Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Writing competition

Spilling Ink Review has some competitions on offer which you have to pay to enter. The one that appeals to me is the Microfiction competition - entries have to be under 300 words. I can do that!

That one ends on 30th June, but there's a Short Story competition ending on 31st August, Flash Fiction/Prose Poetry ends 31st October and Creative Non-Fiction ends 31st January next year.

I've never entered a competition where you have to pay to enter before but I'm thinking of giving it a go. Have you ever done that?


Simon Kewin said...

I have occasionally, although I admit I'm always wary of doing so. Sometimes it just feels like a money-making venture and I avoid those obviously. On the other hand, it must be a lot of work to sift though hundreds of submissions so maybe it's fair enough. This particular magazine I would trust - they were wise and sensible enough to accept one of my stories so they must be good people!

fairyhedgehog said...

Simon, I had a good feeling about this one and your recommendation clinches it! Now to polish the story.

Old Kitty said...


thanks for the links and the info about these competitions!!! GOOD LUCK with your entry!!!

As for paying - I guess it depends on the price of the fee and the prestige of the competition organizers! This mag come highly recommended by Simon so that's brilliant!!

Take care

Bernita said...

Never have, but it's as Old Kitty says.
Good luck!

fairyhedgehog said...

Kitty, I'll let you know how I get on!

Bernita, thanks!

joanne fox said...

I do pay to enter writing competitions, but it's wise to be selective.

Thanks for the link. 300 words is a nice length. Good luck!

fairyhedgehog said...

Joanne, thank you! And good luck if you go in for it too!

Clair Humphries said...

Hi Fairyhedgehog, have just found your blog via Lexi Revellian's - I had to investigate because I love your name! Will definitely be coming back.

I agree with the comments above - if it's by a reputable mag it should be fine. Good luck! Clair x

fairyhedgehog said...

Hi Clair, welcome and I'm glad you like it here! I've signed up to your blog too.

Myrna Foster said...

I did once with a magazine I already liked. Good luck!

And I'm sorry about the CFS (I read your comment on Natalie Whipple's blog). I've had it for almost 14 years.

fairyhedgehog said...

Thanks, Myrna. Having CFS for 14 years really sucks. My son got it when he was 11 or 12 and he's nearly well now (he's 24) but not completely. At least neither he nor I have had to bring up children at the same time.

jjdebenedictis said...

I never have because I'm paranoid about scammers. These contests can be every bit as predatory as vanity publishers.

Treat them like the lottery, I suppose. If the prize is tempting, you can spare the money, and the thrill of competing is worth that amount of money, then why not?

fairyhedgehog said...

jj, a lottery is pretty much it! I like the look of Spilling Ink Review, though, and maybe it's just a way of supporting it!

Phoenix Sullivan said...

I'm kind of with JJ here (hi, JJ!). It's an ultra-fine line between a reputable contest and a scam -- or a money-making venture that helps keep a reputable company in business through scam-like efforts.

With the lengths of text being competitioned, they'll be able to cram a lot of "winners" into an anthology, which they'll be able to then sell to the "winners" and their families. I take it if your story goes into the book but you don't win top prize and a copy of the book that you'll be buying a copy, eh? So that entry fee will at least double in the end.

Still, if you're comfortable and you're going in eyes open, go for it.

For the record, I've entered one contest sponsored by a local branch of a national writers' organization where the top four finalists were to be judged by an editor of a house that doesn't normally accept unsolicited mss. (These contests are extremely common and extremely profitable for this organization.) I gambled that I'd make the cut. I did and I got good feedback from the editor.

On hindsight, however, I came away feeling like I'd just pimped the editor. Seems it would be cheaper and more efficient to just cut out the middleman (the writers' org trying to make a few extra dollars/euros), and simply slip a bit of money into each of my query envelopes than to pay someone else for the opportunity -- and not even the certainty -- for my work to be looked at by an agent or editor. At least it would be more honest.

Obviously, I have a negative view of contests, but as long as everyone has an objective view of them being nothing more than fundraisers for the sponsoring org and it's an org you want to support, then by all means support away. Just understand that even a win in these types of contests means very little to the industry pros and it's a publishing credit akin to a vanity press "credit" that will likely be better off not being mentioned in a query letter.

And you know, some people are contest junkies. They love to enter contests -- and that's as OK a lifestyle choice as my not choosing to enter any. In the end, it depends on what YOU'RE looking to get out of the experience.

fairyhedgehog said...

Hi Phoenix,

[edited comment - I lost the last one!]

You've got some very helpful thoughts here.

This particular anthology is available to all shortlisted people free of charge, which sounds good to me.

The Review's founder is a very nice lady and Simon has had a good experience but I may not enter as I'm not sure how good a fit my story is for the Review. Then again, I can't make up my mind! I'll just have to see how I feel by the deadline!

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