Paying to Enter a Writing Contest

I found a postcard kind of thing last night as I was clearing out some papers. It was advertising a writing contest. For $20 I could try to win or place in either the short story contest, or the poetry contest or the nonfiction article contest.

I love contests. I thought about entering. I have several manuscripts and poems I could enter. I really didn’t want to spend the money, but I did think about it. I noticed the deadline for entering was today.

Do you know how much time it would take for me to choose and edit a piece to enter into one of those contests?

It was the time factor that decided it for me. I’m not sure I’d have entered even if I’d had something ready to send, but I might have.

The last contest I entered was a short story contest for the News and Observer. It was for  a 2011 Halloween contest. They published everyone’s entry online and others could vote for the best one. I failed to get the newspaper the day they announced the winner. I wrote Barry Saunders at the newspaper office and he said he’d find out the winner for me and let me know, but I guess he forgot. I never did learn the winner’s name or the winning story’s title. All that contest did was take a plot I have written a story around and expose it to the eyes of anyone wanting to read it. I guess that cost me less than a $20 entry fee, but I still felt used and annoyed when the contest ended and I didn’t even know who won.

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