Head Spinning…not just for possessed people….

I’ve LOVED the discussion on contests this week.

One of the very first contests I entered I finaled. Then hit a mega drought for months on end. Then another final. Then a place. Then a win. . . then nothing.

Head spin commencing….

With three judges–>  two loving a story and one thinking I had the talent of a rock.

More head spinning….


Really why did I put myself through that. Wait, why DO I put myself through that? Yeah, present tense. Just because I’m soon to be published and have supposedly moved from being a writer to an author, contests are still around.

Cover contests.

Published book contests.

And so on….

Having said all this…I would still highly recommend entering contests to a pre-published author.

Yep! Even despite the head-spinning tendencies.

Why torture–er–put yourself through that? A couple reasons.

1.  You learn TONS. About the industry. About yourself. About your writing.

2.  You make connections.  You get your work in front of editors and agents you might otherwise not have a chance to.

3.  You learn TONS–> Oh, did I say that already? Yeah, it’s worth saying again. I learned so much from feedback from contests. Sure, not every single bit was applicable. Some of it stung. But boy, did I get thick skin!  Because even after you land that agent, that publishing contract….you’re still going to get critiqued–and sometimes very harshly. You’re going to need the thick skin.

So…are you all hyped up to enter your next contest?

Happy Friday, my friends.

Your Friday Fox,

Lynn Rush


About Lynn Rush

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author, chocolate addict & ultra runner. Agent: Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency
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8 Responses to Head Spinning…not just for possessed people….

  1. Thick skin was definitely something I earned when I entered the ones I did. I never finaled- and it was because I always had the one judge that hated my work and scored it low. The contests I entered didn’t have the throw out the odd score rule- but I did get a thick skin!


  2. Micki Gibson says:

    Even with the head-spinning comments, you’re right. I did learn a ton from my contests. And here’s the brutal honest truth…somehow those contest judges, who didn’t know squat about me or my manuscript, got it through my thick skull what some members in my critique group had been trying to tell me all along. (I’d brushed it off by thinking, “Oh, well that person just doesn’t like YA.”) It carried more weight when it came from someone who was published in my genre…and they said it a lot nicer. So yes, I will continue to enter contests, but only the ones I carefully select. Great post, Lynn!


  3. danicaavet says:

    Great point about developing a thick skin, Lynn. That’s one thing you need as a writer and contests will help you with that, LOL


  4. jeff7salter says:

    Thick skin? Some of those judge’s comments have cut all the way to the bone!
    LOL. Well, anyway, Lynn, you’re one of the very few who have finaled and won contests, so (as I mentioned yesterday) I can imagine that giving a diff. POV. And if I suddenly finaled or won, I’d feel the same.
    But, yes, the head does spin.
    The good thing — whether we’ve hit or missed in contests — is that our WRITING has continued. And, as you say, usually for the better. It’s all part of the growth of our craft … and that thick skin.


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