For writers who want to get sincere feedback on their pages, contests are one option to hear from judges who won’t have any inhibitions about criticizing a friend’s work. In addition to any critique, finaling—and especially winning—a big contest can bring the attention of agents and editors, not to mention fame and fortune, to the author.
Three years ago, our own Jeanne Estridge won the Golden Heart, a contest for unpublished romance authors. It’s a big deal, with more than 1,500 entries. We were all there to whoop it up when her name was announced. (She’s finaled again this year, and we have our fingers crossed.)
However, not everyone is a romance writer, and not every romance writer can always get 50 pages polished in time for the Golden Heart. But don’t worry! For the rest of us, there’s the Golden Donut.
The Golden Donut is a short (very short) story concert sponsored by the Writers’ Police Academy and open to all writers. The rules are simple: write a story that uses the photograph posted here as the main subject of the story. The story must have exactly 200 words, including the title. Stories with even one word more or less will be disqualified. Each story must have a beginning, middle, and a twisted surprise ending.
Contestants can enter three stories, paying a separate $25 entry fee for each. The deadline is midnight (EST) July 1, 2018, so get your writing pants on. The contest winner receives the prestigious Golden Donut Award and a free registration to the 2019 Writers Police Academy, a $450 value. (I was also hoping for a gift certificate to the local Krispy Kreme emporium, but I seem doomed to disappointment on that score.)
I’m planning to work something up for this, because, hey—200 words seems a lot easier to come up with than 50 pages. I hope to see you there!