Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Query Kombat 2017 Free Pass


Free Pass! Free Pass!








I really love doing these! It's like a random act of kindness. It allows one person who might not have made it into the contest to have a shot at the agents. The free pass winner will skip the slush and become one of my final picks for #QueryKombat! 

You'll only have to survive the round one battle to go to the agent round!

And you are guaranteed constructive comments from the judges! 

The Free Pass is the great equalizer!





That's the way to hit it out of the ballpark!

Did I mention that we have 30 agents already? 30 agents! 

So here we go:

1. Leave a blog comment below about what you believe is the BEST thing about online writing contests. No judging here. Just what aspect gives you the most benefit.

2. You also need to use the rafflecopter to record that you left a comment. The rafflecopter will pick the winner. There will be additional options to score more entries and raise your chances. They are options having to do with my books and that's why they are optional, but I appreciate your support!

There is also an extra option to give addition entries to marginalized writers. Use this option (definition taken from DV Pit) if you are


This includes (but is not limited to): Native peoples and people of color; people living and/or born/raised in underrepresented cultures and countries; disabled persons (including neurodiverse); people living with illness; people on marginalized ends of the socioeconomic, cultural and/or religious spectrum; people identifying within LGBTQIA+; and more.



This free pass will stay open until May 15th. That gives you three and a half weeks. What are you waiting for--get to entering!

AND BE SURE TO ENTER FOR LAURA'S FREE PASS ALSO!

And good luck!









a Rafflecopter giveaway

114 comments:

  1. I like online writing contests because even if you don't get in, they are a great way to build a writing community and find critique partners.

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  3. Best thing about writing contests...the gathering of writers in support of each other and their craft.

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  4. I enjoy online writing contests because no matter what, I learn something about writing. Also, I enjoy meeting new people.

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  5. Online writing contests provide a win-win for all. Everyone has the opportunity to connect with other writers and some are fortunate enough to find favor with agents and editors.

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  6. I love entering contests because the writing community is amazing and so supportive! I've met most of my CPs through contests. :D

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  7. 'Go out into the world', they say. 'You need to build a platform, build relationships, build confidence...' I try, I'm getting better. Still, these contests are a welcome avenue for some of us and highly appreciated :)

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  8. The best part is knowing that the mentors will help you become a better writer than you have ever been before.

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  9. It's a great way to learn, improve, & find & give support.

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    1. And share WIPs!

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    2. The best thing about the writing contests I've participated in is being forced to stretch outside of my comfort zone and create stories in a genre that I typically don't write.

      And then, getting feedback from other writers and being able to read their work is awesome!

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  10. The best thing about online writing contests is the broad range of feedback you get!

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  11. The best think about online writing contest is that no matter what happens you know that you are not alone in your journey to become a writer.

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  12. I love meeting new writers! I also enjoy playing the hashtag games. The community is so encouraging.

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  13. I love the feedback I get, no matter what happens. The connection with other writers, both new and old, is invaluable. I'm always able to take away suggestions to improve my writing.

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  14. The best thing about writing contests is the connections you make, not just with agents and publishers(which are wonderful) but with fellow writers. I've made so many great new friends through online writing contests.

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  15. Qualifying for a contest is a great milestone. Completing a ms draft you are happy with is hard.

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  16. Danielle SimonelliApril 20, 2017 at 9:44 PM

    Twitter contests provide an easy way to network with fellow writers and authors. They also offer tremendous opportunities to grow. I've applied what I've learned to my MS, and it's all for the better!

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  17. I have met the most amazing people through contests! From new authors to follow to wonderful CPs and friends, online contests have expanded my writing community so much.

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  18. The people! I know this is a common answer, but it's true. I met my CP through an online writing contest last year, and I couldn't be happier. She's there for critiques, advice, tips — and most importantly, when I need to vent. Because honestly, that's a real thing in this journey.

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  19. I enjoy online writing contests because it opens up a new window that wasn't there before. Also, it helps built a community of writers and friends. It's a great networking opportunity as well to find CP and Beta readers!

