Inside Ink and Insights: Why It’s One of the Best Writer Competitions

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I’m a longtime fan of the Ink and Insights’ writing competition and it has little to do with being a judge. That’s part of it, but not the main draw for me. As a writer myself, I see what it brings to the writing competition landscape, and find many others hard to compare.

A writing competition shouldn’t just be about if you have an agent/publisher at the end of it. This is a huge element of course, and one that can make a writer’s mouth water. I myself flung my hat into the ring multiple times over the years.

Let’s consider if you don’t get agent/publisher interest from a writing competition. What does that mean for your story? Will you get feedback? Know how to better develop it? Get a sense of if you’re pushing the right genre, age category, etc? Probably not.

I have entered writing competitions and had…

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Inside Ink and Insights: Objectivity Versus Subjectivity

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As an Ink and Insights‘ judge, one of my main tasks is to be objective as I read and critique. It’s important not to let my subjective views determine how an excerpt will be judged.

I have preferences of course, things like genre and age category. All judges have the same kinds of preferences. One of the reasons for this is familiarity. For example, as speculative fiction, mystery/thriller, and action-adventure are among the genres I often read and write too, I have a good idea of what’s expected from these kinds of stories. As such, these mostly show up in my inbox.

Writers don’t have to worry about judges reviewing subject matter they can’t stand either. For example, I tend to avoid subject matter with graphic depictions of violence against children. Personal experiences and my potential reactions to such, doesn’t make me the best judge for stuff like this…

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Inside Ink and Insights: Top 3 Writing Mistakes I See In My Inbox and How to Avoid Them

Great advice from an Ink & Insights Top Judge.

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After reading manyInk and Insights’ submissions in the last 3+ years, there are a few writing mistakes that constantly crop up. They can be easy to miss when you’re caught up in the moment of, ya know, getting your story down.

Avoiding these three writing mistakes can help in creating a more solid, active story, with improved flow. What are they? Let’s get into it:

1. Pacing Is Off

Pacing sets the tone for your story. You know exactly what I mean even if you think you don’t. For example, when you start a book, or a TV show, you already know if you’re going to keep going based on the pace. It’s something we don’t really think about, but this one thing determines our initial feelings about a story within the first few pages/minutes.

Knowing how you want your story structured, will aid with consistent pacing. Ever noticed…

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Inside Ink and Insights: What This Judge Wants

A new blog post from one of our TOP judges.

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Fortune shone on me as my mum read to me nightly. I’m sure this is where my love of reading began and would one day lead me to reading and judging for the Ink and Insights writing competition. *Pause for effect.*

Okay, I made that much more dramatic than it is, but there is some truth to it. Reading a lot led to writing, editing, and content development. The competition is another branch of this progress ^_^.


You’ve got the background, now here’s a little insider info – Ink and Insights’ judges are given a list of preference choices for genre, age category, etc. We’re then able to let the competition’s organisers know what we love/like, what we’re okay with but would rather not read, and what we definitely don’t want to read. This is a great system as it means each judge is paired with submissions best suited to…

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A Tale of Two Opinions

- By Ink & Insights judge: Nic Tatano   We all know that pretty much everything about writing talent is subjective. Everyone has picked up a bestseller and thought about tossing it through a window like Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook when he got fed up with Hemingway. And there’s the book that never…