There are a lot of myths out there regarding contest entry fees and I’d like to set you all straight.
Some believe that contest entry fees go straight into editors’ pockets. Some believe that we are taking advantage of writers by asking for their money because, really, what chance is there of winning anyway? Some believe that if they have to pay to enter, the contest must be some sort of scam, because the judges don’t really read all the entries, do they? There are more wacky excuses, and I can’t think of them all right now, but I can tell you for certain, that these statements could not be further from the truth.
Mr. Contest Entry Fee does not even know what an editor’s pocket is. In fact, to Mr. Contest Entry Fee, an editor is nonexistent. It’s YOU, the WRITER, who Mr. Contest Entry Fee aims to benefit.
Let me explain ...
What the money is used for
- contest prize money
- production costs of the winning book(s)
- If there is any money left over after awarding the prize money, and paying for production, it goes towards paying our contributors of the quarterly journal, towards our website domain, posting calls for submissions ads, for marketing and advertising, for our annual ‘best of’ anthology production costs, ISBNs, and much much more.
Note: If there isn’t any money left over after awarding the prize money and paying for production (which is more often the case), we pay for everything out of our own pockets, which WE EARN from our DAY JOBS.
- Paying editors for their very time-consuming hard work that they very much desire to keep up with, but struggle to do so on a daily basis. And despite all that struggle, they soldier on. They will even read submissions while on the toilet, or in the check-out line at the supermarket, or in the train on the way to work, or on their lunch break, or at three in the morning while suffering from insomnia, or in the evening despite being completely exhausted from a ten-hour shift at work because there are too many deadlines to meet, or while cooking and accidentally over-boiling the pasta and being criticized by their spouse for being off with the fairies—again. ... Need I go on?
Running a journal is a FULL-TIME job. So essentially, the editors at Vine Leaves are working two full-time jobs, yet, only getting paid for one of them. And on top of that, their paid job is financing the unpaid job.
We earn money, so that we can work for you.
In the normal everyday world, this would not make sense, would it? And any logically-minded person would say, “WTF are you doing? Dedicate yourself to the paid work.”
But in the world of literary magazines and journals, logic does not come into play—PASSION does. A NEED to SUPPORT WRITERS does. An innate DESIRE to contribute AMAZING LITERATURE to those who love reading it does.
We at Vine Leaves are passionate about the writing YOU produce, and we want to be able to keep publishing it, so that YOU can be recognized for the amazingly talented individuals that you are.
The money is not for us. It never will be. Ever.
So next time you feel crappy about paying to submit your work to a writing contest, try thinking of it this way:
“I am making a donation to all the writers out there who, just like me, want to be recognized for their work.”
Because THAT is the TRUTH.
What's your view on contest entry fees?