Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Editor Unleashed and Smashwords Partner on New Writing Contest: Why do You Write?

Why do writer's write?

This is the subject of a cool new essay writing contest over at Maria Schneider's Editor Unleashed writing community. Smashwords is co-sponsoring the contest, which carries a $500 prize for the winner.

Like the last Flash Fiction 40 contest we co-sponsored with Editor Unleashed, it's free to enter.

The top 50 entrants, as voted on by the Editor Unleashed community and a panel of expert judges, will be published at Smashwords in a free anthology (If you haven't seen the Flash Fiction 40 Anthology, download it here).

"Why Writers Write" will also be the subject of my next column over at Huffington Post. The topic fascinates me. As I wrote in my latest HuffPo column, like all artists throughout the centuries, most writers are severely under compensated for their work. Yet they keep writing, and they will always keep writing. Why?

Kudos to Maria for choosing such a fascinating and important theme. Learn more about the contest over at Editor Unleashed.

Tell me, why do you write? Add your comments in the comment field below.

November 16 update: My new column at HuffPo is up, "Why Do Writers Write?"

Image credit: Editor Unleashed.


Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

I write for a living. For the money! I love my job, but I wouldn't spend 400 hours every tax season putting together a 700-page study guide if I wasn't getting paid for it.

What else would I say? Oh, and yes-- I write because I'm compelled. I'm compelled to nevr go back to retail!!

Great blog by the way. Guess what my word verification is for this comment? SULTS (yes I know what it sounds like)

Derek said...

I'm reminded of Dr. Johnson's dictum, "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money." If that's true, then many of us would fall into the "blockhead" category! But I find there's pleasure to be had in forming ideas into words, words into sentences, and sentences into paragraphs.

Mark Coker said...

Hi Derek. And don't forget the please of forming those paragraphs into stories! Although, I suppose, some writers might reap aesthetic pleasure from paragraphs as well. :)

Maria said...

I do not know why I keep writing. I do not know. Every time I'm done writing...I get another idea. And it's just such a GOOD idea. And so it goes.

(Just to be clear, this is a different Maria Schneider commenting than the one sponsoring the contest. We just happen to share the same great name!)

Mark Coker said...

Maria, I love your answer!

Mark Coker said...

Update: My next HuffPo column will be titled, "Why Writers Write." I've invited folks on Twitter to to tweet why they write in 140 characters or less, and the best 5-10 I'll add to my HuffPo column with full Twitter @ttribution. See

quackingalone said...

Why do I write?

Perhaps I enjoy sharing my insanity with the world.

Perhaps I have delusions of power and enjoy creating a world and populating it with people who behave the way I want them too. Lord knows, my children never do. And my husband? Forget about it!

Perhaps I think the world needs more happy endings.

Most likely, I write for all of those reasons and none of them.

I write because I have to. I write professionally as an attorney and then I come home and write for pleasure. What would the world look like to me if I didn't write?

Some folks drink. Others smoke weed. I write.

Is there a 12 step program to help you quit?

Mary Witzl said...

I write because I'm long-winded and I've got a lot to say. I don't have to see my readers glancing at their watches. And it gives me the illusion of a captive audience.

Oswald Bastable said...

It started when I was badly injured and had little else I could do.

From there, the habit started!

hank said...

I write both non-fiction and fiction. For many years the non-fiction writing paid off. Now I am "semi-retired" and write non-fiction to share some of my experience and knowledge with entrepreneurs.

Fiction I write because I want to. I love to feel that someone, somewhere, reads my fiction and really likes it. Money earned is entirely secondary (of course, it's always nice to get paid)

Keep up the great innovative work at Smashwords. I published my recent non-fiction with you, and plan to send you my latest novel(presently available in paperback) early in 2010, so the E-book community can take part in enjoying it.

Hank Jordan
Oceanside CA

Deanna said...

Although this is an older post it's the only one I can find regarding the Why I Write contest. I was among those that placed in the contest and am wondering, since EU went down several months ago, what happened to the anthology. Was it published? I cannot find it on Smashwords. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Thank you