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  21. I like writing contests because of all the memes!

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  22. Entering online writing contests is like the Platform 9 3/4. It's this secret passage into a world of magical help. I've made real friends, virtual friends, gathered sage advice, shared a ton of laughter, and connected with people I never would have met otherwise. Yes, there is the potential to land an agent, but the greatest benefit until that moment of magic...? It's the free writing help, duh! Wow, such talent out there. So many generous writers, editors, and agents who give up their sacred free time to help us. (Oh, and the GIFs, of course--icing on the cake!)

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  23. I love online contests because it makes me reevaluate my writing.

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  24. Online writing contests are a fantastic way to get to know other writers, a great way to learn about publishing and just plain fun!

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  25. Writing contests make a great alternative to the soul-sucking process of querying. They also provide some much-needed validation on the dark, lonely road toward publication.

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  26. Feedback to learn about your craft, and a chance to forward your career.

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  27. I've met so many fellow writers in online contests, and that has been wonderful - but the best thing for me has been hands-on learning about what works and what doesn't in a query and opening pages. There is a wealth of information and I've put that to good use in my (ongoing) revisions.

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  28. I love the feedback we get from agents/editors. And the other authors we meet on this journey! Even just reading other entries is helpful. I learned a lot from the PB Party Tweets and queries that made itP

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  29. Online writing contests get me out of my quiet bubble and into the world where I can work with other writers. Getting out of my own echo chamber and receiving feedback, any feedback, is invaluable.

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  30. Online writing contests are great! I've received a ton of useful advice, made some great connections and enjoyed every one I've done so far. Keep 'em coming!

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  31. The best thing about on-line contests like this is the connection you get to the writing community -- writers are the greatest people!

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  32. I love the camaraderie of the writing community. Especially on Twiiter. It's like being plugged in to the pulse of the literary world.

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  33. I like how writing contests get me working to a deadline. Without a deadline in place, my projects could just go on...and on... I work much better with a deadline in mind :)

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  34. I think the best thing about online contests is the connections you make with other writers.

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  35. The best part about the online contests by far is the contact that introverts like me are forced to have with other writers... (I even end up *liking* it. Shhh, don't tell my introvert brain that I like interacting with others!) I've made some great friends and acquaintances and everyone is SO encouraging. It's an amazing community!

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  36. I love online writing contests because they taught me so much about what I was doing wrong in my early query letters. The advice and tips and connections are so valuable, but honestly, the most important thing for me was reading winning entries when mine didn't make it and seeing what they were doing that I wasn't.

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  37. The best thing about online writing contests is that it forces us to finish our books and give ourselves a chance. The more contests we enter, the more we're writing, and the better we get! Thanks for doing these!

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  38. I don't need to be counted twice (pretty sure that's against the rules anyway), but I was thinking of another answer to this question last night and I had to get it on the list!

    Know what else I *really* love about these online contests? All the writers at different stages. I love how those who are at the next level help those in the trenches - constantly. In most of the world and in most job settings, you'll never see this kind of camaraderie, this kind of lifting up and supporting of those who have just begun their journeys. It's refreshing to see and it's inspiring! I never knew that there were cheerleaders out there who, without even knowing me, wanted me to succeed!

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    1. This is one of the coolest parts of the contest. So many of our judges are former contestants who got their agents after a contest. And they almost always want to come back and judge!

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  39. I love the energy in online contests. The opportunity to meet other writer. The way they stretch and flex writing muscles.

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  40. Seeing advice from other writers at different points in their careers.

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  41. The best thing about contests is the opportunity to connect with other writers!

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  42. Online contests keep me accountable, relevant, and ready. They are also a wonderful rabbit hole - they open up new opportunities for connections and information.

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  43. I love the opportunities that they offer writers to get exposure and break into the industry that were not around before.

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  44. I think the best thing about online contests is the connections made with other writers. Twitter is an especially great place to meet new writer friends and find crit partners. The contests also provide valuable feedback and always teach me something new about my writing.

