I have been posting details of free writing contests on my blog for a while now, so I thought it was time I should perhaps give you some tips on how to win a writing contest, or rather how to win many writing contests.
The first thing to remember is that you should only enter writing contests on which you are knowledgeable and/or passionate about. If you enter a writing contest where you have no knowledge or time for research then you run the risk of not winning or even getting placed. This will do your morale no good. So if you are interested in sport and you see a writing contest on sports make sure you enter it.
Secondly read the rules of the writing contest. If your entry is to be no longer than 400 words make sure it is no longer. You do not want to get a perfectly good article banned from a writing contest because it is too long. You should also make sure you have your submission well in before the closing date incase of any unexpected last minute hitches.
Thirdly spend time on your writing contest submission. Edit it to the death. Plan it out, draw a spider diagram with all the relevant information required, and make sure you include it.
Next relax and enjoy writing your contest submission. If you stress out too much this may come through in your contest entry.
If you have a mentor let them see your writing contest submission and ask them for criticism. Take this criticism well, and remember they are only doing it to improve your writing.
Finally if you do not win this writing contest there is always next time. I find it a better idea to enter free writing contests that have 1st-3rd placings so that you are not out any money to take part and if you do not win then there is a chance you may get a cash prize for coming second or third.
Good luck and I hope you win some writing contests.