Exploring Competitive Writing to Enhance Your Freelance Writing Portfolio

Freelance Writers and Competitive Writing


Becoming a freelance writer is about the same as competitive writing. You do endless hours of hunting looking for legitimate work, spending hours doing the work and birthing your baby, and if clients or judges like your work you are awarded monetary prizes and other incentives.

There are a lot of positives to competition writing. You learn skills like writing discipline having follow certain outlines to participate and a deadline to follow. You gain validation for your awesome work. You draw attention to award winning awesomeness. And you get to have a little fun while investing in your work and your future.

But not everyone is cut out for the competition aspect of it, many aren’t aware of the stipulations, rules, technicalities involved, and others simply don’t have the chops.

Researching the Best Competitions for Freelance Writers


Before diving head first into competitions, do your research!

Find out if there are any local competitions you can get started in. Lesser known competitions offer a greater chance of winning having smaller number of entries. A lot of these competitions are categorized, so that makes easier stay in your comfort zone of writing. Contest offer several variety of prizes. You  can win cash, grants, publishing, and even future employment for some company hosting the contest.

Go online as well, but avoid possibilities that resemble scams! If a contest sponsor ask’ for obscene amounts in regards to entry fees, charges for feedback from judges (if you don’t win), and even fees for the actual prize (because sometimes they award plaques, medallions, and things of that sort) chances are you falling into a trap.

Don’t misconstrue or distrust all contest that ask for entry fees. Private host, not affiliated with a publishing magazine or company, may require entry fees to actually pull off the arrangements needed for the contest but legitimate contest sponsors don’t usually request more than $20. Also avoid online contest referred to as contest factories. These are places that post hundreds of virtually unknown contest that requires an entry fee, and usually all the entries are published anyway. Other factories keep the money and never publish anything.

To avoid these scam contest make sure to do a background check. Find it who’s holding the event. Chances are Readers Digest isn’t out to steal work or entry fees.  It’s Joe Blows American writing contest with anonymous judges and unknown sponsors have to beware of. Most contest have some web presence listing their credentials, previous winners, and how often they hold this contest.

Valuable Questions Freelancers Should Ask About Competitive Writing


Once you found a reputable competition ask yourself valuable questions. Like, would I benefit from this competition? If you’re a well known writer, winning a farmer’s market poetry contest probably won’t make a difference on your list of credentials. However, for a schmuck like me with no contest wins, I would gladly enter.

How about the contractual agreements for winners? If you win, are you required to provide a certain amount of work for later publication? Are you comfortable committing to the winning contract, especially if it calls for more work later? How is the pay out handled if I do win? Do you wait for a check in the mail, a gift card, direct deposit into an account, or do they use PayPal, the universal online currency?

Entering Writing Competitions to Enhance Freelance Portfolio

After what will probably be hours of research, you’ve found the right contest, and are ready to get to business- Stop! First, make yourself acquainted with previous winners.

This will give you a chance of weighing your odds at winning and a look at what the judges are seeking. This is probably the most crucial part of being in a contest. It builds your nerves up to see awards winning pieces but the thought of your name among the ranks is motivation enough to keep going!

For more tips and to find contests check out the links below.

· Seven tips on Winning a creative writing contest.
· Questions to ask yourself before entering a competition.
· If your seeking national recognition Writers Digest is reputable and offer great cash prizes.
· A fellow WordPress blogger consistently post current competitions and archives previous winners. Check out Writing Contest.
· Freelance Writing offers a listing of contest statewide as well as national level.
· Looking for writing prompts as well as contest? The Writer offers online articles from their published magazine, prompts, contest information, and more!

Gab Brand Wants to Hear from You!

Have you participated in a writing competition to enhance your freelance blog or freelance writing portfolio? Was it beneficial to your career or was it just another notch in your belt? Are there any current Competitions that you want to share or promote?

Let’s hear your feedback on Facebook. Make sure to use hashtag #GabBrand- Can’t wait for you to share your gift of gab!


Gab Brand


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