If you’re like me, you believe that fiction – more precisely, the story – is one of the most powerful forces on earth. And if we don’t use that power to try to make the world a better place, we are wasting a gift.
We love to deride them. The Stephanie Meyers-es and Dean Koontz-es of the world, who, despite lacking unique voices, characters, and descriptions, not to mention decent editing, are rolling in big piles of cash while the rest of us—real writers—are still flipping burgers at the Happy Clown. Indignant, we make fun of poorly-worded sentences, point out every typo with visceral satisfaction, and mock-gag at cheesy dialogue. It is the sheer magnitude of their success that makes them at once a mystery and an easy target.
Want some juicy publishing credits to beef up your query letter when find-an-agent time comes around? How about getting some short stories published? Here’s how.
Check with your school, college, or local library first to see if it offers any writing competitions. You can look up other competitions online, though these usually have entry fees. Writer’s Digest is a trusted source, and lists several competitions here.