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So I've been bemoaning the fact that I don't have any interesting writing credits to put in the biographical part of my query, but then my husband reminded me tonight that I did win a writing contest once and I wanted to ask you guys if you thought it would count as relevant information. It was 6 or so years ago. I saw an advertisement in the newspaper for a writing contest run by smuckers/jif. The requirement was to write less than 500 words about how you feed your family's need to read. The grand prize was $3000 of scholastic books (seriously the best prize ever) and $3000 in books for a school of your choice (again, best prize). I sent something in and won. But, since it wasn't run by people in the writing business, I just wondered if it was not going to help my resume. Thoughts?
#1 - October 25, 2013, 08:50 PM

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So, Erin, you wrote a short "article" for a contest and won $3000 worth of Scholastic's books for yourself, plus another $3k in books for a school? Not many people can boast about winning $6,000 in merchandise for a short piece! How is this NOT interesting? :grin3   It would be honest to say something like: My piece, (title) won first place in a nation-wide writing contest sponsored by Smuckers.

(Someone else may come up with a jazzier way to word this, but you get the idea).  It doesn't matter who sponsored the contest. People across the US entered and you won. And don't worry if you don't have a lot of credits to put in your letter. It's the story (or article) you're submitting that is of interest to the editor!
#2 - October 25, 2013, 11:07 PM
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 I should also have mentioned that it's okay not to list the year of the contest. Writers are known to be creative.    :haha
#3 - October 25, 2013, 11:09 PM
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I would definitely mention it. That's quite an accomplishment!
#4 - October 26, 2013, 05:28 AM
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Thanks for the input guys. I just wasn't sure if it counted since nothing was ever done with my entry (that I know of). It wasn't published anywhere or announced, to my knowledge. I will try to think of how to fit it in my query.  :typing
#5 - October 26, 2013, 05:40 AM

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I third what Bobi and Christy said, and I'd mention the amount if you're querying agents, and probably even if you're querying publishers directly--especially if you're querying Scholastic!  My piece, (title), won first place in a nationwide writing contest sponsored by Smuckers/Jif, earning $6000 in Scholastic titles for my family and a designated school.
#6 - October 26, 2013, 05:42 AM
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 07:17 AM by AnneB »

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Ooh, I like Anne's wording. ;) And wow, what an awesome contest to win!
#7 - October 26, 2013, 06:21 AM

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Definitely concurring with all of the above! I'd mention "nation-wide" "Scholastic" and "6k", and never mind the year. :)
#8 - October 26, 2013, 07:13 AM
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That's quite a prize, Erin. Belated congratulations! I like AnneB's wording, and I agree with mrh: definitely mention "nation-wide," "Scholastic" and "6k." Leave out the year.
#9 - November 01, 2013, 06:19 AM
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