Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pondering Contests

Contests are always a puzzlement to me.  Oh, I don't mind the non-fee contests or the ones where ALL the entry fees are given as prizes.  What bothers me is when the contest payouts come no where near the amount of fees being collected. So where does all that extra money go?  Straight into the company's coffers.  Yes, you get bragging rights and a few bucks but who's really the winner?

What brought this up?  Well, I received a link for a flash contest sponsored by Scribe Publishing.  It looked good until you got down to the bottom of the submissions page and they finally tell you that there is a $10 fee to enter.  Okay.  They're only accepting 1000 entries, that's $10,000.  The prizes?  $500, $100, and $50.  A total of $650 out of an incoming $10,000.

If you're into contests that's fine.  Many writers enjoy the competition and bragging rights when they win.  But when I see something like this warning bells start ringing.  Always, always check out the folks running the contests and consider what the prizes are and how they're being divided before you enter any contest. 

6 comments:

Linda Adams said...

I remember getting an email solicitation for a contest. $25 fee. The prize: a $10 dictionary, your story posted for a month, and a link to your blog. It was pretty clear the only person benefiting from it was the contest owners. They withdraw the contest after protests from writer.s

sandra seamans said...

Wow, that one was really a rip-off! It amazes me how many ways people come with to swindle writers out of their money.

Thomas Pluck said...

For $39.95 your poem will be listed in The National Poetry Grandpendium!!! And we'll send you the book!!!!!
!!!!!

:)

sandra seamans said...

Yes, I won one of those contests! No fee to enter, but we will publish your poem if you buy the book :) I think that's probably where I first soured on contests, along with WD's yearly event.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Sandra,

The problem also with many "free" contests is that even though you don't won they publish your work. Thus it can't be sold. So it's important to read the fine print. I won't bother with any "free" contest where all the honorable mentions are published along with the winner and receive no renumeration.

sandra seamans said...

Yes, there's that one, too, Jacqueline. The fine print for most contests needs two pair of glasses to read.