Tuesday, October 4, 2011

September Write Brain Report: The Pikes Peak Writers Fiction Writing Contest by Grant McKenzie

In 2010, Pikes Peak Writers Conference success story Kelsie Baltrusch told us a vital part of her success formula was entering as many contests as possible. She said having a submission deadline forces her to get her best ideas down on paper and into the hands of others. Now you have the opportunity to add this winning strategy to your writing endeavors with the Pikes Peak Writers Fiction Writing Contest, which was the topic for the September PPW Write Brain.

Beyond getting your work "out there," why should you enter the PPW Fiction Writing Contest? This year's contest coordinator, MB Partlow, gave the Write Brain audience many reasons to consider. First, the submission requirements mimic what you should expect to send into most any editor or agent. While each editor or agent will have their own submission quirks you must research and adhere to, the contest submission requirements give you a good taste of what to expect, including synopsis requirements and detailed formatting guidelines.

Second, the feedback you receive from the contest judges is completely anonymous. The contest coordinator goes to great lengths to ensure this anonymity because it allows for honest, non-personal critique. Since the judges don't know who you are, they can give you more honest feedback than your friends, family, or even your critique group. Everyone who enters receives their score sheets, but for a small additional charge, you can request a more detailed critique from each of your judges.

Third, the PPW Fiction Writing Contest has a strong reputation and history within the publishing industry. Winning, or even being a finalist, makes a great addition to your writing resume. Published authors Laura Hayden, Carol Berg, j.a. Kazimer, Robert Spiller, and many others are all contest winners or finalists. All finalists receive their choice of agent or editor pitch appointment at the 2012 Pikes Peak Writers Conference in addition to a monetary prize. Finalists are also recognized in front of the faculty and attendees at the conference's Saturday awards banquet.

Categories, prizes, submission requirements, and other instructions are available at http://www.pikespeakwriters.com/html/contest.html. If you have questions not answered in the website's information, you can contact MB at pgcontest@gmail.com. The contest draws about 200-300 entries per year. This year, make sure yours is one of them.

About the Writer:  Grant McKenzie is a renaissance man. A genuine rocket scientist and self-made chandler, Grant also enjoys writing poetry, fantasy, historical fiction, and non-fiction. He has ghostwritten a business/leadership book and is working on a YA fantasy novel for himself. Grant currently serves PPW as the registrar for the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, as well as other non-conference events.