After being a member of AtelierKult literary workshop for three years, today I found out that I won their last writing contest. Shared prize with another member to be more exact (so no, I won't get rich), but this is not what I want to talk about in this post.
So far I have seven stories posted in the workshop. I think I've entered all contests except for one since I've become a member, and only one story I've sent outside contests. That one, "The Souls of The Trees", got published in "Dancing on Mars and Other Fantasy Stories" AtelierKult anthology. Go figure! So maybe I should send stories outside contests more often.
But I usually prefer to send them as entry for the contests. Not for the money. Up until recently the rule was to have all participants review all the entries, and that provided good feedback both plot wise as well as grammar and style wise. Sure, you have to have thick skin to survive all the critics from AtelierKult, but once you figure out how things work and get to know the members a little, it's really worth the effort. I've had a draft of "Miss Vu's Morning Ride" ran through their forks and then it was published in "Steampunk: The Second Revolution".
I don't know if the current story is going to end up where it's destined to be, I still have to rewrite it, so we'll see. I'm sure I'm looking forward to the next contest, though. :)