No, I didn't win one. Hard to win an award if you don't enter a competition and I'm not big on contests. Of course, I could win one if someone else nominated me--maybe--and that would be exciting because who doesn't want to be recognized for their hard work? But the reality is the odds of winning are slight...unless your Nora Roberts or Stephen King. *g* Slight because the competition is overwhelming and personal reading taste enters into judging (I don't care what anyone says) so it's all subjective.
I could write an entire post on why I don't enter writing contests. I have in the past and have benefitted, but I've also suffered. In this case, for me, the bad outweighs the good. I just don't go there anymore. In kind, I'm not fond of judging contests either. If asked, I generally, graciously decline. With the exception of two. My local RWA chapter's contest for unpublished writers and the RWA National contest for published authors, known as the RITA. A sense of duty compells me to do so. Both contests are inundated with entries and, for several years running, there have been a lack of judges. The situation was so severe that certain entries were in danger of being returned.
I owe my local chapter from whom I've learned so much. They were there for me from the very beginning and I want to be there for other writers' beginnings as well. Regarding the RITA, these are my published peers, and many pin great hopes on this contest and how it could benefit their career. I want to be there for them, too. So, even though the judging period came during my deadline crunches, I still agreed to judge.
The box arrived from RWA National day before yesterday. It contained six books. I blinked at them thinking, when am I supposed to read these? My WIP is due into my publisher in less than a month and I am writing every available minute of my waking hours. But there they sat, these six books written by six talented authors, screaming at me to read them and to judge them fairly--no matter my personal reading taste.
So late night, I crawled into bed, a little bleary eyed but still alert, with the first of these six books. Two pages in I thought, if they're all as good as this it will be a pleasure, and then I thought how absurd that work of this caliber is competing against like work of this caliber. How can you possibly deem ONE the best of the best? Just one of my pesky problems with contests. But I digress. On a good note, I have not read any of these six authors before, so I am being introduced to new (in my eyes) talent. On another good note, the book I'm currently reading is wondrous and inspiring. I look forward to squeezing in a few more pages tonight.
So what's your take on contests?