I enter contests never expecting to win or even place. I usually do it to help out the RWA chapter that is sponsoring the contest. Being president of SOLA, the New Orleans Chapter for RWA, I understand the need for revenue. We have to pay rent for a meeting room once a month. We pay our guest speakers for their time, travel, meals and acommodations when needed. Eleven speaker a year, can add up and sometimes the dues paid by our members are not enough.
Our board members work for free. We do it because we belive in our goal of helping each and every member to obtain their goal of publication. The first day I walked into a SOLA meeting, I was a bit overwhelmed. Everyone was talking, and running around setting up coffee and snacks (we take turns bringing in little goodies), and all were trying to talk loud enough to be heard over the others. I walked out and went home. That was a mistake. It took me a few months before I went back, determined to stay and see what this group was all about. That was six years ago.
Last year I was President, this year Co-president. I’ve also served as secretary. At the end of this year I will step down and become another of the group of women and men who come every month to hear the speakers, eat snacks none of us need (Can you say diet?) and learn about writing. And no mater how long you’ve been writing, you continue to learn.
What am I rambling about? If you are a writer, check out your local RWA chapter. If you don’t want to join a group, submit to their contests. The Dixie Kane Memorial Contest at SOLA is known for our great judges and the suggestions they give authors in their submissions. Many have gone on to be published.
Both Fugue Macabre: Ghost Dance and Fugue Macabre: Bone Dance were Dixie Kane entries and now published. The suggestion and comments were invaluable. I entered two manuscripts this year. Will I win? I don’t know. That’s not the reason I enter. The feadback is what I want.