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

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.

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.

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.
The Springfield Writers' Guild 22nd Annual Poetry and Prose Contest
The 22nd edition of the Springfield Writers' Guild Annual Poetry and Prose Contest is set to begin. Entries will be
taken online, using
Submittable.com, from June 15 to September 15, with lots of cash prizes. The Best of Springfield
Writers’ Guild Award will be open for SWG members who enter any category—they will automatically be considered
for a $100 award at no additional entry fee and in addition to other awards they may receive. This category judged
separately. Bonus for SWG Members: Submit two entries and receive a special link to submit a third entry free of
charge. One free entry per member. Winners will be announced at the October meeting.

Submission Guidelines

Writing Contests, Grants, Awards – Courtesy Poets & Writers Magazine.  
C. Hope Clark
Photo courtesy C. Hope Clark