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Online text box for contest entry- What would you do? : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Online text box for contest entry- What would you do?

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KnightWriter
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Online text box for contest entry- What would you do?

Postby KnightWriter » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:38 pm

I was notified of a contest for what kind of message I'd like the next generation of healthcare interns to hear. To enter, I need to say my information and type in my message in this online window. Trouble is, the rules don't specify a word count or what kind of form I'm supposed to use. I played with the box and apparently I can put in however much I want. I e-mailed the main company to request more information, but I haven't heard back from them. What would you do?

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mammamaia
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Re: Online text box for contest entry- What would you do?

Postby mammamaia » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:27 am

first, i'd check out the contest-holders to make sure it's a reputable one...

from what you've described, it seems awfully amateurish, which raises a sizable red flag for me...

is there an entry fee?
what are the top 3 prizes?
why do you want to enter it?
how were you notified?
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KnightWriter
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Re: Online text box for contest entry- What would you do?

Postby KnightWriter » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:32 am


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mammamaia
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Re: Online text box for contest entry- What would you do?

Postby mammamaia » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:02 am

having only one prize seems fishy right off the bat... that outfit puts out a slew of magazines for various fields in the medical profession and i suspect it's more about making money than advancing the science... i'd avoid it like the plague, if i were you...

checking out the magazine's website, i can't even find any mention of a contest... which is another major red flag waving in the breeze...

but if you don't mind giving away a piece of work that will most likely never be published by them, and just want to try for the tablet, then go ahead... but if any personal info is asked for, i strongly advise you to hit the delet button stat!
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James A. Ritchie
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Re: Online text box for contest entry- What would you do?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:55 am

I've never heard anything bad about this group, other than some don't think they pay employees enough. They do offer benefits, and employ several hundred people, so most seem to like working there.

For a contest like this, having only one prize is perfectly normal. It's more of a reader interest contest than anything. I can't recall seeing such a contest that had more than one prize. Merion Publications is pretty large, and has gross revenue of well over 100 million. Perhaps several times this much, if you add it all up.

I see no red flags here at all. I've seen many contests like this. Some give a word count, and some do not, but they're after an idea, not a full-blown article, so short is usually good. This is not a writing contest, though writing skills couldn't hurt. They just want a message, short and sweet. Best message at the shortest length usually wins. These are entrepreneurial magazines, intended for business people, for advancement in a career, and for stimulating new ideas that can be turned into money.

You have nothing to lose in such a contest, other than a little time, UNLESS the message you send contains an idea that you plan to turn into a business of your own. The whole point of these magazines is to give people ideas they can turn into money, while advancing the field. If they publish your idea, someone might beat you to the punch.

If, however, you're just trying to be helpful, this is a good chance, and having your name connected to something that makes money is a good thing.

If I didn't hear back, I'd just use my writing skills to write a swell as I could, and to keep my message as short as possible, while getting in all the information.


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