Tip No. 10 …
Read and reread the brief. Several times! This may seem obvious but WriteStars lost two excellent entries – more details shortly – because the writers did not follow the guidelines.
So to avoid a wasted entry, do make sure that you are writing exactly what is asked for, in subject and in format. For example, our Supernatural! competition last year asked for a 250-word story on an “other-worldly” subject – ghosts, reincarnation, anything, as long as the supernatural was in there somewhere.
One entry would have been shortlisted – but because, as hard as WriteStars tried, we couldn’t find any supernatural element in the story, we had to disqualify it. A last-minute twist, sadly, may make for an excellent story, but it does not automatically count as supernatural. Think about the meaning of the words. The mix-up here was between supernatural and thriller – so watch the genres!
The other – also very good – entry missed out because the brief asked for around 250 words, but the entrant had read the brief too quickly and sent in a story of 1,000 words.
So – two excellent entries, both very much enjoyed, had to be disqualified. We try to keep our competitions open to all – handwritten entries, for example, are welcome – but if an entry fails to meet basic criteria we have to say no. I hope those two entrants will try again because they were both very, very good writers.
If you are not sure what is meant, or if we haven’t been clear enough, you can always contact us to clarify.
So, a very basic point to begin our countdown – but a very important one!
Watch out for Tip No 9 – here shortly – the importance of being different.