Dangers of writing contests

I once read where people submitting their story to writing contests closer to the deadline had a better chance of winning. I don’t know if it is true, but I always put off until the near last minute.

But there is a danger to waiting.

I wrote a story that I was going to enter in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) unpublished contest. The writing was easy enough, as was the editing and punctuation checking. In case of course, it was easy because I did not catch all the mistakes. Writers tend to have a blind eye. We can’t see the comma through the period.

The main thing, however, in entering a contest is not the writing, but following all the directions. A self addressed stamped envelope (2 stamps) to receive two critiques whether you win or lose. And make sure you place the category number on the outside of the main envelope to the contest address.

There are requirements that must be stringently adhered too like double spacing, the margins, the font, what needs to be in the upper left corner of every page, namely the title, the category, the page number.

It is fun if you are obsessive compulsion going over everything a dozen or so times. Every day. But even after everything seems set, the unexpected happens. I have a computer that must be mad at the printer, for even though they came out of the same box from the same  manufacturer they frequently have trouble talking with each other.

When I click print-and this happens often-it says printer error. I try to delete in the queue, and though it says deleting, it will stay that way for eternity and never delete and that can prevent me from printing anything in the future. Sometimes turning off computer and starting it later it will automatically print. That is the usual modus operandi.

Not this time. Day after day nothing happened. Finally five days from deadline I did a troubleshoot. I have tried this in the past without any solution as troubleshoot and computer do not speak with each other either. But this time they were on friendly terms and my entry form printed.


As I write this it is three days to deadline. The only thing left to do is one final check of the story, once again checking grammar, punctuation, and those fun things. Today it will be submitted online. Although I could do it tomorrow. I still have one day, unless of course my computer fails to talk with me tomorrow.

I better get to work. Tomorrow is to late.

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt   

I have two collections of twilight zone, paranormal, bump in the night stories you may enjoy. The e-books are found here.

Or you can read something about them as well as a review or two by clicking on the title at top of blog.

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