Did you know that you can win prizes for your writing skills?
Essay contests are a fun way to turn your creativity and your command of the written word into great prizes.
Oftentimes, your first impulse isn't your best.
Consider different ways that you can make the contest theme personal, come at it from a different angle, or stand out from all of the other contest entries. How can you make your ideas surprising and unexpected?
Instead, focus on whether your essay is hitting the right emotional notes, how your story comes across, whether you are using the right voice, and if you are communicating everything you intend to.
AFirst drafts are important because they help you overcome any reluctance to write.If you can start with a powerful, intriguing, moving, or hilarious first sentence, you'll hook your readers' interest and stick in their memory when it is time to pick winners.For some ideas on how to make your essay unforgettable, see Red Mittens, Strong Hooks, and Other Ways to Make Your Essay Spectacular.Your essay's red mitten might be a clever play on words, a dash of humor, or a heart-tuggingly poignant story that sticks in the judges' minds.If your first draft is feeling a little bland, consider whether you can add a red mitten to spice up your story. This is also the time when you should cut out extraneous words and make sure that you've come in under the word count limit, which will generally improve your writing.Let your mind mull over the idea subconsciously for a little while.Many times, people think of exactly what their essay needs to make it perfect, right after they have hit the submit button. This is also a good time to ask a friend to double-check your spelling and grammar.But how do you give your essay the edge that gets it picked from among all of the other entries?Here is a step-by-step guide to writing essays that win contests.Now that you have a fairly polished first draft of your essay contest entry, put it aside and don't look at it for a little while.If you have time before the contest ends, put your essay away for at least a week.