by Isabella Macioce
Nothing can be said by any author that dismisses the fact that writing is hard. The action of writing takes energy, time and inspiration, all of which are hard to come by. Then comes actually swallowing your nerves and sitting down to write. No matter how dedicated to writing someone might be, the hardest part of writing is just starting.
Often in my experience this is due to a lack of motivation. Sure, you enjoy writing, and sure this story deserves to be written, but how are you going to get around to it? There is no teacher demanding a final copy, no deadline forcing you to hurry up. So, in the end, it requires an enormous amount of willpower to stop procrastinating and actually start. As a young aspiring author, I can tell you that this process is especially difficult for young adults. We have stories to tell, but we don’t have the final push that forces us into action.
However, fear not young writers of America, because there is a cure for this disease known as writer’s block. Often that push is all we need to get going, and the rest is positively easy. This push can come in the form of a contest. Lots of young writers have never even considered entering their writing in contests. Perhaps that is because they don’t think they could win. But here is the secret. It doesn’t matter. Whether you win or not it has cured your writer’s block. Writing contests have deadlines, guidelines, and in some cases prompts. That is what will light the spark. Writing under a deadline forces sitting down and actually writing. Guidelines and prompts give you a general direction and spark ideas left and right. Entering into a contest makes you write, which is the very cure for no motivation.
The next step is, what writing contest should you enter? There are millions of contests online, ranging from contests for elementary school to professional writing contests. Lots of these are scams, making you pay for awards or entry fees with no chance of winning. It is hard to write, but not hard to fall into a scammers writing trap. To make things easier, down below are are two reliable and promising writing contests for teens and up.
Cricket Magazine is a magazine that accept kids and teens submission for publication. You can enter anything from poetry to short stories, and have the opportunity to get it published in a monthly magazine. Cricket is slightly veered to a younger audience (8-12), and if you are interested in entering work that is a bit more mature, they have a teen magazine by the name of Cicada (which can be found on the Cricket website).
Here is the link to the Cricket Submission Guidelines page:
Another great writing contest is Poetic Power. Poetic Power is a website where students can enter poems/short essays for a contest in which the top forty five percent are selected to be published in a short poetry book, and the top ten winners receive a 25 dollar reward and a free copy of the book they are published in. Its a website structured for students in their homes, or at their schools, as the top ten winners earn free classroom supplies for their teacher.
Here is the link for the poetic power website.
There are several other incredible online writing contests out there, but the two above are two of the most reliable and structured ones. If you are interested, please click the links and check it out. Also browse the web for more (make sure they are reliable) writing contests. All you need is a small push to get you going.