I have officially sent off my membership dues and entry fees to enter my blog in an annual contest organized by the Livestock Publications Council. The LPC is an international organization (based out of Fort Worth) dedicated to “serving the dynamic livestock communications industry.” According to the organization’s website, the goal of the LPC “is to provide a forum through which members can obtain information on how to improve their overall effectiveness and value to both readers and advertisers.” One way the organization accomplishes its goal is through the administration an annual contest which gives publications (and blogs too, it turns out) a venue through which to promote their best work and, in turn, receive feedback on how to improve.
I was already familiar with the contest through my real time spent in the ag journalism industry back in the 2010s. You know, in another life. These days I’m just a stay-at-home ranch wife, mom, and blogger-on-the-side… hardly a professional in the livestock publications industry. Still, though, my friends at the Western Ag Reporter encouraged me to enter, going so far as to stroke my ego with the assurance that prairiemom.me could definitely be competitive in the blogging field.
So… I checked out the entry form. Only $30 to enter the general blog category! Shucks, our Eastern Montana cowboy budget could handle that! The online entry form provided space through which a blogger like me could include PDF files to draw attention to important work. I had a great time going through all my old blogs, picking the best ag-specific stories which I wanted to be sure the judges would see. Like…
… and so many more. It was hard to narrow my choices to just 20 favorite blogs, as the contest rules dictated. In fact, I still kinda want to link to about 57 more posts on this page, because each one is special to me, but the kids will be awake soon, and another day will sputter to a start aided by chocolate chip granola bars… and enough about me loving my own stuff, right?
So, short story, I entered the contest. Remember, it was $30 to enter the blog category. Then…
The LPC contacted me and said I had to be a member of their organization in order to enter the contest. Membership fees: $170.
Well. Beau and I thought long and hard about whether or not it would be worth it for me to pay $200 of our hard-earned cowboy’s wages to enter a contest that might, in probability, lead to nowhere for me. But. But. But. There exists a chance that something good — you know, fame, fortune, feedback — could come of my participation in said contest. I considered all the other things I could do with $200:
- buy a new swimsuit for the coming summer (I keep thinking that if I can find just the right suit, I’ll feel comfortable wearing it in public)
- buy a spring dress for myself (I have one, the same one I’ve had since 2004, and my 4-year-old informed me this Easter that my old dress is no longer appropriate)
- buy me some power tools (because every stay-at-home mom needs some tools; it’s clear that if any of my honey-do projects are gonna get done, I’m gonna be the one doing them)
- buy lawn furniture — because the camp chairs we stole from somebody at a rodeo just don’t seem all that grown up anymore
- buy 4 boxes of diapers.
Then we got our tax refund back (did you know the US government pays us for having kids?!) and we were feeling filthy rich and we decided, Aw, what the heck — what would it hurt to try?
So that is the story of how I entered a contest. Good luck to me.
© Tami Blake