They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me


On the one hand, Art Prize has grown into a major international art competition which brings downtown Grand Rapids alive every fall. And for the second year, there is an associated literary competition.


I have REAL problems with the format of the contest.

They intend to fill a 120 page anthology of short stories, essays and poetry, printed by Chapbook Press at Schuler Books & Music. Good.

Short stories of any genre, up to 1500 words. Well, that's pretty short. But it does mean that a lot of stories will get published. Good.

Substantial prizes for First, Second, Third. $1000, $500, $250. For up to 1500 words, that's not too bad.

Stories to be submitted as both Word document AND a PDF. Huh? Are they planning on using the latter as camera ready art, so to speak? Entries are unable to be modified after submission. So authors are typesetters?

The entry fee is $20 per entry. SCRITCH

You can request a professional critique on your submission for an additional $15.00 fee. Like the concept. Dislike the fee. For one story, the author can invest up to $35. That's upwards of 2¢/word with no guarantee of publication. I have talked about the value of writing contests before, but dislike those with large fees. And no refunds to those published? I've been Honorable Mentioned and published in contests before -- my entry fee was returned.

The winners get upwards of 67¢/word, 33¢/word and 17¢/word... everyone else gets to PAY upwards of a penny a word to get published.

I did a test. The required format is Times New Roman 12, double-spaced, 1" margins. 1500 words comes out to about 6 pages. The top 20 will be published. Seventeen will be paying to be published.

I am sorry. This is not a contest.

But Dr. Phil! The artists in Art Prize are showing their work at their expense and thousands won't win a prize. Yup. All true. Doesn't mean I will play to pay. Remember, only the top 20 will be published -- most entrants will have paid and lost out. And unlike those artists whose works were seen, the losers' words will not.
"Most writers dream of an opportunity to publish their work," said Lisa McNeilly, editor of the anthology. "Our goal is to reward talented writers with publication and prizes in celebration of the art of writing." -- Grand Rapids Press, 20 March 2014
Again, I admire the sentiment. But at the very least, they should refund the fees of those published so it isn't pay-to-publish -- and if they DO, then they need to say so.

Dr. Phil

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