Penny for your thoughts

By Cindy

06 Jun 2017


Join a Writing Contest

I scratched my head when I saw that my next bucket list was to join an essay writing contest.

One could argue that since I blog, writing an essay is easy.  Let me tell you that it is not!  Not at all.

In fact, of all the bucket list items I have done, this one is the hardest so far.

It is extremely difficult because you’re pressured to write a personal story in an almost professional way.  That means, it’s not the blog type of writing style I was used to with the use of LOL or OMG as common vocabulary. Grammar, syntax and tone should be perfect.  Writing gave me terrible headaches for days.

Did I tell you that too much cook spoil the soup?  I’m not complaining but it’s a blessing to be part of a writers’ group from where you can meet mentors who can proofread your work before submission.  I went through hell editing it.

Administratively though, it was quick and easy to join.

First, you need to find an active writing contest which is happening soon.  Last April, I found out that Writers’ Digest has this Annual Writing Competition, the deadline of which was 01 June 2017.    Then, you just need to see in which category you want to enter, submit your entry and pay the joining fee of USD 30 (for personal essay).

I  chose the Memoir/Personal Essay Category because it only requires 2,000 words and the content is something which comes from your heart and soul.  It doesn’t require extraction of too much creative juices. Just recall what happened to you from a particular phase of your life and tell it factually.  I chose the theme unconventional love as my topic.  If I win, I’m going to share it in my blog.

What is a memoir and how is it different from an autobiography?  If autobiography is the entire book of your life, a memoir is just a chapter or several chapters of it.

Although I have sufficient funds for each of my bucket list, I try to solicit sponsors for each adventure.  This time, I asked my friends if they can help me fund the joining fee of USD 30.  If I win, I’m going to share the USD 5,000 prize and all the glory that goes with winning.

It’s surprising because you can differentiate between those who just do not give a fucking care about your passion and those who really are very kind and supportive.  Most of my contributors said yes without even asking why I need help.  They just chose to help and I owe my life to them.

This October, I’ll know if I win.  Winning is a bonus.  The main prize is having the guts to submit what to me is a relatively good entry.

unconventional love: memoir theme

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jojohedacan • 251 day ago

I really admire your tenacity and dedication in completing your bucket list. Thanks to your enthusiasm and non-stop talking about it that I myself made my own bucket list, it may not be as extensive as yours but it's amazing that once you have written it down, my motivation and actions follow. I don't know where you get your energy and funds (bwahahahahha) to follow through but I really admire it. I'm not that very convinced of the 500 list (too much for me) but the way you are executing each bucket list and your excitement to each one of them is really something I am very happy to see from somebody and proud to say from a friend of mine. Keep it up!