Writing Experience, Samples, and Getting Paid to Write – The Advantages of Entering Writing Contests for Money

Here at Barefoot Writer, we recommend entering writing challenges, especially for new writers who are looking for a way to get paid to write.  That’s because there are many benefits to entering them. Here are some of the pros of writing contests and challenges:

You’ll get terrific writing practice. One of the best ways to become a better writer is to practice, every day if you can.  But often, new writers feel they need a reason to write. Writing contests challenges give you a topic and a deadline, as well as a possible prize, so you’ll have plenty of motivation.

You’ll gain experience following writing-based directions. It may sound simplistic, but some writers don’t pay attention to directions because they have a specific idea of how they want their “art” to look. That’s fine if you’re writing for yourself, but if you hope to ever get paid to write, following submission guidelines is a must. Otherwise, your carefully-crafted writing might not be considered. That’s a powerful motivator to read and follow the directions, such as what to write about, word count, where and how to submit and format your writing, and deadlines. It’s also great practice for real writing jobs, where you need to follow your client’s directions for submitting work.

You’ll build up an arsenal of writing samples. Are you a new writer who needs samples? Contests not only give you practice, but you’ll also have a writing sample when you’re done. This is a great way to build your portfolio — especially online — so you’ll be able to land lucrative assignments such as website content writing jobs.

You could win cash prizes, plus a byline. Many writing contests have excellent, valuable prizes. Barefoot Writer offers $100 for winning submissions. Plus, you get your work and byline published on our website. Who wouldn’t want a little extra cash and fame for their writing?!

Should you enter a contest or challenge that has an entry fee?

There are plenty of writing challenges that don’t charge a fee to enter. Beginners should stick to free contests at first, rather than spending a lot of money on entry fees. After you’ve had some experience, you can consider a contest with an entry fee — just make sure to research it and see if it’s legitimate.

Ready to enter a writing challenge? Take a look at these:

Barefoot Writer Challenge Essay – This monthly challenge is open to Barefoot Writer Club Members, with the exception of each November when we open it to the general public. The topic is announced each month in the magazine, and a $100 prize is awarded each month to the top essay writer. Winners also get their essays published online on our website, and they can use it as a writing sample, or in their self-marketing materials. It also serves as a good opportunity for our editors to get familiar with your writing style. In fact, many winners have gone on to become regular Barefoot Writer contributors. Check out our Writing Challenge Winners.

Barefoot Writer Cover Photo Contest – Open to Barefoot Writer Club Members, this contest invites you to submit a photo of yourself enjoying the writer’s life for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Plus, you’ll get your photo published on the cover of our magazine! A new winner is chosen monthly. Some members have gone on to use their cover photos to market their writing and ended up with new, paying clients because of it.

AWAI’s $10K Challenge – Active AWAI members are eligible for this yearly prize. Every year, members submit their best writing samples to AWAI for review, and one member is awarded a $10K contract for the year. Entering this challenge gives you a chance to build your portfolio of writing samples, as well as have a chance to get paid for your work. This challenge can launch your career.

The dream of paid writing can quickly become your reality. Join Barefoot Writer today and let us help you land freelance writing jobs for beginners!