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Synopsis - How To Enter Writing Competitions – and Win! 


Introduction and Course Content

Module 1 – The lure of competitions

Why compete? – cash and other rewards – getting feedback.


Module 2 – Hunting down a likely target

How to find competitions: magazines, ezines, books and other sources – deciding which to target – anthologies.


Module 3 – Boosting your chances of success

The importance of sticking to the rules – avoiding the last minute rush – entering the right type of material – avoiding the obvious – making sure your material is fresh – the need for perfect presentation.

Module 4 – Vital dos and don’ts

Don’ts: submit the same story year after year; send work that has already been published; plagiarise other’s work. Dos: give yourself plenty of time; check your work carefully; keep records of what you send.

Assignment 1

Module 5 – Inside the mind of a judge

What judges look for – what turns them off – taboos – the pros and cons of researching a judge’s background.

Module 6 - How a competition is organised

Do your sums first – advertising – organisation – before the launch – selecting a judge – administration – after the closing date.

Assignment 2

Module 7 – The world of short story competitions

What turns a judge’s head – make sure your story has a plot – what judges hate – the judging process – plagiarism (a cautionary tale).

Module 8 – The world of poetry competitions

The poetry scene – pre-planning your entry – picking a subject – rhyme – images – vocabulary – metre – grammar – essential revision – reading your entry aloud – be original and daring.

Module 9 – The world of article writing competitions

The personal story – the factual article – the argumentative essay – the opinion piece – what the judge will be looking for – top tips for success.

Assignment 3

Module 10 – Competing in the Internet age

The opportunities provided versus scams to be avoided.

Module 11 – Anthologies

Genuine anthologies versus money-making scams – how to avoid the perils and the pitfalls.

Module 12 – The magic touch

Examples of winning stories, poems and articles

Assignment 4

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