To enter writing competitions or not? That is the question….

Another post from Taryn Bashford, SCBWI Qld member.

Do you face this dilemma? Trying to get novels published and spending too much spare time wondering if one should enter competitions?  Is this a useful way to spend one’s writing time or is it a hurdle to distract from writing a new novel? Another delaying tactic? 

I’m aware how writers can get lost and take refuge in research for their books and delay actually writing the novel itself.  Yet everyone says if you win a competition it’s great to add to your CV; yet it distracts me from writing my novel – and so the vicious circle develops.

Having recently come to my own conclusion about this question, I thought I’d share it with you. 

I decided to enter a few competitions and so spent some time letting my mind wander and hover over new story ideas and concepts, new characters and their friends, new beginnings and new endings. It became a great way to exercise the imagination, to flex that writing muscle in the brain and free my mind to write something that wasn’t going to become a year-long project. I was able to experiment, play with tenses, with dialogue and different endings without the worry that if I did a re-write, there were 30,000 words or more to go through. This ability to freely experiment was of benefit to me as I have learnt which styles work for me. 

Taryn Bashford

The most surprising benefit, though, was it lead to a concept for my next novel. As I was writing and formulating the characters and plot for a 4,000 word short story competition, my mind grabbed the idea and ran away with it. I couldn’t stop it flying off on different tangents, collecting new chapters, new characters, new tension and climaxing moments and suddenly I had a whole YA novel in my head itching to be written.

 So I entered the competition but whilst I await the results I have a whole new novel to write. 

Leading Illustrators’ Auction for Indigenous Literacy

As facilitator and roving reporter for the Brisbane One Word One Day (OWOD)  illustrator event held on 11 May at the ABC Studios (South Bank), SCBWI Qld author and blogger, Helen Ross, gives us an update on the auction details scheduled for 25 September 2012.

Earlier this year a host of Australia’s best known and highly acclaimed artists (ASA and non-ASA members) created art for ONE WORD ONE DAY to raise funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) to help disadvantaged kids in the remotest parts of Australia.

Artists had three hours to create a picture based on an inspirational word that the ASA released in the morning.

And there were many SCBWI Qld artists participating in the Brisbane OWOD event. What talent we have!  – Lucia Masciullo, Lynn Priestley, Angela Sunde,  Peter Taylor …

So now for the drum roll …..

The Australian Society of Authors, in partnership with the ABC and Micador will auction the 101 original artworks by these leading artists including Oscar-winning creator and illustrator Shaun Tan, Children’s Book Laureate Alison Lester and internationally recognised artist, Alison Jane Rice.

Tuesday 25 September, 6pm – 8pm
ABC Studios, 700 Harris St, Ultimo NSW
Registration essential – RSVP   events@asauthors.org

Bid in person, by phone or absentee http://www.onewordoneday.com.au/auction
Visit www.onewordoneday.com.au

Times: 10am – 2.30pm
Cost: $15
Bookings: Bookings essential – book online below or phone 1800 257 121 or (02) 9211 1004

To view all the fabulous artwork, click on:

www.onewordoneday.com.au

BUT before you go. All SCBWI illustrators please put the 2013 date in your diary. It really was a fun day!

Brisbane                  Wed 15 May 2013, 10am – 2.30pm
Code:
13OWOD05B

For other OWOD 2013 event dates, click here.

And, to find out more about  Brisbane’s fabulous  OWOD 2012 event, click here.

And if you want to bid, or know of anyone who might be interested, please kindly pass this information on.