I love entering contests, specifically short-answer, creative writing contests. Give me a 250 word essay contest answering the question“What you would you do with a lifetime supply of meatballs?” and I’m a happy camper.
Yet, it’s hard to find old-fashioned writing contests these days. With Facebook and Instagram, contests are much more public, and the judging is often crowd-sourced. (Do you really want your exes and colleagues to know what you’d do with those meatballs?) In the good old days, I’d scour magazines and newspapers for contests, and then fill out paper forms with a good old pencil. I’d win the prize without having to share the answer.
Yet, today, you need to post your best selfie in your gold-extension eyelashes and then ask your eight-hundred besties to vote for you on Facebook. Then, if you are one of the top three finalists, strangers from across the continent will re-post your picture on Twitter and the person with the most Twitter shares wins. I’m tired and embarrassed just thinking about it.
Yep, I prefer simple writing contests with fabulous prizes. And one of the most simple writing contests I’ve seen recently involved giving away an inn. An actual INN! (I didn’t enter since I’m not sure what I would do with an Inn. Meatballs, yes! An inn? Probably not.)
I’ve seen another “Win the Inn” contest earlier this year. People had to submit essays on why they wanted to win the inn, and the innkeeper chose the winner. These innkeepers get gold stars from me. I can’t imagine a better way to pass on a beloved business. There was are no facebook likes involved, no re-tweets, and no posts to social media accounts. They are good ol’ fashioned writing contests.
And a contest involving nothing more than words on a page is a contest I’d like to keep around. I’m all for creativity when using adjectives. But creative uses for eyelash extensions are simply not my forte.