Paying to Enter Writing Competitions

money to burn 1

   REALLY? Who actually does it? Some entry fees are relatively small, but frequently range from £8-£12. I’m not an idiot. I’m not going to pay money in the vague hope of potentially getting published, that doesn’t even guarantee much of a readership. Unless you win or place in the top three, you get nothing out of it, (usually) not even feedback. You have potentially tied up a story that you could have submitted elsewhere for some moolah, for 100% profit.

It’s back assward. Writing is tough enough. To pay money out is a huge gamble. Or am I missing a trick here? Am I overreacting? Have you entered and won from paying to enter a writing contest? I’d be fascinated to hear from you.

5 Comments

  1. we-ell, I can see this from both points of view. Last year I sent off my stories to 50 places. Some of them were free (eg Aberdeen University Special Collections writing competition, Scottish Book Trust Journeys competition). Some of them cost a fiver or less. A fiver was my limit.

    I got a second place with one story and won £50. They published that story in their anthology. A printed book for sale on Amazon. I was delighted.

    I won first prize in another competition – £50 and a night in a hotel. Plus an article and photo in the local papers. The pride and kudos of winning was fantastic. It was a very small and unknown competition but I didn’t care.

    That’s the sum of it. I spent about £150 entering things last year.

    This year on January 1 I decided ‘freebies only’. I have so far had one story accepted by a US literary journal and I am waiting for a decision on 12 others. All free to enter. I work with Cathy Bryant’s compsandcalls listing of freebies, invaluable.

    Watch this space.

    1. Yeah pretty much, although its clear what the terms are. But any short story publisher of any reputation won’t charge the writer just to have them consider it for publication. I’d rather stick the £8 on a football match!

  2. I agree wholeheartedly! Addressed this in my own blog–the awards are nonsense and bragging that you’ve gotten one makes you look amateurish. Don’t need any gold-foil stickers for my books–let my readers decide if they are winners!

Please, type what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s