5 Reasons To Enter The Arrow Awards (or any contest)
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
As a writer, even a published writer, you can feel isolated and lonely, and critical of your work. And, if all you're looking at is sales, you may even feel like quitting and finding something else to invest your time in that isn't so ... hard.
This is where contests come in. Now, there are various opinions on contests, including that they are a waste of time and money. But, we don't believe this to be true. We have spoken to so many authors who have been rewarded with everything from a plaque to a medal to a certificate and all of them have said that when they heard the news of their win, or even honorable mention, it was extremely affirming and uplifting to their spirit, and it gave them strength to keep on the journey of submitting, querying, publishing, and working at writing for their readers. To know that there was a group of judges, an association of fellow authors, a tribe of readers that valued their work was important to their desire to continue pursuing their artistic calling.
So, we wanted to make sure you knew that contests, including The Arrow Awards, were worth entering this year.
1. Affirmation of Your Calling
When you enter a contest based on your writing, the amazing result of winning, placing, or receiving an honorable mention validates all the hours of research, the energy spent worrying about your plot, and the prayers that you've prayed over your readers as you put your story on paper and in the hands of a publisher. Not all contests offer a monetary prize, but having your book title and name on a medal or a plague allows you to have tangible proof of a job well done.
2. Acknowledgment of Your Work
Entering a contest and placing in it is one of the best ways to be acknowledged by your peers and those within the industry. In a way, it is a resume booster because it allows other to hear your name and see it on the winning roster thereby helping you stand out in a very large industry pool.
3. Exposure/Sales Boost
The exposure your book receives when you take the time to enter a contest is broad. Not only do the esteemed judges have the opportunity to learn more about you, but so do the many people following the contest online, in social media, and within the press release that is generally shared amongst the media. This exposure can gain you additional sales which in turn gains you more followers for your next title. It's a win-win.
For many who enter a contest, it's either the jumping off point in their writing career or it's a continuation of a career that has been going on for years. Entering the contest allows a writer to gain valuable feedback from the judges about what's working and what might not be working. Not only do you feel like you're on the right track when you place in a contest, but even if you don't, reading the critique notes from the judges helps you learn about what you can do better next time. When compared to how much a college or continuing education course is these days, a contest entry fee isn't so pricey to learn firsthand what you can do better.
5. The Results are Worth the Risk
Let's be honest, while it's hard to part with hard-earned money and not be sure you're going to place let alone win, a little competition is good for the soul. It revs up your adrenaline and gives you a little pep in your step. And, when we talk about the contest risks compared to other risks, like walking a tightrope or eating leftover Chinese food from a week ago, the reward is totally worth it. The opportunity to put your best foot forward and submit your recently completed book is exhilarating and wining the title or placing in a specific category is satisfying.