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  45. Online writing contests help push writers to take ownership of their writing and be vulnerable in a more public eye than previously available. This process creates a community for the editing process and helps improve manuscripts.

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  46. Where else can you enter a contest where everyone involved (including those you are "competing" with) are rooting for you, sharing advice and writing techniques to help you succeed, and lifting each other up during this tough writing journey? That's what I love the best.

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  47. I like writing contests because it displays the abundance of talent out there. It's a great way to see what my contemporaries are writing!

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  48. The best part of writing contests is the sense of community. Writing can be a lonely world, and it's nice to know I'm not alone.

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  49. I love being able to interact with the community in the writing contests.

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  50. I like writing contests because they connect me to potential critique partners and provide me with opportunities to get feedback on my work.

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  51. Focus. Focus. Focus. Oh, and focus.

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  52. I enjoy online writing contests because it allows me to be exposed to many different perspectives that I would not normally get to see.

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  53. Networking is one of my favorite parts. I'v met so many wonderful writers and friends through these contests. Even if you aren't chosen the chance to learn and grow is amazing.

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  54. The best part is the contests help you to pick up the courage to get to the next step. Finished the manuscript, okay submit, rejected, polish it more. Okay polish done, submit, to contest, no revise x or y, okay done, R & R then maybe agent. Its tiny steps closer to the real prize.

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  55. The best thing about online writing contests is that it gives unpublished writers a chance to be noticed and helps them learn more about the process of publication.

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  56. I like that online writing contests are accessible from any where in the world where there is internet. Just saying hi from Madagascar. The internet here is not exactly fabulous, but hey, we take what we get.

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  57. Each time I enter an online contest, I learn to focus on the heart and soul of my story in the pitch, and also polish my query and ms. Often I receive valuable feedback which helps me revise, and cross paths with other writers. It's a truly worthwhile experience!

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  58. Hope - the fun anticipation and feeling that I could win. Sure, it helps drive motivation especially having a deadline, being part of a community and knowing there are others like me and we're all in it together, and learning through the exchange of ideas, but it's really that feeling of potential, excitement of dreaming. As corny as this sounds, it's true.

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  59. The best part of online contests? The pay-it-forward mentality.

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  60. The best part about online contests is they help us--and we help each other--to become better writers (of manuscripts, queries, pitches, etc.)

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  61. The best part of contests is growing as a writer and making new friends. *waves*

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  62. To me it's all about the writing community. It's the community that has helped me make new friends and get feedback to improve my writing. I love the excitement during contests going around the writing community and it just feels nice to be a part of it!

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  63. I love online contests because it builds a writer community.

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  64. Connection to other writers, community, new friends, all of that. But beyond these things, I know that at the end of each contest, my query is tighter, my manuscript is better, and my skill as a writer is stronger.

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  65. I like the chance to challenge myself, connect with other writers and learn something that will ultimately help me get my book published.

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  66. The feedback I've received through online writing contests has helped me hone in on the crux of my story, polish my query letter, and improve my writing.

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  67. They push me into polishing my documents.

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  68. I like obtaining fresh eyes for tips on my query letter!

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  69. I love online writing contests for the ability to make friends and critique partners. it opens up a whole new world of people to talk with and compare work with across genres.

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  70. As a writer, the free contests give me the opportunity to hone my skills and branch out into genres that I might not think of the first time around

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  71. I love that contests bring all of us together. The support of other writers is what keeps so many of us going through every stage.

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  72. I like writing contests because it provides an opportunity to collaborate and learn from other writers.

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  73. Writing contests allow me to dispel the sense that I am writing in a vaccuum - there's a world out there and someone might be listening...

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  74. I am always learning and being stretched when I enter a contest. It's like a pre-game warm up before submission time.

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  75. I work best with deadlines, and committing to entering a contest gives me a deadline.

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  76. The community! I've met and connected with so many amazing people through online writing contests, and learned a great deal about writing.

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  77. Writing contests are a great excuse to look closely at your first pages and consider how others will view them.

