Tips on Winning Short Story Contests by 5 Experts

I am not a short story writer--I've written two, hardest writing I've ever done. I wrote them for anthologies and they were published, but it wasn't something I enjoyed doing.

At this months Sisters in Crime, there was panel of experts who told about writing short stories. All five have won prizes with their stories, some have won many prizes and gone on to have their stories published.

JoAnne Lucas talked about writing a short mystery and said it should have a crime or the intent of committing a crime. She also added that it must have dialogue.

Mary Redmond won a prize for the first story she ever wrote--in fact it was her first try at fiction. She sadi to let your mind wander and let the story com.

Kate Anderson said in order to win a short story contest you must follow the rules of the contest. Use basic formatting. You should have a great opening line. Researching can give you the idea for a story.

JoAnne said to keep track of your submissions, where you sent them etc.She also said to keep track of all your expenses and anything you make on a story.

Submit your stories to different places. She said she had one story published seven times. She also keeps a file of faces to help her imagine her characters.

Carrie Padgett said there is life for a story after winning a contest with it. She compiled all her stories and created a book which she is now selling on Amazon and for Kindle.

Cora Ramos sold a short story to a German publisher and still receives royalties. She, JoAnne and Sunny Frazier combined the stories they'd written with the Central Valley as a setting, and it was published.

Her advice is the story must be important that will grab a reader. Write about something that's important to you or you've researched.

She also said Sunny Frazier researches who the judges of a contest are and what kind of stories they like.

They all agreed that you must make sure you follow the rules of any contest that you enter.


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