The merit of contests that ask for entry fees

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Kylyra Ameringer
director, filmaker & writer
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The merit of contests that ask for entry fees

Postby Kylyra Ameringer » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:29 pm

Can someone please tell me why every 'established' writing organisation will tell new/existing members that if publications ask for reading fees you should avoid them, yet these same organisations will promote contests to their members that have entry fees? Isn't it the same thing?

Do you think it's worth entering some of these contests even though they ask for an entry fee? I find that a difficult issue to sort out. So many of the contests are promoted as a big deal, yet I don't have the funds to enter my work in all of them. I'd like to be able to tout some credentials behind my writing, but I'm no fool - most of these contests are run to make money for the people organising it. We can all do the numbers - 200 entries at €10 each with a few hundred euro in prize money leaves lots of pocket cash.

What's your policy on this issue? Do you avoid entering anything with fees, or do you pick and choose among the most prestigious? And does anyone know of any writing contests with entry fees that they feel are good options?

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Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
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Re: The merit of contests that ask for entry fees

Postby Louis P. Burns aka Lugh » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:04 pm

Hi Kylyra :)

You have asked a brilliant question with this. I am very cynical of any website seeking monies from members to enter competitions. A few years ago I rather foolishly (with retrospect) paid to join a writer's community sited at http://www.dome2.com - They still exist and have recently had a facelift but for a long time they were offline because I waged what I can only describe as a cyber-war with the feckers. They stole £30.00 from me and a lot of my original work. It took me just over a year to get my money back but they did nothing to return my work to me. They also booted me from their community and their MSN sister site/group called ThePleasureDome;ahomeforwriters (now thankfully closed as part of MSN's general closure of all those types of groups) and denied me access to my own work! You can read about all of my experiences with these plagerising scumbags if you click the following link:

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=100

You're right of course. The profits made by the organisers of these competitions are massive and it has been my observation that decisions on who wins are made long before the bloody things go online. Catherine Edmunds (a former member of this community - she still is a member but is no longer welcome here) claimed she was having great success in competitions, winning first and second prizes of sums like £50.00. She also listed them and you can take a look at them if you click her forum on here.

It transpired recently though that Catherine Edmunds wasn't who she claimed to be and was interviewed in an online publication called Twisted Tongue where she spoke at length about all the great things people had done for her. What was strange about this was that she deliberately left out over 3 years work that Diarmuid McGowan and myself carried out for her. If you take a look in my Notes section on my Facebook account you can read about it all. She was also quite busy behind the scenes in private messages to me on here - threatening to leave if I didn't remove certain posts, or asking me to remove entire threads on here because they might affect her career. In a nutshell, she wanted me to censor this community and I'm utterly opposed to censorship and censors including her brand of Freemason loving bigots. I am a committed anarchist and activist and despise the silencing of anyone on the grounds that actions like that only ever work to serve elitists. It's also quite interesting that she ran multiple passports on MSN and I often wonder if some of the other previously active members on here weren't actually her, given that when I hit her IP address tag I get several IP addresses for her, ranging from London up to the North East of England...

As you can probably guess by now, this only served to 'up' my cynicism levels. I work too hard on behalf of struggling artists, musicians, poets and other writers to be treated badly by anyone. Some would and have asked 'why bother?' The answer is; because for every 10 eejits I meet, I meet 1 genuine soul and they are all that count at the end of the day...

Sensitize exists and remains online to be used by committed artists of merit to promote their work. My only request is that our members acknowledge the work we do elsewhere (plug us) and encourage new and other members on here in the creative works. Don't be afraid to get 'bogged-in' to debates and discussions. Say your piece - Speak your mind. I also wholeheartedly encourage members to carry out interviews of each other and if they're happy for me to proceed, these interviews will eventually feature in the sensitize e-magazine. Anyone participating in this way will have links to their own websites and online publications included and their copyright will be respected and acknowledged on every page their interviews/words appear on...

Be careful of competitions online Kylyra. Some are genuine but if they are then you will be required to make exchanges via PayPal and establish an email correspondence with the organiser/promoter. Be advised however; anyone running a competition via a hotmail, yahoo, gmail, or other public/free email facility is most likely a confidence trickster. It pays to be cautious always...

I hope this has answered your question. If anything else springs to mind I'll post it to this thread and I sincerely thank you for starting it :) ...
Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
Administrator, editor & owner of the Sensitize © online community of forums and domain for artists, e-poets, filmmakers, media/music producers and writers working through here. To buy the Kindle book of Illustrated Poetry, Sensitize © - Volume One / Poems that could be Films if they were Funded by myself with illustrations by Welsh filmmaker and graphic artist; Norris Nuvo click here for N. Ireland and UK sales. If purchasing in the U.S.A. or internationally then please click here.

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