Saturday, April 27, 2019

Fake Writer's Contests

An excellent overview of scammers using high fee contests to con writers out of their money is available at Writer Beware: Writer Beware for April 26, 2019.

I generally won't submit my writing to any contest that charges fees, the exception being one or two magazines/journals I planned to subscribe to anyway, where the contest entry fee gives you a subscription. I am a bit sympathetic to magazines forcing subscriptions on people submitting to their contests, since if writers want to benefit from the staff at that magazine they should perhaps be a bit supportive of that community--the minimum of taking out a subscription--but also, one does sort of have to read a magazine/journal before submitting to it. I find it strange that so many writers want us to read their stories, but have so little interest in reading other people's writing. But anyway, that's a different situation than where a contest sponsor wants you to send them $25 to enter their story contest, where the prize is, say, $200. So as long as they get 8 entries they break even, and anything over that is pure profit. And you have to watch the fine print or you may find that submitting gives them the rights to your story, even if you don't win--so 100 authors pay them to enter, and they only pay the three winners, but get to keep all the rest for free. Yeah, no.

Non paying markets that charge $3 for submissions are a different thing--the $3 pays for the submission system, so that's okay. I figure the $3 are what I'd pay in postage. But nonpaying and $10? Yeah, no.

Your mileage may vary. But watch out for the scams in the Writer Beware article. Those are just straight sucker exploitation.

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