Contests are an important part of the writing community. They're the way some authors find their agents. They're also a way in which the writing community gives back to the up and coming crowd. Contests are also a good way to thicken your skin, build your chops, and get recognition for your skills.
There are a ton of contests out there for writers without an agent. Here are some of my favorites:
Authoress Anon’s famous website Miss Snark's First Victim hosts contests and critiques aimed at helping writers find an agent:
1. Bakers Dozen and Secret Agent - The Bakers Dozen auction happens once a year where the Secret Agent contest happens every few months. Theses are great ways to interact with other writers and get exposure to agents. Check out details here.
Brenda Drake’s is well known for her amazing contests :
2. Pitch wars – where published/agented authors, editors, or interns choose one writer each, read their entire manuscript, and offer suggestions to shine it up for agents.
3. Pitch Madness held in March and September-where writers enter for a chance to win requests from the participating agents.
4. #pitchmad pitch party - is a pitch party on Twitter where writers tweet a 140 character pitch for their completed manuscripts.
Cupid’s Literary Connection: Where an undercover cupid specializes in making literary connections. This site runs a variety of contests.
5. Love Triangle (Jan. 2012)
6. Blind Speed Dating (Feb. 2012) 2013
7. Surprise Agent Invasion (Mar./Apr. 2012)
8. The Writer's Voice (May 2012)
9. Come And Get It (Sept. 2012)
Jessa Russo and Tamar Mataya created
10. Pitchmas and Pitchmas in July - Both events allow writers to pitch to agents.
Michelle, Michael, and SC Author’s contest
11. Nightmare on Query Street: Where you highlight your characters' greatest fear (in addition to your query and first 250 words) for bids from awesome agents.
These are just a few of the amazing contest opportunities available to writers seeking literary agents. What contests do you follow?
Want more on contests?
Check out this post on staying professional during contests
On learning from contests rejection
Or this post on contest fatigue