Tag Archives: Cotests

IWSG 51 Avoid Yah-Ha vs Nah-Ha

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



Erika Beebe | Sandra Hoover | Susan Gourley , | Lee Lowery

IWSG Question: 

What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

I remember being very excited about my writing adventure when I put my first effort together. I hadn’t read any books except Stephen King’s On Writing. It was more of an experiment than a sure-fire novella on its way to publication.

I offered it up for evaluation at Zoetrope. I was excited to find such a site and when I went hunting around for the site today, it still had me on file. Too funny.

What to avoid?

Make sure you have a story with both a protagonist and an antagonist. I swear I was writing a fairy tale (scifi — note the ship — this time too) with a happy group of aliens traipsing through space all chasing a long-lost treasure.

Feedback was kind but clear. The story needed a bad guy. NO CONFLICT; NO TENSION.

Avoid Yah-Ha vs Nah-Ha

I got confused and figured conflict resembled the is-so vs is-not kind of interaction. Well that gets old and repetitive after two rounds. Listen to a couple of kids stuck in the backseat during a road trip and you’ll see what I mean. It’s not any better in a story. Things spiral using that approach

Avoid thinking writing is a lonely business

I found Zoetrope first and then Scribophile & the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The writing community is huge and ranged from newbies to masters. Join a writing group, face-to-face or online. It doesn’t matter. That’s where the support is.

You might even feel like the odds aren’t against you anymore.

Avoid thinking all contests cost money

There are free ones out there. I am particularly fond of the Writes of the Future. First story was a bust but my second got an honorable mention. It spurred me on and didn’t cost a cent.

Last tip

Some contest have fees, but are still reputable. If you like to write horror and feel like trying your hand at a screen play, Zoetrope might be for you.

Francis Ford Coppola is the finalists judge. There is an entry fee for both the screenwriter’s contest and the short story contest (the fees are new) ranging from 30-50 depending where your work falls.

The deadline is coming up, so I’d plan for 2019 if you’re interested.

I’m off to read some posts. Thanks for dropping by. If you have comments on recommended contests or sites for writers be sure to include them in your comments. I’d love to read about both.