More Winning Ways

“The measure of true success is how many times you can bounce back after failure”.

Stephan Richards

Most successful people will all agree with this hint – celebrate wins, and learn from your losses. But comping is a little different from other competitive activities or gambling as you don’t really lose anything, just a little time and energy (which of course still matters, but can be a lot of fun). It is important though to remember to always celebrate your wins, no matter how small as these will keep you going until you hit the bigger ones. Then after your celebration, sit down and contemplate how you can put in better entries next time. Review all your entries that didn’t win. Did they:-

  1. Answer the question the best way you could have with a little more thought and time?
  2. Contain more than the stipulated word count and where they entered before the closing date?
  3. Come across as interesting, heartfelt or interesting enough to attract interest from the judges? 

“Keep on the lookout for novel ideas that others have used successfully”.

Thomas Edison

Competitions are everywhere these days. So don’t just rely on Facebook or online searches and websites. Constantly keep a lookout for novel competitions in local papers, at your supermarket; on billboards along the roadside; in magazines; in promotional material in your letterbox; at your local club; on labels of goodies in your pantry and on television and the radio. Although you won’t necessarily want or even have the time to enter all of them, you will gradually come to see which ones are worth entering and have the kinds of prizes you are after. Then keep an eye out for novel ways others use to enter them. The more ideas you have to play with the better. Some of the best ones to enter might include:-

  1. Those with as many prizes as possible (this, of course means you have much better chance of winning a prize even if small). Small can be good too.
  2. The more obscure (novel) ones, possibly local only to your area (this of course then means less people entering).
  3. Ones that involve a bit more energy and effort to enter than just your name address and phone number (because apart from the fact that these are probably being used just to collect contacts for promotions of their products, less people are also more likely to enter them).

“To succeed one must be creative and persistent”.

John Johnson

In the terms and conditions of many competitions these days requiring a skilled answer it is the ‘most creative entry’ (according to the judges of course) that is destined to win the big prize. But what exactly constitutes a ‘creative entry?’ Here are a few points to consider:-

  1. Is the answer, photo, or caption included in your answer unique? Is it funny? Is it quirky? Will it stand out from all the other entries?
  2. How much time have you put into the entry? Sometimes creative sparks come with a flash of inspiration while you are doing something else, like walking the dog or having a soak in the bath. Sometimes you may need to ‘sleep on it’ before the inspiration comes. Take your time if you have to.
  3. Run your answer by your partner, kids or best friend before entering it. See how they react. Is this the reaction you want from the judges? 

Finally, be persistent – keep going no matter what – and good luck! 

Attribution: deeplifequotes – www.livelifehappy.com

After working for thirty years as a journalist/historian, Jenny started writing sci-fi for children and adults and occasionally illustrating them (when she was not spending time with her grandkids). Most have been published in The School Magazine, anthologies and online. She has also been contributing to a wide variety of magazines such as Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure and Profit, Australiana and Nurture. Now essentially retired Jenny has taken up a challenge of entering and (hopefully winning) competitions. Jenny will track her journey through this challenge here at www.competitions.com.au.

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