Today I came across a competition online where authors get to write just one page. Yep. Just one page of fiction, but there are more rules. Your work must be double-spaced and have a cliffhanger ending. Yes. You must compose a piece that leaves the reader asking for more. Wanting to turn over the first page and continue reading. For just £3.50 you get a shot at the $700.00 CAD grand prize and a chance to be featured in a magazine.
I didn't enter this competition because I could win, even though that is a possibility. I coughed out the small entrance fee just to experience the challenge, and put down something I could look back on months from now and feel the satisfaction of knowing that I really did my best for the challenge. RUN took me thirty minutes to compose, write and edit, but, I know that this one page short story will be enjoyed many years from now by people I will never meet in my lifetime.
There is a reason for one to attempt many competitions as a writer. First, you get to show your writing style to a wider audience if you win. This means more fans and more money in your pocket. Secondly, the experts in your genre might show interest in your work and place you under their wings in order to teach you and make you a better writer, even if you don't win. And finally, you'll have a chance to experience the fun side of writing, because writing is fun for those who do it out of love for their compositions.
In my opinion, the One Page Challenge is not just a competition. I see it as a novel approach to honing one's fictional writing skills from the very first page of a raw manuscript. Having the ability to compel a first time reader of your work to turn the first page of your book matters a great deal. Why? Simple. Nobody will read your novel if they don't get interested in finding out more from page one. This is the basic reason I love this competition, because it makes us better writers by teaching us, through practice, how important a novel's first page is. And as a result of this personal conclusion, here is a link to the competition's website in case you know any budding young author who needs such an exercise:
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