covered all of them.

Tips for winning a writing contest

Frequently Asked Questions

Are contests for writers worth entering?

You get knowledge from them. They aid in your craft improvement. You learn from them how to adhere to rules and meet deadlines. Try a few; it's worth your time and a few dollars.

What qualities do short story judges look for?

You should weigh the story's strengths heavily before deciding whether or not to read it. The protagonist of a successful short tale should be fully realized in readers' eyes, possessing both commendable qualities and character defects.

What is the writing industry’s top honor?

Since 1901, this is the award for literature that is the oldest. Between 1901 and 2022, 119 Nobel Prize laureates received the 115 literary Nobel Prizes.


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