A Simple Contest with a Strong Message: Wake Up Your Writing Spirit


The Blogfest 2005 Writing Contest has only been running for two weeks and already the results are overwhelming. And not because we're getting far more entries than we expected. It's because along with entries, we're also getting heartfelt messages from writers all over the world. I've run a few contests before and received quite a few entries, but I've never been personally emailed and thanked by so many writers.

What's the difference with this contest? I think the main reason is that the idea actually came from writers. Even though the writers at our company work in publishing, they find it a little sad that there's so much focus on writing what can sell instead of writing what truly matters to you. They wanted a contest that would allow people to write whatever they wanted to write.

From that idea came Blogfest, a contest designed to encourage all writers to get the project of their dreams done. Unlike most contests, we decided not to offer publication and not to pay the prize for a completed work. Instead, we decided to offer the prizes based on how much the writing project means to the writer. This is one contest that isn't about whether or not your work can sell or about what your writing will mean to someone else. It's about what it means to you.

To enter, we asked writers to tell us about the one thing they've always wanted to write and to tell us what it would mean to them to write it. Now, after only two weeks, we have an inbox full of emails from people. Entries so far have included grandparents wanting to write their life story for their grandchildren, aspiring novelists, professional writers looking for the chance to write something for themselves and not for money, and a young woman wanting to capture and preserve her mother's family recipes.

These people have entered and then sent us an extra email just to thank us for the opportunity. They've told us how just writing about the project has made them so excited and full of joy. They have enthusiasm and feel delight just for thinking about finally writing. And we've started reading the entries and the joy is there too. As a publisher, I'm used to reading submissions and contest entries. It's often a joy but there's rarely as much life as there is in these submissions. Reading them, I can feel that people have that spark of excitement that is only motivated by something much greater than money or even publication. It's the joy of doing what your heart's always wanted to do.

There is more to writing than publication and money and this competition is bringing out the real spirit of writing.

My message to all writers is to think about what matters to them. Think about that one thing you've always dreamed of writing. I challenge you to write down what completing that project would mean to you. If you feel that spark, I challenge you to commit to your project and get it written. Not because you can make money from it, but because it means something to you.

This contest has made me see more clearly than ever that there is far more to writing than making money. There will only be a few winners to Blogfest, and choosing them is going to be the toughest job we do all year. But I hope this idea can reach further than that. I hope all writers will listen to their hearts and complete their projects. I hope that just thinking about actually doing it will wake up that writing spirit that is in so many people.

Shelley Wake is one of the organizers of Blogfest 2005 and the manager and editor of Writing Stuff - the site that offers everything a freelance writer needs to succeed.http://www.writingstuff.com


MORE RESOURCES:
RELATED ARTICLES
Writing About Writing
What am I going to write about?Which topic is the best?Who is going to be interested in my article? You can ask yourself endless questions on 'what' is going to be the subject of your article.  Don't despair! This is not a problem .
Write Again! - The Art Of The Written Letter
Remember the days when we wrote with pen and paper? We took time and thought into each note written. There wasn't email, text messaging, cell phones, or instant messaging.
Writing for the Internet -- How To Give the Readers What They Want
In this article you will find tips on: How to intrigue your readers from the very start-the most important part of your piece isn't the content, Once they're hooked-reel them in, How to keep them reading through the entire piece instead of scanning for information, Break it up!-How to keep their attention span from reaching its limits, and How to keep your readers from becoming distracted while reading your well crafted articles.IntroductionIf you're new at writing on the Super Information Highway you may be stumped as to what readers want.
Novel to Screenplay: The Challenges of Adaptation
ADAPTATION 101Brimming with confidence, you've just signed the check purchasing the rights to adapt John Doe's fabulous, but little known novel, Lawrence of Monrovia, to screenplay form. Suddenly, panic sets in.
Dreading the Writing Assignment? Outlines to the Rescue
Writing technical articles is a challenge. There you sit, surrounded by reams of research, notes and interviews.
7 Steps to Successful Publishing
The decision to publish a book is very exciting! It causes the creative juices to flow and the eyes to light up. But wait - before you begin the publishing process, know about the seven most important steps you need to know before publishing your book.
5 Easy Steps To Writing Your Appealing Letter
You must write a hypnotic persuasion letter to help you achieve all your goals! Get the boss to give your a raise, induce that beautiful blue-eyed girl to be your lover and persuade your mother to buy a BMW Z3 for you this summer.Give me twenty minutes and I'll teach you step-by-step my secret writing your own success system.
A Series of Articles on Autobiography
ESSAYS ON AUTOBIOGRAPHY: NUMBER 1Preamble:Nearly seven years ago I wrote my first essay on the nature of autobiography. It was some two years after completing my initial draft, the first edition of my own autobiography.
The Best Freelance Job Boards for Writers
How many times have you checked out a job board to that either it no longer exists or that there is one or two jobs listed. Out of the hundreds of job boards on the Web today, how do you find those containing projects that you are interested in and qualified for.
8 Tips to Get Publishers to Notice You
If your articles aren't getting published very often, or you just want to increase the chances of them being published, then you will benefit from the tips in this article.1.
Freelance Writing: A Career From Anywhere
An island in the Mediterranean. A beach in Africa.
A Mode of Transportation
Great writing transports one vicariously to realms that the reader would not otherwise experience.One of these areas is physical: ancient, modern, or futuristic.
Pairs/Groups Of Words Often Confused - Part 6 of 6
SALE, SAIL Sale is either offering something for purchase ("for sale")or offering it at a special price ("on sale"); sail is partof a ship or boat.SELL, CELLSell is to exchange for money; cell is a small room.
How To Break Into Print Publishing
The big question. Do you submit directly to the publishers, or doyou find an agent who will do that for you? Based on anecdotalevidence I've heard, it can work either way.
The Dreaded Daily Word Count
Open any book on 'how to write,' and somewhere you will find a discussion of how many words you should write every day. Forget the struggle to get ourselves to the paper or the computer every day, now we have to produce a certain number of words?Me? I don't write every day (Quick! Call the Writer Police!), I don't do 2000 words, and you don't have to either.
7 Weapons to Conquer the Giant Procrastination Keeping You from Your Book Dream
Have you been guilty of procrastinating on your book project,lately? Like the author, many writers get hung up with wrongthinking about writing and completing their books. They feel like aloser because they have stopped and started countless of times overthe years.
Create the Writing Life You Want
Ah, writing. For those of us who love to play with words, it's like standing in front of a smorgasbord, agonising over which delicacies to try.
Vary Your Writing Style and Win Readers
First drafts are for getting down the ideas. Anna Jacobs calls the first draft the 'dirty draft'.
10 Tips on How to Cultivate Relationships with Editors
If you are an aspiring writer, or you simply want to augment your professional qualifications by publishing material related to your field of expertise, listen up. Here are a few tips that will help ingratiate you in the hearts and minds of editors.
The Daily Rite
If you want to be a writer, then you must write - you must write something every day.If possible, have an established time to write every day.

Home | Articles Site Map