Writing Contests as Edgecraft
Writing contests, I know you’ve seen ’em so have I. I’m a writer and I don’t have time to enter them. I imagine that most techies and other nonwriters pass them by completely.
If you want my attention, doing two things is important.
Mix something successful from over there to something you have here.
Find the edge of here — be noticed, outstanding, and remarkable.
Seth calls moving out to that remarkable edge edgecrafting. It’s knowing who you are, knowing what business you’re in, and not letting tradition or the perceived risk — that perceived risk that edging out comes packaged in. It’s investing in, inventing, or trying new things to make a mark that will get people remarking about what you’re doing.
A nonwriting blog — say a techie blog — having a writing contest is a remix with posibilities. Curious at the very least, don’t you think? Gotta get past curious to way out there, in order to be at the edge.
I’ve got some ideas . . .
How to Set Up a Contest that Works
Nothing is less fun than a contest where no one shows up. So let’s start with the basics that tilt the balance in your favor.
- Keep the rules few and the task simple.
- Keep the deadline definite and the timeline short, but not too short — a week is good.
- Announce it as many ways as you can. Remind folks daily on your blog. Send out email. Ask friends and colleagues to pass the word. Seek out and list your contest at sites such as competizione.
That being said, what kind of writing context might catch readers’ attention and get them to participate?
I’ve got a few ideas. . . .