Tuesday, August 16, 2011

2011 Blizzard Global Writing Contest

Well, it was bound to happen. The 2011 Blizzard Global Writing Contest is up. I'm oddly ambivalent about it this year though, reason being that a lot has happened since then.

In 2009 I was pretty hungry as a writer. I didn't get much recognition for my work, and getting an Honorable Mention in the contest was an amazing validation.

In 2010 I wrote what I thought was a fantastic follow-up to my 2009 Honorable Mention. My one beta reader who'd read both works thought the second was much better than the first. But it ended up that I didn't place at all. (My feeling is the competition was probably stiffer, or perhaps Blizzard was just tired of blood elf paladins.)

Meanwhile, in 2010 I ended up winning a critically acclaimed international writing competition for amateur writers. Patrick Rothfuss is a previous winner, and if you've been reading fantasy fiction at all these past few years his name probably rings a bell even if you haven't read his work. Since my 2010 win I have sold an additional two short stories (the winning story was published in a compilation of winners) at professional rates.

Now I'm faced with the conceit that while I find the competition fun, time writing for a Blizzard contest might not pay off. It will take time away from work I can probably be paid for, for a remote chance at getting Blizzard to recognize my work as a writer (which may or may not lead to additional work as a writer).

Is it worth writing what is essentially an audition piece I will not be able to use anywhere else instead of a short story I could sell at a number of different publishers?

None of Blizzard's winners have gone on to write a novel or even the short stories in the Warcraft Legends manga,--just the short stories on the web site. The novels are the department of established pros such as Christie Golden and Richard Knaak who cut their teeth on Dungeons & Dragon products. Aaron Rosenberg, one of the less utilized Warcraft novelists, is still a known media tie-in author who presumably came to the attention of the company through his pre-established writing chops.

I'm not saying I won't write something. I've been having an idea knocking about my head in anticipation of the contest. But I still have to ask myself: Is it worth it?

By the way, if anyone happens to be curious as to my non-WoW writing endeavors, I've added a link on the side-bar of my blog (you won't see it on an RSS feed) to my award-winning novelette, which is now available on Kindle at just $0.99. From there you can also get to my Amazon author page and find information about my other upcoming works, my author blog, and author Twitter.

I generally try to keep my WoW and writing identities separate, but when they collide like during the contest some crossover is expected.


Anonymous said...

It's always worth a shot I think. You never know what can happen. ^_^ I wouldn't suggest cutting work time in order to do it (unless you're really bored and don't have much else to work on).

That being said it's also my first time here, I don't know what you do for a living. ^^; But nevertheless, you never know what surprises could be around the corner. :D

Hana said...

My day job is in the game industry, but I write fiction on the side. It is my second job, if you will. The day job takes priority because it pays the bills. The writing takes second priority, and fun time and WoW take the rest.

Writing for the contest means less time in WoW and possibly less time doing writing I might actually be paid for, which is the concerning part.

Anonymous said...

I realize I'm a bit late finding your blog, lol. I entered Blizzard's contest, and even if I don't win (which is likely), I don't consider it a waste of time. Anything I write is practice writing and makes me a better writer.