Now that you have approached those literary pundits and had all those book readings in eclectic venues, what next? You will find there is one thing that can get you a good deal of publicity, although it is far from being a clear and cut given. We’re talking entering writing contests here.
Forget the prize money; imagine the publicity you would receive if you were to win a writing contest. In terms of the validation of your work, it’s huge to even find yourself on the shortlist of some famous writing contests.
There are several writing prizes, like the Commonwealth Prize for new writers (this one’s only open to those living in Commonwealth countries, though) that you can enter in order to stand a chance of winning a good deal of money and also gaining a lot of recognition in the literary circuit.
There’s also the Graywolf Press Non-fiction prize that can fetch you a whopping $12000 as an advance for a publishing contract with them.
If you go to any famous sportsman’s home, you will undoubtedly find a showcase of trophies. Why not have some trophies of your very own? People will take you a lot more seriously when you are an award-winning author. It will separate you from the others and put you on a kind of pedestal.
Always remember to read the guidelines on the contest writing websites, to gain a succinct understanding of what it is they really want.
For instance, the last thing you should be doing is submitting a work of fiction to what is a poetry contest. Also, ensure you make your submission in just the way you are instructed. There might be some people who want you to submit your work in a particular font, for instance.
Make sure you do exactly as instruct, or you might just find that you miss out on the opportunity of gaining that coveted prize, simply because your work will not even be read by the judges who are very particular about these sorts of things.
What you need to know is, there is no time limit where it comes to the promotion of your book. So, if you are publishing a book this year and win an award for it the following year, it will have a great impact as well. Simply enter those writing contests and keep your fingers crossed; you never quite know when you might get the intimation that you are on the shortlist of one of them.
And then, if you’re even luckier, you might just find yourself lifting that coveted ‘trophy’ you so earnestly desire. Besides, when you get onto that shortlist, you’re going to be getting the attention of all those online literary critics out there, and that’s a bonus!
Also remember, in many cases your publisher will have to enter your novel into a writing contest (that is, if you’re traditionally published).
We believe that writing about writing, is one of the really great ways in which one can get more people into reading. We wish for our readers to discover more fine French writing in the future, of course, but we also hope they will read more in general.