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The Rising Price of Competition Entries

December 1st, 2017

As you know, our Flash Fiction Competition closed for entries yesterday, so I was going to suggest some alternative competitions that you might like to enter until we get our next one going. I found a few that I thought might interest you, but was then astounded by the entry fees that were being charged.

Fish Publishing  are currently running a series of competitions (with closing dates ranging from 31st January to 31st March). These include a Short Memoir Prize (4000 words), a Flash Fiction Prize (300 words) and a Poetry Prize (300 words) but the fees range from 14 Euros to 16 Euros per entry  – more if you enter online. The prizes are great but it’s still a lot of money!

Next was the Bath Flash Fiction Award which is currently seeking entries for the Novella-in-Flash Award. This is a little unusual, as novellas between 6,000 and 18,000 words are required. But within this word limit, individual chapters must not exceed 1000 words (flashes). Here the first prize is only £300 with two runners-up prizes of £100 each. Yet the entry fee is £16!

And finally, the Crime Writers Association is currently inviting entries for its Debut Dagger competition. This is for unpublished writers and you must send in the first 3000 words of your crime novel  plus a synopsis. The winner (who will receive £500) plus the shortlisted entries are circulated to agents. Winning this would really be a feather in your cap and should certainly open doors in the publishing world. But it comes at a price – a £36 entry fee! Closing date is 28th February.

I know that judges don’t work for nothing and if well-established writers are used they expect a certain level of remuneration but the entry fees quoted above do seem rather over-the-top. After all, many would-be writers are not high earners and this kind of money represents quite a hefty outlay. But, at the end of the day you pays your money and takes your chance…

Moving on, one of our poetry tutors, Margaret Gleave, has just published a book entitled ‘A Year of Leaves’. It’s full of wonderful poems that really strike a chord with the reader. They make you want to say ‘Yes! I’ve had that experience, I’ve felt like that’ – and for me that’s what makes poetry such a wonderful medium for communication. So, if you’re one of Margaret’s students and want to know what her own work is like – or even if you’re not, but you just like poetry – you might want to have a closer look.

Tomorrow we’ll start the job of sifting through all the entries that have come in for our Flash Fiction Competition. I always really enjoy this and can’t wait to get my hands on them. So I’ll close by saying good luck to everyone who entered. Even if you don’t win, you’ve had the pleasure of crafting a new piece of work and the courage to send it out there to stand on its own two feet! Until next week…





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