Adventures in Contest Submission

I hadn’t planned to do much today.  I spent the last few days editing which turned out to be quite exhausting.  Yesterday wasn’t so bad though.  I edited in the morning and then went to Barnes & Noble in the afternoon to get coffee and another book – Shadow of the Hegemon.  I was going to wait until next month to get it, but I was there and I’m almost done with Ender’s Shadow so it seemed like a good idea.  We don’t get out to the bookstore too often because it’s about 30 minutes away and there’s nothing else out there to do.  Funny thing though… there is a Border’s right next to the Barnes & Noble.  Instead of spacing them out and maybe putting one closer to where we live, they put two bookstores right next to each other.  That was some genius planning.

I spent most of today typing my story into gmail, getting ready to submit it to the contest.  You probably wouldn’t think that would take all day, but you’d be wrong.  Typing it in was the easy part.  After I typed it, I copied and pasted into MS word (that is what they will be doing) to double check the word count.  I was surprised to find that my word count had gone over 750 words.  I double checked the original story that I had typed and it was under 750, so how the heck was I now over?  As it turned out, MS was now counting the dashes as words.

Great!  So now I have to either get rid of the dashes or get rid of some words.  Other punctuation didn’t make sense to put in place of the dashes.  There was one spot where I could have substituted parentheses, but I liked the dashes better so I opted to get rid of a few words.

Okay, so now my word count is under.  The next thing I realize: I didn’t quite read the requirements as carefully as I thought.  Instead of one dash (-), you’re supposed to use two (–).  Also, only one space between a period and the next sentence – that was a little bit more of a pain to correct.

I read through the requirements more thoroughly after that and as far as I can tell, I haven’t missed anything else, so I think my story is ready to send.  But since I made a few corrections, I will read it one more time to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  And I thought I was going to take it easy today.


About T. R. Kolbe

I have been writing since July 2010. I wrote one novel although I haven't finished editing it and I don't know that I will. I have also completed 3 short stories and have 3 more that I am working on.
This entry was posted in Contests, Flash Fiction, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Adventures in Contest Submission

  1. Helena says:

    The one-space versus two-space after a period thing is SO annoying because there doesn’t seem to be a standard. I prefer one-space, but if certain clients prefer two, I have to adjust.

    • TiffanyK says:

      I’m the opposite. I prefer two because I’ve been doing it that way since I first learned to type, which was a long time ago : ). It comes more natural to me.

  2. Years ago I used to pay entry fees and submit my story, poem or novel to contests. Finally, I came to the conclusion I should save my money and spend my time doing more writing. In the long run, I was better off being published in small literary magazines that paid in copies. Someone, of course, has to win in those contests.The incredible number of submissions to such contests and the large number of good submissions the judges receive, mean they may as well pick ten good ones and throw them down a flight of stairs and the one that lands the farthest is the winner. As an editor once of a magazine that offered prizes for the “best” submission, I came to recognize that the contests serve more to promote the sponsoring publication or torganization and to finance their projects than to promote the career of the winners.

    With that said (and it is my jaundiced opinion), if you believe in your work, go for it! I wish you all the luck in the world. There are so many good writers today, unlike when Charles Dickens was writing), that the thought of picking a “winner” borders on the preposterous.

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