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Writing competitions

Have you ever entered a writing competition? How'd you do?

Is there a certain kind of story that tends to win short story comps?

It is a question I’ve asked myself a lot, though to be honest I don’t have that much experience with successful entries in short story comps. I've had a couple of wins but many more misses. Over time I've come to believe that writing successfully involves compromise. Am I just underestimating my audience? If so then why do formula/genre writers like John Grisham and Stephen King sell so well while great literary novels go out of print?

I've come to think that all writing involves some degree of compromise and that none of us writes purely for ourselves. If you write purely for yourself it’s called a diary. Maybe we need to meet our imagined audience halfway, somewhere between what they want and what you want to give them. But just how much can you compromise before what you want to put out there, your artistic ideals, become boring and formulaic?

So here’s the final question for anyone reading this, where do you draw the line? Do you solely follow your own tangent or if not how do you reconcile your own artistic intentions with the commercial and societal pressures that are placed on you as a writer?
I guess the answer is to meet your audience halfway. But you have to realise that there are many other factors that sell a book than just the story or qualty of the writing.

The promotion of the book goes a long way in selling a book. Once you become a star writer, you books will sell no matter what, at least for some time. And of course once you are a star writer, you will not have any problem getting your stories published.

It is getting that Star status that is the difficult part. No one will want to invest in publishing a book by a writer no one has heard of. If I had a publisher I am sure even I can write a good story...

Did you know even John Grisham was rejected by many publishers before one took a chance on him. Now I am sure the biggest publishers in the business are lining up to buy his books. I myself have read several of his books but I liked only one book and that was the first one that I read of his books (The Last Juror). I bought several of his books after reading that book but now I have stopped because I haven't like any other book like I did that book. But still his books are always Bestsellers now no matter what he writes.
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