Friday, January 23, 2015

Winning Isn't Everything But It Sure Is Something

If Adele can do it, so can you!
During a discussion about the importance of entering writing contests last night at my *local writer's meeting, a dignified, silver-haired fellow named Lou spoke up.

In all earnestness (and with a telltale twinkle in his eye), Lou posed the following scenario: "I won a chicken sandwich gift card in the **Fla Inspirational Writers Retreat story contest last fall; can I now call myself an award-winning author?"

The vote was unanimous: Absolutely!

So why is it such a big deal? Who really cares if you have that little phrase after your name ... award-winning author?

You care. And yes, it is a big deal.

That powerful little phrase is not only an eye-opener, it's a door-opener. When people - especially prospective publishers looking at your new manuscript, and perusing readers considering whether to invest precious hours of their time in your book - see that three-word-proof of the excellent quality of your work, they'll be changed by it. They'll suddenly see the words you've written through a lens of respect and high expectations. Your work has become elevated in their perception to that of other award-winners: Dickens, Fitzgerald, Patterson.

But even more importantly, your own standard is raised. You begin perceiving yourself as a real writer, and tackle your next project with a new confidence. A new level of professionalism. And it shows. Editors will notice. Readers will notice. Your work will improve and keep on improving. The sky's the limit!

So keep writing. Keep submitting. Keep entering contests. A chicken sandwich gift card is only the beginning, my friend! Your next award might be silver and shiny with your name engraved on it.

*If you live in the Tampa area, we'd love to have you join us for our monthly Brandon Christian Writers group. We're about 25 of the friendliest, encouraging, chocolate-loving folks you'll ever meet. All experience levels and genres of inspirational writing are represented: fiction, non-fiction, adult, YA, children's writers, humor, fantasy, women's books, devotionals, self-help ... you name it. More info, meeting time and location here:

**If you'd like to try your hand at winning your very own chicken sandwich (Chick-fil-a, YUM!), seriously consider attending the Fla Inspirational Writer's Retreat this year on Oct 3 in Lithia, Fl (I'm co-director). It's very affordable but scholarships are available if that's an issue for you. More info here: