A Six Month Plan

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  • Post category:Poetry

Finally my copy of Volume 1 of Sybil’s Scriptorium is sitting on my bookshelf, and it’s a book I love to look at up there. The written works that were published are all amazing and entirely worth reading, and the illustrations are beautiful! If you weren’t at 2014 Life, the Universe, & Everything Symposium, or you simply didn’t pick up a copy of the book while you were there, you can still buy one here!

Alright, shameless plugging aside, it’s time to talk about how you can start preparing right now for next year’s contests, specifically the Odyssey Poetry Contest! Entries for the next contest are due September 15, 2014 which is slightly less than seven months away from right now. If you want to enter the Odyssey Poetry Contest (or any of the contests really) I have come up with a six month plan for you so that you can have your best possible entry ready come September 15th.

Month 1: Brainstorm – Figure out what it is that you want to write about (or draw).

Month 2: Rough Draft – Try to turn off your internal editor and just crank out a first draft of your entry. It doesn’t have to be the best thing you’ve ever created on the first draft, in fact it probably won’t be.

Month 3: Re-Work It – Try to take a bit of a break between “months” two and three so when you get to “month” three you are seeing your work with fresh eyes. Find things that you want to change, and change them. Use this time for editing your work yourself before someone else sees it.

Month 4: Find a Friend – Take what you’ve been working on to a friend (or more, really as many as are willing to look at it the better). They’ll see things that you didn’t see and they’ll be able to make suggestions that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.

Month 5: Try Getting a Final Draft – The earlier you feel like your entry is ready to be entered, the more time you have to work out the finer details of your writing, or illustration. If by the end of “month” five you have a working final draft, “month” six will be much better.

Month 6: Submit! – Do whatever you need to have your entry ready, and submit it. Take it back to those lovely friends who helped you back in “month” four and make sure they don’t have any more suggestions. Maybe ask some new people to look at it. Put the finishing touches on your entry and submit it!

In all honesty you can complete this six “month” plan, easily in a matter of weeks. However, if you want to spread out the work between now and the deadline, you may want to take each “month” literally.

Share any suggestions you have for working on entries in the comments below!