Welcome to this week’s edition of Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal. This week I have the pleasure of introducing Joe Baldwin. To find out more about Joe, you can do so by reading his bio that follows this article.
Now, here’s Joe!
A Number of Behaviors That Will Bolster Your Chances of Bagging That Elusive Online Writing Contest Prize by Joe Baldwin
I get it. You had summoned all your might and finesse in furnishing the best draft you turned in on one of the critically acclaimed writing institutions today, but to no avail. You probably received a heart-wrenching email, thanking you for your valiant effort and saying “it’s not what we’re really looking for”.
While you cannot always ensure your triumph in online essay writing contests (i.e., having its prize pegged at some thousands of dollars with unlimited online exposure), you always have the power to at least make a good account of your written craft.
How do you help yourself to win it all?
Below is my personal take.
Before you pitch an idea or send your application, you need to familiarize yourself with the essentials (e.g., nature, niche, core values, and preferred style of writing) of the educational institution sponsoring the contest. By doing this, you are sparing yourself from trouble since you’ll have an idea of what content ‘best fits’.
Perusing through past winning pieces, knowing the degree of expectancy the founders have on vying submissions, and an honest assessment of your writing skills in relation to the engagement are some of the many ways to get informed.
Striking a balance between rhetoric and straightforward writing
Fancy writing, as evidenced by use of idioms, figures of speech, and other literary and compositional techniques, should be something that’s controlled. When excessive, it often leads to your readers getting dazed and confused as to what your main argument is, and diminishes your unique voice.
According to the University of Queensland, Australia,
“A straightforward style – neither informal and chatty, nor stuffy and pompous – is what to aim for. Use clear and unadorned English appropriate for your audience. Therefore, use the jargon of your discipline when it serves your purpose. Don’t, however, build a smokescreen of impressive sounding phrases to mask what it is you are saying.”
Owing to the humongous number of submissions that international writing contests receive on its onset, you need to have a strong, impressive start – to make an imprint. A good mix of indirect and straightforward writing is always ideal (not withstanding those that specifically call for an absolute writing style).
Sticking with the fundamentals
A horde of submissions are intrinsically convincing, but failed either in following specific contest guidelines or some perceived basics in online writing contests. Some of those nitty-gritties are the following:
- Voice consistency (active voice tend to be more impacting)
- Hook your audience with your mind-boggling pair of introductory sentences.
- Do not write and revise in one sitting. Ample time for rest gives you fresh perspectives to go about the topic.
- Utilize the first-mover advantage (i.e., exhaustively discuss an unexploited topic).
- Mind the small things. A misspelled word or a misplaced comma might cost you the 1st prize when the competition goes down to the wire.
- Proofreading works best if you subject your draft under the scrutiny of your qualified comrades.
To wrap it up, the inconceivable dream of bagging a major writing contest’s grand prize is not too impossible. The inevitable presences of more decorated, branded writers always cast doubts in the minds of the young, passionate ones like you; but never succumb to fear of failure. Nevertheless, substance will always prevail over form.
Joe Baldwin is a native US resident & professional Article writer for https://essaylook.com. He studied English literature and creative writing. He has experience with online web content including blogs, web page content, news, public relations, press releases, and long form sales and industrial presentations.
* Thank you, Joe for your insight on this topic and for being a fantastic guest blogger. I hope you all enjoyed what you’ve read and have gained more encouragement for your writing futures.
Until next time!
~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!