Written by the very brave Jolene Gutiérrez
As a child, The Little Engine That Could was one of my favorite stories. It taught me that if I tried hard enough, I could accomplish anything. Eventually, I learned that the real world isn’t always filled with successes. I’ve definitely had my fair share of failures, but I never forgot that bold little engine, willing to take a chance.
To me, contests are all about bring brave and putting yourself out there. If you're willing to do that, so many generous people in ourwriting community have set up various contests and opportunities that allow for growth and networking.
Here are a few tips from someone who’s won and lost in the contest realm:
1. Research: Look for opportunities. Some of my favorites are (and check the dates and then bookmark websites, because some have already occurred this year but will hopefully be happening again):
2. You can’t win ‘em all! Yes, it can be disheartening and frustrating if you don't win a contest you've entered. I try to temper that with a few thoughts/actions:
3. You can't win if you don't play: Putting your writing out there can be scary, but if writing is something you’re driven to do, jump in wholeheartedly! Check out of few of these contests and opportunities, and then tell yourself, “I think I can!” I’ll be cheering you on, too!
Jolene Gutiérrez, author of MAC & CHEESE AND THE PERSONAL SPACE CASE, grew up on a farm and now lives in a suburb of Denver with her husband of 21 years, two teenage kids, three preteen dogs, and a prickly hedgehog. For the past 25 years, she's been a school librarian. She spends her days sharing children's books and her nights writing them. Having a child read a book she’s written brings her great joy!
Jolene's an active member of SCBWI and The Author’s Guild, a Children’s Book Academy scholarship winner and graduate, a We Need Diverse Books mentorship finalist, a Writing with the Stars 2018 mentee (with picture book author Stacy McAnulty), a Highlights Foundation scholarship winner, and the winner of the Cynthia Levinson nonfiction picture book biography scholarship to the Writing Barn.
Connect with Jolene online at www.jolenegutierrez.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn @writerjolene,