Sunday, May 24, 2009

Poll: What do you think of under 30 writing competitions?

What do you think about age-targeted writing competitions?

There seems to be a rash of new competitions for writers under 30. Narrative hosted a cleverly-titled 30 Below contest recently and Kenyon Review just announced the winner of their under 30 contest. It is not a blatant attempt at name dropping to say that winner Cara Blue Adams was in my workshop at Kenyon last summer. I think that's pretty cool. However, in defending the contest guidelines, which he noted were controversial, Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky says,

"Yet, it is all too easy for a literary magazine to fill its pages with established authors, allowing the polished work of those at the height of their literary powers to push aside work that is new and cutting edge."

I think he may have gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick there. I'm guessing the controversy wasn't so much over old making way for new as whether new and cutting edge" necessarily equates with being under 30.

So what do you think? Leave comments below and vote in our pole.


Barb said...

It's a strange assumption to make that once you are over thirty, you are established. Surely your progress as a writer determines whether you are or not.

Wonder how it would go down if there was a contest where you had to be over thirty to enter.

Barb said...

Sorry, read the poll options after posting the above!

Angie Ledbetter said...

I'm not a fan of contest restrictions of any kind. So many people are left out.

CashewElliott said...

I'm fine with them. If there were an overabundance of contests with one particular restriction I may start arguing against that, but I think it will all work itself out.

Amy Sue Nathan said...

Being 45, I don't like contests for under 30. I would not mind a contest for 45 year old divorced moms in the Midwest though. ;)

Lady Glamis said...

I'm okay with the competitions as long as they don't become the norm.


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