So I basically decided that in lieu of other serious employment prospects, I’m going to be earning my way entering every single writing competition with a cash prize that I can find. Better than throwing my money away on lottery tickets, for sure! And I get to practice various writing techniques and styles, and use different themes and story lengths as defined by each respective set of rules.
Through this search I found the Book Drum Tournament, which at first glance seemed like once such likely competition, only focused on reviewing previously published works instead of producing creative writing.
“Huh,” I thought, “a chance to work on my critical thinking skills. Not a bad idea.” But then I look closer, read the examples as listed under the “Books” tab.
Not a single bit of critical thinking among them.
What I had first assumed would be a set of independently-written Cliff’s Notes is in fact nothing more than a glorified glossary to each work. The “bookmarks” section of each book, instead of highlighting the important themes and nuances, merely seeks to define and illustrate references to places, people and popular culture.
Book Drum claims that its competition is one “in which book lovers from Australia to Zambia can delve deep into a favourite book and, by building an illustrated profile, share their enthusiasm for it with the rest of the world.”
No. They share their ability to use Google Image Search and Wikipedia.
If I wanted to share my enthusiasm for a book, this is exactly not how I’d do it, as a creative person. To me, this is nothing more than a website for schoolkids to go on and cheat their way out of reading novels assigned to them.
And then those kids will fail, because they will have missed every single important thing about that book.
So, even though the prize money is good, I’m not endorsing that. My moral outrage won’t allow it.