Why you should prefer writing contests to anthology submissions

“Hi, would you like to join us in our UPCOMING ANTHOLOGY.”

How many times in a week do you receive such messages from unknown profiles in your Social media messages who sometimes even spell the word ‘anthology’ incorrectly?

Well, they claim to have read you and loved your writing; but have you ever read theirs? Do you know how many random people they have reached out to who may spell ‘loser’ as ‘looser’ and who may have agreed to be published into this stranger’s anthology? Is that really the place for your story?

If your answer to the three questions above was a ‘NO’, read on!


If you are not just a self-perceived writer, you will know the benefits of selecting to publish your stories for publications by means of a contest than plain anthology submissions.

Participating in a contest firstly present to you the challenges of finishing your write-up within the constraints of the contest guidelines and submission deadline. Secondly, if you win the contest, your story gets published amongst other ‘good’ writers which is like a win in itself.

Next, you increase your visibility in the literary world with the number of times you win the contests. Most importantly, the next time you are puzzled about what gifts to buy for your loved ones… You can gift them your own books!

Submitting your work to poetry competitions and writing contests is absolutely worthwhile as an aspiring author: a writing portfolio that boasts published works and award-winning pieces is a great way to give your writing career a push in the right direction.

The fear of rejection will always prevail. Yet, any writer aspiring to become a published author needs to develop thick skin. You can have 1 good story of yours published ‘easily’ into an anthology curated by every second person these days alongside too many rotten apples; or choose to participate in literary contests and endure the apprehensions that come along with it but get published in a book alongside writers that you can learn from.


Use the writing contests that you don’t win as an opportunity to get yourself feedback. Check out the winning stories and highlight their strong suits: do they have more concrete characters, a knack for show-don’t-tell, a well-developed plot? Or did you just submit your story but missed out on some participation guideline?

The more time you spend on learning from your own mistakes, the better experiences you gain as a writer. Another benefit of reading winning stories is that with time you also learn to create your own version of the story – Maybe I would have written it with a twist here or there!

Each time you win a contest, you are not just building up your readership but also a connect with various editors. So make sure to follow those contest guidelines to the T. Read the guidelines and also proofread your own story before your submit. Some lenient publishers may edit and pardon your mistakes, most won’t.

You know where to head now.

Don’t stop trying if your story didn’t make it amongst the winning entries. Remember, your editors can remember how many times you have tried. They notice your perseverance every time your story-writing skills improve. Make sure they do!

Happy WriteFluencing!

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1 reply

  1. Rightly said…
    I would love to participate in your contests…
    Do let me know more about your upcoming contests and rules for participation.

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