Participating in a writing contest can be an exciting opportunity for writers to showcase their work and potentially win recognition, prizes, or publication. However, submitting a manuscript to a writing contest requires adequate preparation and you need to doublecheck things paying attention to details. Here are some useful tips and guidelines on how to prepare your manuscript for a writing contest.
Before preparing your manuscript, carefully read and follow the guidelines provided by the writing contest. Guidelines may include formatting requirements, word limits, submission deadlines, and specific themes or genres. Ignoring or overlooking the guidelines can result in disqualification or rejection of your manuscript.
Once you have a draft of your manuscript before submission the work has to be edited and it has to be carefully proofread. If required send your work to a professional editor. It is often the basics such as spelling and grammar, which will let you down. Especially the newbies make a lot of mistakes here. They do not understand the importance of submitting error free work. It is always best to find someone else to read your manuscript because if you proofread your own work, you are bound to ignore the mistakes and may fail to notice your own errors as your mind will fill the gap.
Formatting your manuscript correctly can make a significant difference in its appearance and readability. Common formatting requirements for writing contests may include double-spacing, using a specific font and size, and including page numbers. Do not forget to follow the guidelines given by the contest to ensure that your manuscript looks professional.
Some free writing contests may require a cover letter or synopsis along with your manuscript. This gives you a chance to tell the judges about your work and also introduce yourself. This will certainly give a better context to the judges. Be sure to follow the guidelines for the cover letter or synopsis and keep it concise and professional.
If you have time before the submission deadline, consider having beta readers or joining a writing critique group. Writing critique groups can offer a supportive community and provide opportunities for peer review and constructive criticism.
It is important to polish your work before you submit it. The initial manuscript will be raw and it will not be ready for submission. Consider reading it aloud to catch any remaining errors or awkward phrasing. Remember that the quality of your manuscript can greatly impact your chances of success in the writing contest.
After making sure that your work is adhering to the guidelines and after making any necessary edits or revisions, it is time to submit your work. Follow the submission instructions carefully, including any required forms, payment, or contact information.
By following the guidelines, editing, and proofreading your work, formatting your manuscript correctly, writing a cover letter or synopsis, considering beta readers, or writing critique groups, polishing your manuscript, and submitting your work carefully, you can increase your chances of success in the writing contest.