** This post taken from the Scugog Council for the Arts.
Susan Swan, a Toronto novelist is an amazing speaker. She has been a published author and creative writing teacher for over 30 years. She has published novels in 15 different countries and has had her novels translated into eight different languages. A few of her novels have been made into motion pictures (shown in 32 countries) and they have also won many literary awards. She is a graduate of McGill University and has taught at University of Toronto, York University, Guelph University and Humber College.
Remember Resolution #8?
8.) Write more short stories (not just novels) and submit them to contests. You can’t win if you don’t enter the contest. You need a publication resume. Apparently. This is the perfect way to accomplish that task. ~ Lori Twining
To see all my 10 Writing Resolutions For This Year, go HERE.
Conquering Resolution #8
In order to write more short stories, I decided I needed to learn how to write them properly. If I'm going to enter these short story writing contests, I want to win. I don't want to be throwing my money out the window (yes, most contests have a fee, so hopefully, you have another job, besides being a writer, so you can pay your entry fee).
How do I go about winning a writing contest?
Obviously, I should seek advice from the best: Ruth E. Walker and Dorothea Helms (a.k.a. The Writing Fairy). These two amazing ladies created the "Write To Win Workshop". So, I drove through a heavy Grey-Bruce County snowstorm on Saturday, all the way to Trent University in Oshawa, for a five-hour workshop, that offered many tips and secrets on how to write contest-winning fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
Was it worth my time?
You betcha! I learned quite a few things. Lots of secret things. Things I'm not willing to share with you, because, quite honestly, why should I? Remember, I want to win the contest, so if I told you everything that these two ladies told me, then, I would have too much competition. Can't have that now, can we? Because I want to win.
Although, I will share a few reasons why you should take the workshop too.
Top 10 Reasons To Take the "Write To Win Workshop":
Remember, you can't win the contest, unless you submit your work.
Here is a list of writing contests happening between now and the end of 2014. Pick one to submit to... or be brave and submit to ALL of the contests listed below.
Twitter... unless you live in a remote area of the World, you probably know what Twitter is, right?
Basically, it's a small post or status update told in 140 characters or less, called a #Tweet. You can add pictures and videos to the message, if you like.
Twitter uses #Hashtags to make it easier for people to follow the the topics that they are most interested in, such as #writing...people who like to write, will check on this hashtag to see what other people are writing.
In 2009, an intelligent woman by the name of Johanna Harness started the hashtag #amwriting. I love this particular hashtag, because, a writer can always find someone else online, no matter what time of the day, no matter where you are in the World, and you can communicate with them. If you're having writer's block, jump on board and talk with someone else who either just experienced the same thing, or is struggling with it right beside you (virtually, of course).
At first when I joined Twitter, I must admit it was extremely overwhelming for me. Sure, I knew how to communicate with other social media sites, like Facebook, Pinterest, Blogging, etc., but Twitter was different. So many people collecting followers like they were playing a video game. I did sit back and watch for a while. I became friends with a few people that I actually knew already (my kids and a few friends) and watched what they had to say. Truthfully, most of them were using it as a chat line to talk to friends in the same room as them, at the same party, or in the same town. I wasn't interested in that. I wanted to meet other writers and authors. Why? Because, I like to call myself a writer, even though, I have a real paying job that I go to Monday to Friday 8-5 and sometimes, even longer than that. I have three busy kids who play sports everywhere and often. Enough said about that.
So, obviously, I didn't feel I had enough time to dabble in social media I knew nothing about, right?
Wrong. As a writer, this is the place to be. I strongly urge you to join Twitter and become a Tweeter.
Here are 10 Reasons Why Writers Should Be on Twitter:
I love reading everything... books, magazines, blog posts and even manuals. I believe if you want to improve your writing skills, you MUST be a voracious reader.