Write like nobody will ever read it.
Edit like the whole world will.
Sharon Melton Lippincott
Springfield Writers' Guild
A Chapter of Missouri Writers' Guild
    Contests

Red Flags of Writing Contests

C. Hope Clark has been evaluating contests for writers for thirteen years at Funds for
Writers.  Her site has been among Writer’s Digest Magazine’s annual 101 Best
Websites for Writers for more than ten years. In a guest post for Writer Beware! she
lists some things to consider before you submit an entry to a contest. Excerpts below
are with her permission.
Read her full article.

First timer
While every contest has to start somewhere, still keep your eyes open with an
inaugural launch. Even with the best of intentions, they may not have ironed out the
wrinkles of managing such an event.

No humans
Generic email address? P.O. Box? No website? Reason enough to move on.

High entry fee
Entry fees can be relative. A $5 fee might sound fine, unless the first prize is a T-shirt
or a $10 gift certificate. A $10 fee could be reasonable, unless the first prize is $25.
Fees in themselves are not a negative—but the ratio of entry fee to prize money is
the tell-tale sign.

Past winners
Where have they published? Read their blogs. Study their careers. You can tell a lot
about the quality of the contest by the quality of the winner.

Rights
If a contest wants all rights for entering, run away. If a contest wants one-time or
first rights to publish and publicize your award, then fine.

Judges
Not all judges are identified, and the lack of identity doesn't necessarily rule out a
competition. You may not care, but prestige can come from being judged by someone
known in his field. If you want to know the judges, email and ask. If the contest
sponsors dodge you, reconsider.
21st Annual Prose and Poetry Contest, 2014
Thanks to all who shared their writing talents and congratulations to award recipients. Teresa Scobee did an
outstanding job as contest coordinator and in recruiting nationally recognized judges. This was our first year
receiving submissions exclusively online and we would love to know how that worked for authors. Your comments
will help us improve next year
. Send to teresalscobee@gmail.com.

Award Recipients

Judges   

Income and Expense
C. Hope Clark
Photo courtesy C. Hope Clark