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Use contests as a steppingstone

Deciding to practice what she preached, this writer strengthened her writing and landed a publisher

Steppingstone-0512.ashxMost writers know me for running the online resource Funds for Writers, which provides information about grants, fellowships, contests, awards and the like, and for writing my newsletters and blog posts. But, like many nonfiction writers, I have a closet passion to pen fiction. Mysteries rock my world.

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Funds for Writers newsletters reach 42,000 readers, and among the leading topics are contest sponsors. My organization has become known for its calls for submissions, and each week I receive thanks from writers who succeeded at winning or placing in a contest. My editorials spoke     of lessons learned and resources available, but I myself had yet to land a publisher for a book—and I had never taken contests seriously with my own entries.

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