One of the things writers are admonished to do is to read. Especially in the genre they are currently writing. They should read a variety of writers, both current and classics. Most successful writers I know do this. But this is not what I’m talking about today.
I am almost at the end of my yearly gig as Contest Chair for the White County Creative Writers Conference. I don’t know how many years I have done this … four or five … and each time I am amazed at the writers who don’t read — the instructions. We get essays sent to poetry contests, multiple entries to a single contest (only one allowed), no title on the title page, no title page at all, contests mailed to the reservation address and reservations sent to the contest chair.
If all this seems petty and tacky, I write in jest, not intending to offend. I am guilty of non-reading myself. The first contest I ever entered (14 years ago) I couldn’t decide which essay to send, so I sent both. A kind contest chair called me and let me straighten out my mistake. I have never forgotten that and continue to pay it forward to other writers. Perhaps, as I was, they are new at putting their work out there. Certainly they are guilty, as I was, of not reading the instructions carefully.
As I write, the judges have read all the entries (198 of them), the winners have been chosen and will be announced at WCCW 19th annual Writers’ Conference, August 30.
Keep your fingers crossed. It’s hard to type that way, but it’s only a few more days.