Posted by: Viola | August 29, 2014

Contest submissions complete

The month of August is almost over. I am kind of relieved. It’s been a great and productive month for me but also very exhausting. This month, in addition to reading and writing almost daily, I filled out submissions to several writing contests. I submitted my work to one essay contest and five poetry contests–a total of six submissions. All of them were online, so it was not too complicated to make my online entries. All the same, it was a highly stressful experience. I despise competitions, in general. I had to force myself to take on the task. I hope it was worth it. I hope I win at least one prize, or perhaps make it into a shortlist. It’s been so stressful that I have developed some muscle strain in my neck and shoulders.

Two nights ago, fed up and exhausted, I went ahead and wrapped up my submissions as best I could. Some deadlines are in September and I still have time before then, but I couldn’t stand the whole process any longer. I needed to finish it up, ASAP, and be done with it. It made me feel ill. I feel much better now but still struggling with neck pains and tightness in my shoulders and a lingering sense of anxiety and dread. I wonder if I should have bothered, but I understand that this kind of process is part of what a lot of writers do. It’s how they get their work read by other writers. My submissions will be read by judges who are authors, some of them award-winning authors. If I did not send them my work, they might never even hear of me. And if I didn’t look into the various prizes, I might never have heard of some of these authors and looked up samples of their work.

I have one more application I will work on this fall, a submission for a fellowship (which is a little different from a poetry prize). Other than that, no more prize entering for me for the rest of the year. I am done with that. So help me God. For the fellowship, I have to fill out a slightly more complex application and it costs more money. Ah, yes, submitting to prizes does take some money. That’s one unpleasant part of the process. But it is a good way to compensate whoever has to sit and slog through thousands of poems and pick finalists and winners. It’s no easy job. I wonder if someday, I will be a judge of a poetry prize. Wonder what it is like to be on the other side of the whole process. Hopefully it is not too stressful. Hopefully, the judges who read my poems enjoy some of them and feel that they haven’t just wasted their time. I’ll take that, if nothing else. I may not win, but at least someone got to read and perhaps enjoy something I wrote.

I will hear back in the late fall from some of the prizes, and I will wait for spring next year for the results of a couple of the prizes. Moving on now. I need a break. Having a bit of burnout. Not sure what to do but I think I will take a few days off from writing and reading and sitting at the computer. Just need to replenish myself a bit. Any kind of competition really depletes me. If I ruled the world, I would give everyone a prize just for being peacefully alive, for living and letting others live. ❤



  1. The process!!!! I love this and wish you the best of luck:) I applaud you for challenging yourself and stepping outside your comfort zone!

  2. […] Tonight, while looking through a few things I wanted to read, I stumbled upon this post that talks about dealing with rejection. I loved reading it. Words of insight. Words of wisdom. Words of encouragement. One has to strive to be happy no matter what. And keep in mind that the greater goal for a writer is to be able to share one’s work with prospective readers, prize or no prize. You send your work out. Someone reads it. That’s what really counts. Prizes are nice. Oh, I want one so badly. But the greater goal is to be read and to continue to strive to share your work. Still, the submission process irks me. And exhausts me. […]

  3. […] I search for benefactors, I am also applying to poetry prizes and contests, getting my work out there as best I can. I am also applying to a fellowship this fall, and next […]

  4. […] anyways. And I am proud of myself for trying. It motivated me to put together small portfolios and send them out. It motivated me to think about an audience at each contest and tailor a set of poems to that […]

  5. […] machine and sent my work out to about seven different places. I started over the summer and continued into the fall. As the months went by, I heard back from contest after contest. My poems and essays were being […]

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