Would you join a contest for a short story or novel if there was an entry fee?
I just received a newsletter about a contest for short stories and novels. The short story submission can be up to 3000 words, the entry fee is $24.00 per entry -- the winner will receive $4800.00. The novel must be at least 60,000 words, entry fee is $22.00 per submission. Novels chosen will win $800.00 plus the possibility of representation by a top literary agency. You can submit as many stories as you like. I am pondering, but, do not like the idea of paying money to win money. What do you think?
Definitely not. I do not enter any contest or sweepstakes if I have to pay an entry fee first. That could mean it was a scam - they may take your money and run.
not all are scams. You have to check them out. Writer's Digest is not a scam and most contests are fee based so that they can award prize money.
That is one of my thoughts also, Kevin. Plus, what if they used my story for their own purpose? They are a good company I believe, but, one never knows. Thanks for you opinion, I appreciate it.
I agree with Rachael, I would trust Writer's Digest and others which I know and trust - just not anonymous or unknown ones. (I should have said that in the first place.)
I agree with Rachel there are many bona fide competitions that charge a fee. Usually a small fee.
It would depend on if it was a well known organization running the contest. I entered this one by Writer's Digest and had no problems with paying a fee to enter.
I would be suspicious if I was solicited out of the blue from a place I didn't know. Do your "google" homework and check out whomever you got the newsletter from or the sponsor of the contest. Read comments - you can get a lot of info from comments on anything you research
www dot writersdigest dot com slash competitions/writers-digest-annual-competition
I get this newsletter monthly (for over a year now). They document everything and seem like a good organization. I just don't like the thought of paying to enter. I understand their POV, they have to get money from somewhere to pay out.
In that case, I'd go by how much they want to enter. I have a limit - if it costs more than 25 bucks, I'm not interested.
If it was a well-known business or organization and the fee was minimal, maybe. I still might not because paying to enter a contest is just another way of saying "gambling", and if I'm going to gamble I'll go to a casino and play the slots, thanks. ;-)
If it's a small company then there's too much chance of it being a scam.
I understand the dilemma in which you would be in with deciding whether to sign up for a contest. I do not like the idea of paying first, it is like those publishing company that wants you to pay thousands of dollars up front before they would publish your book idea. I love to write, so I can understand why you would ponder on the idea of paying a fee just to enter. I am sorry my comment was of no real help. I wanted to express how my thoughts are the same as yours when it comes to doubting an idea, and or contest.
I would never do that cuz my riting is sew badly. Their is know whey eye wood ever win and than eye'd be outta the monie.
There are a lot of reputable writing contests that charge an entry fee. Even the Writer's Digest - one of the oldest and most well-respected trade magazine for the publishing industry - charges entry fees on their annual contests.
I think that this is reasonable to weed out those who aren't really serious. I mean, imagine the mountains of manuscripts that the poor judges have to read-- especially for novels. The last thing they need are dozens or hundreds of entries of people who jotted down whatever drivel they could think of to give it a shot.
Also it's where the prize money generally comes from, and the rest goes to the actual running of the contest.
I would just research the people running the contest-- make sure it's not a vanity submission thing. For example, if the contest promises the possibility of representation by a top lit agency-- which agency? Is it reputable? Is the agency actually in on this? You just have to do your research to ensure it's on the level, and that the prize potential would be worth the fee.
Although not all are scams it is better to go for the free contests. I entered one and got through to the short list which got it published in an anthology.
Agree with the people who say to make sure you check out the place first and make sure they're reputable. My other warning would be to read the fine print and, if it's not there, ask for it to be sent to you. My greatest concern without seeing all of the fine details is whether or not you retain full say in what they can and can't do with your entry and whether or not you have to hand over the copyright.
I've only done so with poetry. World of Poetry, as I recall, required $5 per poem, but the first submission was free. My pocket book keeps me from participating in such contests.
Just be sure you know who you're dealing with. I entered two because I knew they were legitimate. I placed 1st in one and 4th in the other. One paid and the other was out of the money but I still got published. That too should be a consideration.
Not all, mind you, but most of the contests I have been involved in are what they call "vanity" publishing. You get published and then they want to sell you a compilation of said writings for 100 bucks! After purchasing the book, they then will invite you to a writers convention for 1000 dollars, as a special guest. So take the advice of the others and research the outfit that is running the contest!
When it comes to writing, I do not like to compare my writing to anyone else. We are all different people with different styles and opinions! Writing is a doorway to the soul!!! Really, do you want to lay your soul out there to be deconstructed by critics who do not even know you?
If you want to spend money for publishing your work, then hire a publishing agent. That is how you get your foot into that door!
I generally don't enter contests with entry fees. The likelihood of winning any contest is slim, but with free contests it's easy to say "what is there to lose?" With paid contests it's kind of like paying to lose. I know that's kind of a pessimistic view to have on it, but much like with literary agents, the legitimate ones don't charge for submissions. If a contest or agent is charging, they're doing it to make a quick buck, not to find the next great writer.
I have decided to not enter any writing contests or submit articles for publication if there is a fee. I just read a very interesting article on this subject and think it has a lot of merit:
Thank you to everyone who participated in answering my question. You all had very good thoughts and I appreciate your help.
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