Posted by Lynn on February 10, 2014
Today’s guest post is courtesy of Julie Cahill Tarr
Many of us struggle with writing our family history stories. We know the stories exist, we have done the research, but we cannot seem to get started with the writing process. There are many strategies out there to help us, but one strategy I find useful is entering family history writing competitions.
Several genealogical societies hold annual writing competitions to recognize authors in our field. Many of these authors are your typical genealogist, like you and me, with a story to tell. I can hear it now: “but I’m not good enough,” or “I don’t have time,” or “I don’t know what to write about.” This is precisely why a writing competition can be good for the genealogist’s soul.
Since our goal is to start writing our stories, here are two reasons why a family writing competition can help:
In addition to accomplishing the goal of writing our stories, writing competitions can offer some additional benefits:
With all these things in mind, entering a family history writing competition can also help us in the long run by providing us with much-needed courage for continuing to write our stories. Placing in a writing competition gives us the motivation to write more and even submit articles for publication. Even when we do not win, just having gone through the process gives us the courage to try again or work on something else. Either way, we are writing and ultimately sharing our family history stories.
Family History Writing Competitions
Below is a list of popular family history writing competitions. Be sure to review the complete rules for each competition before entering.
Julie Cahill Tarr. Genealogy has been a passion of Julie’s for several years and she has been a professional writer for as long as she can remember. Helping people write their family stories is a perfect blend of both passions. She provides writing, editing, and design services to assist other genealogists in telling their family stories. Julie is currently the Quarterly Editor and Education Committee Chair for the Illinois State Genealogical Society. You can follow Julie on her genealogy blog, Julie’s Genealogy & History Hub, at http://genealogy.julietarr.com/blog.