Cutting through the noise as a writer is hard. Not only are short story contests a great way to get eyes on your work, winning a short story competition can provide a much needed sense of validation, and it never hurts to make money doing what you love.
When it comes to being a writer, there’s this romantic ideal of someone seated primly at their aesthetic desk, ensconced in their adorable home office, laboring away for hours a day until art emerges, but this is far from the truth. There are many people involved in the process of creating your favorite books. Editors of course, and agents, publicists, marketers.
So you’ve written a book, and you’re no amateur; you know the best writers get other eyes on their work, that art is not created in a vacuum. You’ve enlisted the help of beta readers, maybe friends or people in your writing circle, who will give you that valuable feedback you need. But when you finally get your work back, their comments leave you scratching your head.
Working as a sensitivity reader or a beta reader for a writer friend is one of the greatest joys of being part of the writing community. You get to read a new story before anyone else and you have the privilege of helping your writer friend turn their just-pulled-from-the-cave-wall stone into a highly polished, beautifully cut, sparkling diamond.