I’d say “writer’s tip o’ the week,” but I know myself too well.

The Tip: When dear, supportive, well-meaning friends and fellow writers tell you that you must enter this or that contest, you must because your book is so perfect and sure to win: Don’t. Especially if there’s a fee involved.

(And I have nothing against fair and reasonable fees, as long as they’re returned in the form of winnings and allow the contest to take place.)

But remember Hugh Howey’s advice in the previous post? Adjusting the order of the three sentences, it was this:  I didn’t waste time promoting my works until they were already selling. I kept writing. This was the best thing I ever did.

837127_question_markEntering contests falls into the promoting category. Many writers will enter. The more prestigious the contest, the more entries. You don’t know the agenda of the contest-runners. You don’t know the tastes of the judges. Unless you have a fortune to tap into for these fees, save your money and avoid the worry.

Keep writing instead.  After all, if you win, you’ll have to figure out a way to incorporate a badge or blurb onto your cover. What a pain!