Contests are a great way to become published, keep the rent money coming in, and are a great source of support for all of us in the writing community. How you might ask? Well, many of the journals (not all) that manage these contests work hand to mouth. Entries to these journals is not only a monetary boon to them but also one of their main marketing strategies. With your entry fee you are entitled to a free subscription. If you accept the subscription yourself it may lay in wait on your coffee table for a casual glance from a friend, family member, or the creep robbing your apartment. That glance then turns into a genuine interest, which may or may not in turn result in them buying their own subscription, which of course leads to the increased awareness of the journals product which is you, me, and the rest of us. There is also the option of passing on your entitled subscription to a friend or family member so that it may lay in wait on their coffee table. Entering contests is a sure fire way to gain experience in submitting material, navigating rejections, or being published. You can’t lose and you can pat yourself on the back for helping the fellow writers you do and do not know.
My “go-to” resource for open contests and deadlines is the guide to writing prizes for Canadians on the CBC website. It lists the links to all the major contests from coast to coast