Raw Literature: Does Writing Need Competition

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

By Geoff Le Pard

I entered a competition recently. A short story, up to 3000 words with a thriller theme. There was a small entry fee, offset by the promise of some critiquing come what may from a writer whose judgment I trust. Even so, I didn’t really need the critique; I had the story idea anyway; I publish a lot of short fiction on my blog. Why enter a competitive arena? Does it enhance the quality of the writing? The experience?

We are encouraged, as nascent authors, to stretch ourselves. To write, write and write. To offer our work up to publications. To seek out critiques, if not critics. In many, if not all these cases, we are competing with others, at least for attention if not some other prize: acclaim, publication, money.

Do we improve under the pressure of a competition? Does writing to a set of rules…

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