"Winning is not the point. Wanting to win is the point. Not giving up is the point. Never letting up is the point." ~Pat Summit

There are a lot of writing contests out there. Some promise cash prizes, others promise to get your work in front of the right influencers. Many people like contests because it provides a deadline and a chance to push themselves to create a piece they wouldn't have otherwise written. Others like contests because they're in the middle of a much larger project and want to tackle something that feels easier to complete, so a contest provides a productive distraction.

There's also the rush that comes if you're the winner. Not to mention the bragging rights! You know that we love an excuse to celebrate!

But contests can cost money to enter. How do you know if it's a good investment of your time and funds? We've collected some articles to help you weigh the pros and cons.

Writers' Contests: Why Bother? That's the question Donna asked four of her contest-entering, award-winning author friends. Find out what motivates these writers to enter and how to be strategic in your choice of which contests to enter.

Six Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Enter a Writer's Contest from Writer's Relief delivers exactly what the title promises!

The Pros and Cons of Entering Writing Contests from Write It Sideways also shares tips to consider before you plunk down $5 to $50 for a chance to compete.

~ New this week ~

On our YouTube channel

Not a new one but if you're interested in contests, this conversation between Gregory Brown and Donna will be one to watch. Greg shares his thoughts on writing short and the value of contests. He says, writing compelling short fiction is a process of "paying attention to what feelsmost urgent, moment-to-moment...and cutting away what's not going to lead the reader into the next, most urgent thing."

In our free Resource Room

Before you send your pages to a contest, put it under a "judge's" microscope with this handy dandy list of questions and story areas that you can expect your story to be evaluated on. Download Host Your Own Writer's Contest from our Resource Room then ask some trusted readers to read your entry with an eye to the questions.

~ For Creative Academy Members ~

New in our Members' Only community

In Eileen's Happy Hours they talked about how to keep up with your writing when your life is in chaos, sharing tips to stay on top of your projects. From that discussion, they looked at how characters respond to change and chaos in their lives.

In Crystal's first Strategy Session this past week they took a deep dive into Goodreads author accounts and how to use them, Listopia Lists and how to use them to engage with readers and how you can get AMS Keywords from them, data scraping using ParseHub, getting keywords and comparables from Yasiv.com, and the 30 day blog challenge many of our members particpating in.

In Crystal's second Strategy Session, they took a deep dive into ProWriting Aid. What it is, how to use it, how to integrate it with Scrivener and more. They also explored the wonderful world of I Write Like, a free web tool that tells you which one of 50 famous writers you write like!

Office hours, writing sprints and special topic gatherings

We have a special event on Tuesday at noon (Pacific)! A special Q+A with author James Finn who uses Medium.com to share his fiction before he publishes. Join us to learn how and why he does this. Bring your questions! Check the calendar in Glip for a link to Jim's Medium profile to check out his stories.

Not a Creative Academy member yet? Learn all you need to know to become a member here.

~ Creative Advice Prompt ~

Contests are a chance to challenge your own skills as compared to others. What type of contest would your character like to enter, and if they did, do you think they would win? Why or why not?

Eileen, Crystal and Donna