29 July 2010

Eulogy...Writers' Forum Young Writers' Competition

It's the end of July. That means not long until school begins. That means Millcove is launching the Poets Meet Painters Publication on Saturday. And that means Writer's Forum comes out (came out today actually).
Usually, that is a happy occasion. After all, who doesn't like magazines? And when they help improve your writing and give you an opportunity to be published and to read some short stories, why, that's even better.
But, this month, Writer's Forum brings sad news. Not sad for many people, but sad for me especially. This issue is the last issue in which the Writer's Forum Young Writers Competition will be held. I have been entering, whenever I felt I had a good story or poem, since August 2009. Exactly a year ago.
Their reasons for doing so are logical, so I can't complain of injustice, but I still have to question the impact this will have on people of my age who enter entered each month.
The reason for discontinuation of the contest according to the editor is as follows: "Although it has remained popular among a regular group of entrants, space is limited and we want to use the pages for content that all of our readers will find useful."
However, this was the only contest that I knew of for young writers that was frequent, open to international entries, rewarded with publication and money or a dictionary, and was a respected magazine to be published in. It saddens me that other young writers will not get the chance to see their work published in an international magazine. Most magazines and other publications specify that entrants must be of a certain age (usually above 16 or 18). This cuts out all those below that age, even if their stories could have stood up against those of adults.
Also, even if those aforementioned stories were not that good, the contest provided a goal to strive for, a reason to perfect stories, to keep writing. In short, a reason to become better so that when the younger writers are of an age to enter, they will have the skills, patience, and dedication to keep entering even when they don't place.


PonyGirl said...

noooooo..... you're not seriouse? thats soooo unfair. that sucks! i only won that competition once, but it did give me something to organize myself for, to set it down as a deadline by which i had to have a story done. and it felt like i had better chances cause there wasn't life long writers next to my silly little story. damn!

Aoife.Troxel said...

You should write a letter to them (letters@writers-forum.com)...if enough people do, maybe they will start it again.