Entering Writing Competitions: 5 Emotional Stages & GIFS #ASMSG #SocialSaturday

Entering writing competitions are an experience. If you haven’t entered one you haven’t lived.

Here are the 5 emotional stages with entering a writing competition:


1. Excitement – you spot the advert for the writing competition in a writing magazine. Apparently they are looking for ‘new and fresh writing talent.’

In your head you convince yourself that this is your time; you are new to the writing scene (give or take a couple of years) and you are most definitely fresh – at 43 years of age.

Your heart skips a beat and you get a fluttery feeling in your chest when you think about the competition. They don’t want much – only a 2,500 word short story.

After a lot of head scratching, a few tears in the kitchen and a block of cheese you slope off into your writing corner.

2. Realisation – a few hours laterin your writing corner, after a lot of huffing and puffing, you give birth to a literary masterpiece.

You feel euphoric as you emerge breathless, flushed and clutching your neatly printed writing competition entry.

As you eat a light meal you stare longingly at your entry and congratulate yourself on producing something so special.

It is then you realise YOU are the ‘new and fresh writing talent,’ that the competition judges are looking for.

3. Reflection– After submitting your entry you enter a period of intense reflection. This is where you spend most of your time thinking about your entry, the good bits, the alright bits and the small mistakes in it, you hope the judges will just skip over. You start to daydream about winning the competition.

You become distant with loved ones and that faraway dreamy look in your eyes causes some loved ones to worry. You explain all about the magazine competition and how they are searching for ‘new and fresh writing talent.

Your loved ones keep nodding and say “so, what does this have to do with you?” After getting a bit flustered you remind them that you do actually write stuff and you could very well win this writing magazine competition, given the quality of your latest online short stories. They ask you whether it will change your life. After assuming a faraway dreamy look you say quietly, “maybe,” and they gasp.

4. Disappointment – It is the day that the competition winner is announced and you still haven’t heard anything. Your voicemail is empty, your email in box has nothing interesting in it and there have been no letters for you. You tell yourself that you never really expected to win this competition, it was the word length that was the issue for you, if they had asked for something shorter in word length you would have nailed it. Whilst no one is looking you start to cry loudly on the sofa.

5. Acceptance – You read the winner’s story in the magazine and try your hardest to be gracious about the winning entry.

Obviously muttering under your breath “my story was so much better,” and penning your next blog post titled ‘Living with the knowledge that I am new and fresh writing talent.

Have a great day!

Posted by

I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

42 thoughts on “Entering Writing Competitions: 5 Emotional Stages & GIFS #ASMSG #SocialSaturday

  1. I love the bit about starting to daydream that you’re the winner! I just spotted some new competitions coming up and have written down all the due dates in my diary, but then, half the time the due date rolls around and I don’t have a manuscript ready to submit!

  2. This sounded like me when I entered a contest years ago, I was certain I would win or at least be recognized. Well, I didn’t hear back, and I reread my entry many years later, where I’ve improved as a writer, and now know why I didn’t win! Hate to admit it.

  3. I am currently in stage 3 of this with a piece I entered a few months back — and I have to wait until July to hear back! My fingernails will be bitten down to stubs by then, I’m sure.

    And I don’t know why I still go through all of these phases every time I enter a contest. Someone might think that I would have learnt something by now You nail it yet again!

  5. I’ve never been brave enough to enter a writing competition. This sounds like such a roller-coaster of emotion that I think that may have been a wise choice… Of course, I think I’d probably faint if I did win. I’d need some serious chocolate resuscitation.

  6. I hate to admit that I’ve given up on competitions, having been shortlisted a few times but never having produced a winner. There is a particular magazine (won’t name it here) where some of the winning short stories and poems are so banal that I could scream. Then I have to tell myself that they are spot-on for a particular market into which mine would never fit. My fault for writing strange stuff. …There, I’m trying to be gracious D:

      1. You recognise it from my description! But one good thing that magazine has done recently, is help me discover a new author with whom I’m totally in love. It’s a long time since I picked up the first in a trilogy and knew that I’d have to read all three back-to-back. The last time I felt like that was about 50 pages into “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”.
        Hugh Howie, I love you for reigniting my passion for reading. Blondeusk, if you haven’t read his dystopian novel “Wool” put it at the top of your list, and you won’t have to wait until pp 50 to find yourself gripped.

  7. Yep, I have been through this, and so sadly did not win…*sigh*
    I like the Reflection part: hoping judges will just skip over the untidy bits. 😉 Yes, you are new and fresh writing talent, gal–don’t let anyone say otherwise! Eat some cheese, and begin writing your next masterpiece. 🙂

      1. Hehehe, I shall win this round! *determined fist in the air*
        *people look at me strange; someone tells me to shut up* *I huff*

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