Shine Bright Not Holding Back

By Steffanie Costigan 

March 13, 2024

Entering book contests is not just about getting recognized it is a healthy way for authors and writers to measure their skills and improve. In order to shine as bright as you can you first need to find out the level you are at. 

That is why I worked hard for my book Land of the Dragon to get the opportunity to be nominated for five different literary contests; two of the contests are based in Canada and the other three are based in the USA. I was very anxious when Land of the Dragon was nominated wondering if my book could have a shot. 

Two of the USA contests are review contests meaning the organizations have judges and reviewers that read over your book and once they are done, they score it out of five stars. These contests that review the books Land of the Dragon was entered in were Literary Titans, and Readers View. 

The other American contest Land of the Dragon was nominated for was the Eric Hoffer contest. The two Canadian contests Land of the Dragon has been entered in are the Canadian Authors Fred Kerner Book Award and the Canadian Book Club Award. 

To me having my book entered in contest is not just to try to seek for recognition, or awareness although those are nice. What I am really striving for is competing and improving, I can’t improve without first seeing where I am at. 

My book had a small victory recently winning a gold award with Literary Titans, being as competitive as I am I was really happy Land of the Dragon got a five-star review with Readers View. However, I was sad that it didn’t make it to a category award. But at the end of the day, it is the steps forward that really matters. I wish I could say I was always an optimistic thinker, but the truth is I am not. I hold a lot of self-doubts that I can fall into, but from my little quiet observation of other authors within the community, I am noticing it is a common pattern.

Just as the sane goes people are harder on themselves than anyone else; the same can be said about authors and writers. We are our worst critics when I take off my shoes and step into another author’s shoes, I realize I get caught up in things that are not worth my worries. It is wonderful my book was able just to have the opportunity to be nominated in all these awards let alone win one of them so far. 

Shining your brightest isn’t about how many contests your book is entered in or even how many awards your book is able to win, no shining your brightest is really your growth and progression in the thing you love doing and are passionate about. A lesson I overlook from time to time but when I am reminded it lifts up a weight I hold. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *