10 Tips for Winning Writing Contests
Contest Tip Sheets: "1. Begin with a bang. Editors routinely say they read the first paragraph of a piece, and if they don't care about what happens next, they stop there, because the incoming mail stack is too high. Contest judges often face even higher manuscript stacks. A quick way to weed out the losing entries is to discard all those where the first page doesn't give them a reason to go to the second page. Before sending in an entry, read every article or book chapter you can find on openings, beginnings, leads. Then compare yours to what the experts say. This applies equally to fiction and nonfiction."