A Look into Whether or Not Writing Contests Are a Great Place to Show Your Talent or Not.
At first opportunities to write on the Internet were few and far in between, obscure at best, mainly a creative utilization of self-publishing opportunities such as blogging at worst. If nothing else most writers were not entirely sure how to captivate an audiences attention online as Internet connections were slow and audiences rarely stayed around for long. You had to get someones attention quickly, make your point in a few words and keep it moving.
Times have changed though, and we have come a long way since those early days. There were two key revolutions, the first was the guilty pleasure of frequenting political blogs, which were very fun to read, the second was advertising, which is where things really took off. Websites like Helium and Associated Content found a creative way to pay writers a fair amount for their work, and early adopters like Write For Cash were overshadowed. I actually wrote a few articles for Write For Cash years ago.
Now that websites are in a position to hold contests in which either cash payouts or increased recognition for their writer’s work can help motivate otherwise dormant talent by giving a bit of motivation to take to the pen should you jump on the bandwagon. Quite honestly, any opportunity to write on the web can expose a writer’s talent and be used as a tool for which to showcase your abilities. Let’s not forget how high the bar to entry of writing for an actual print publication can be. Often opportunities to write on the Internet allow a writer to just “jump right into it”.
I was able to write for Write For Cash by working with the subjects they were looking for and providing quality work, and I was able to visit their partners websites and see my work. We’re now in a “2.0″ type of era in which websites are more than just services that aggregate articles and sell them to other websites, but actually host the material themselves. This means a larger platform in which to show your work than you ever had before, more readers, and perhaps even the chance to write for that print publication you thought you couldn’t get into.
To me a website writing contest is a way in which websites like Helium can give back to their writers; the ultimate expression of their appreciation for your hard work. Not everyone is going to spend their hard earned money on a magazine subscription, but the Internet offers a chance for writers that would normally be overlooked their 15 minutes. The other great thing about a writing contest is that you is actually giving away $1,000 in their contests! The only downside is that you actually have to pay to get in, but there are few writing contests where that isn’t the case. On the plus side $1,000 is pretty nice when you’ve been writing as a way for them to show their appreciation for your hard work! Writers who don’t receive the cash award, as even the fifth place contestant can get $100, can get a critique of 750 words which should help them become better writers in the future.
Hopefully all of this will inspire writers that were apprehensive about using traditional means to promote their work and give them the courage to take that next step. Using the skills honed on the Internet you can definitely become a more productive and marketable writer and take that first step towards making a career out of writing a reality!