How Winning a Writing Contest Can Improve a Writer’s Self-Esteem

Wonderful news, folks! You are officially reading the blog of the winner of Honorable Mention in the 2011 Writer’s Digest Young Adult Fiction Competition!* According to their congratulatory email, “competition was fierce,” so I’m super proud! While first and second place comes with fame (publication of their entry in Writer’s Digest) and fortune (they won some prize money), honorable mention certainly isn’t a shabby win!

Benefits from Winning Honorable Mention:

  1. One free copy of the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market
  2. Mentions/Promotion in the May/June 2012 issue of Writer’s Digest and on
  3. Bragging rights in future cover letters
  4. Bragging rights in future query letters
  5. Total rejuvenation and inspiration to jump back into my NaNoWriMo novel

You see, the short YA story I submitted to the contest was an excerpt of my NaNoWriMo novel, Waterlogged.  I had already written the first three chapters of the novel for my senior undergraduate creative writing seminar last spring and decided to finish the rest of the book during November. It was the best writing I had on hand when the deadline for this contest rolled around so I also decided to submit an excerpt of that already revised/edited/reviewed beginning. And it won! This recognition makes me feel like the entire month of November wasn’t wasted, like my novel has some real potential and merit, and now I am pumped to start the year-long process of rewriting the entire hot mess that is my 56,000-word novel! And I’m even more pumped to have the polished manuscript ready for literary agent submissions so that I can insert this mention-worthy award in the query letter. I already feel like this book has a statistically-better chance of getting an agent!

New Year’s Resolution: Finish the entire manuscript and query it at least once before New Year’s 2012. Everybody hold me to this goal!

*Please excuse me while I jump about in unadulterated joy and excitement.


Published by hannahkarena

author & book publishing person.

13 thoughts on “How Winning a Writing Contest Can Improve a Writer’s Self-Esteem

    1. Thank you! Stay in touch! I’d love to have a reader look at my final draft . . . whenever that final draft comes into existence, that is.


  1. Oh that is so cool! Well done you. I too entered (my very first) contest just before Xmas using an excerpt from my almost conpleted 1st novel. So am now a nervous wreck waiting for the results- hopes are not high but reading this was a huge boast. I am also on the other side of the world New Zealand so feel very far away from it all. Good luck with getting your novel published I will keep an eye out.


    1. Thanks Fiona! I’ll cross my fingers for you and your submission! Come over and celebrate when you hear back :]


    1. Thank you! I got the email on New Year’s Day, so it felt like a promising start :] I’m already very fond of 2012


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