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101 WAYS TO WIN with writing competitions... and it's not all about the prize

Whether you win, lose or don’t even enter, Patsy Collins offers tips for getting the most out of writing competitions.

1 Some competitions launch writing careers or provide enough money to temporarily give up the day job and concentrate on writing.

2 Any hint of success will boost a writer’s belief in their work and encourage them to keep going.

3 Wins and shortlist mentions help build an online presence and raise your profile – helpful in attracting publishers or marketing existing work.

4 Leaping around in excitement on hearing the good news will burn off a few calories.

5 Winning stories are often published.

6 Winners are often invited to submit a short biography, which can be an excellent promotion tool.

7 The prestige of winning can help you earn paid work. (Would I have been allowed to write this if I hadn’t picked up at least a few prizes?)

8 Winning doesn’t have to be the end. Sometimes stories can win more than one prize, or perhaps you’ll publish a collection of prize winners.

9 Be proud of success. Publicity and kudos are part of the prize so make the most of it. When appropriate, mention wins to editors, publishers, those who hire speakers for events.

10 But first, catch your competition. Read adverts in Writing Magazine, the competition supplements, newsletters and Talkback forum.

11 Check local papers and magazines, in libraries, on company websites, even junk mail.

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About Writing Magazine

FREE 2016 Competition supplement: Win £400,388 in over 250 writing competitions • The bigger prize: Why comps are good for you , win or lose • Beat the Brontës: Explore Charlotte's style and try your hand in our special competition • How to: Craft credible historical fiction Use humour in your writing Learn from the short story masters • Star interview with TV scriptwriter Sally Wainwright, Bafta-winning author of Happy Valley

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