The last day to sign-up for the Summer Shootout writing contest is Friday, 13 July 2012. We'll kick things off the following day, and while we have a good crew already lined up, there are still some slots available for writers who wish to test their mettle and write for a shot at publication in my forthcoming anthology.
As many reasons as there are to join the competition, there are some big reasons that writers decide to forego the shootout experience. I will list the top 10 here, for your consideration.
- Difficulty: The shootout can be a grueling experience, and the thought of having to write a story in a single week and then review the work of fellow writers the following week (three times in a row) can be intimidating. A lot of good writers aren't confident that they can pull it off.
- Lack of Confidence: Some writers have the feeling that they're bound to lose anyway, so why waste your time on a longshot?
- Lack of Time: We all have such busy lives these days, and many talented writers have day jobs or other commitments that take priority.
- Fear of Rejection: This is something all writers deal with, but sometimes it's easer to get rejected by a "professional." The thought of writing a story that your writing peers criticize can turn off quite a few writers.
- Fear of Rejecting: Most people don't like to be negative, and many aspiring writers don't feel it's their place to criticize their fellow authors. They don't want to run into stories of questionable quality and have to give a poor review.
- Arrogance: There are a few writers who consider this sort of contest to be "beneath their dignity."
- Boring: Yes, some writers actually don't like to read, or they only want to read specific stuff in their preferred medium, by their preferred authors. They consider the idea of reading raw work by their contemporaries to be boring, and putting together reviews equally lusterless.
- Greedy: Some writers will only write or review something if there is a check attached to it. "What do you mean you don't pay 5-8 cents per word for my shootout stories?"
- Insecure: It's possible that some writers don't want to expose their "unpolished" works to strangers, and there is something to be said for this. I, myself had misgivings about showing others my work when I first started out, though it is a necessary part of the creative process.
- Just Plain Don't Know: There are a lot of talented writers out there who would love to participate in this sort of writing competition, especially with publication as the Grand Prize. However, it's impossible to tell everyone, and with only word-of-mouth and a few internet postings, this event is generally unknown.
Well, there you have it, the top ten list. Of course, not everyone who has chosen to forego this contest has done so for these reasons. However, these are the main things that have come up when I've asked different people about their lack of participation, though some are purely speculation. Hey, it's just a list.
Those writers who want to jump on board at the last minute, be sure to post in the sign-up thread before Friday night!