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  78. Online writing contests are the great equalizer. They cost little or nothing, risk nothing (except your pride) but can reap big rewards.

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  79. The best thing about writing contests is, simply, they work. There are too many agented/published authors out there who were chosen for contests to deny that. There are other benefits too, of course. :-)

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  80. The best thing about online writing contests is the community of writers they bring together.

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  81. The best thing about writing contests is interacting with other writers to learn from each other, as well as learning trends.

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  82. I love online contests bc no matter what, I always learn something at the end of the day.

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  83. Online writing contests kick my butt into gear, getting that manuscript readier than ever before.

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  84. This contest is new to me, but I'm excited to enter!

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  85. Online writing contests give me goalposts to aim for. Nothing as motivating as an external deadline!

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  86. Online writing contests give me thicker skin. The first time I submitted my writing to a contest (a year ago), I was a wreck. Now, I'm still nervous, but the feeling is more exhilarating than nauseating. Contests also helped me get used to rejection in a gentle way.

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  87. In my opinion, the best thing about writing contests is feeling part of a community. The writing journey can be such a lonley endeavor. Online contests remind me that everybody struggles, we all are trying to improve, and after it's all said and done, there is a great group of people out there who knows what it's like to be you.

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  88. Online writing contests provide energy, hope, and connection for writers. We need all three!

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  89. The certainty of a response. I spent a while deliberating over this question, and there were a few contenders, but when it really comes down to it, the hardest part of querying for me is the wait. And for some agents, replying to everyone is impossible, so there are many queries sent out that never receive a response. With an online writing contest, you win, or you don’t, but either way, you know. And for me? That makes all the difference. With results, good or bad, I can grow, and that’s the most important thing for me as an author.

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  90. The best part is having another way to put your work out there and be encouraged by the dedication of everyone else just like you to following their dreams.

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  92. I love contests because it breaks the monotony of querying cold, you meet other writers, and you usually get really great feedback from people further along in the process than you!

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  93. Community. Without a doubt, the communities around writing contests are the biggest gain. Agent rounds are nice, feedback on entries is great, but it's the people that keep you going when all you want to do is stick your head in the mud and flop away into the void.

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  94. I haven't won any contests yet, but the critiques I've gotten have been invaluable.

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  95. I like online writing contests because I get to see how supportive writers are of each other. It's great to learning more and more about the writing world and feedback is nice to receive.

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  96. Love those deadlines! Keep me on my toes. And it's fun "meeting" other writers/contestants.

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  97. Online writing contests allow writers to step out of their hermit holes and connect with others, sharing their craft. :-)

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  98. The best thing about online writing contests is that they take the stressful querying process and make it fun!

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  99. The best thing about online writing contests is that they're a welcome respite from cold querying.

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  100. I met 3 of my amazing CPs through online contests, so I wouldn't trade those experiences for the world <3

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  101. It helps me craft my pitches and figure out how to say what my book is about without sounding like a blundering idiot.

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  102. Contest structures help me remember that there are real people behind the computer screens. It gives me the chance to see what the judges are doing, and gives me the opportunity to reach out to other writers.

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  103. I'd say the best thing about contests is the community. You meet so many helpful people that want to see you succeed as much as them.

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  104. The community! I get so much inspiration from the conversations surrounding the twitter writing contests!

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  105. Trying to get published is hard as is. With communities as such being created from amazing competitions, it gives a helping chance to those that wish to see their book one day published

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  106. The opportunity to get lots of eyes on your work - lots of opinions and feedback are so, so critical.

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  107. The best thing about contests is that they push me to be brave about fiddling with something new in my writing! When I send things out to agents, I tend to be more conservative.

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  108. Learning and growing through a writing community. It's easy to become isolated when you're dedicating time to write and online writing contests generally leads to rubbing elbows with other awesome writers and lovers of the written word.

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  109. I love writing contests because they connect me to other aspiring writers. The friendships I've made (and the feedback / critique I've received) have been invaluable.

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  110. Great company, great people, great ideas--all from the comfort of your home!

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