Beware of Reading Fees & Contests

There are certain red flags that should catch the eye of any writer. Here are a couple simple ones that will save you time (and money).
Author:
Publish date:

You shouldn’t have to pay for your work to be considered for publication, so beware publications that charge “reading fees” just to submit your work. The exception is if you’re entering a contest, which a number of journals sponsor (usually annually). While a contest will typically cost $10–20 to enter, the payout, should you win, is substantial—often $1,000 or more. Plus, you’ll have the distinction of winning, a credit to mention in future cover letters. Many contests also give all entrants a subscription to the journal, or at least a copy of the issue in which the winning entries appear. That way, you’ll get something for your money regardless of whether or not you win.

Writing Basics 2012

A number of small commercial presses, as well as a few university presses, also sponsor annual book contests for short-story collections. An entry fee (typically around $25) goes toward supporting the press, and the winning manuscript (and sometimes one or more finalists) gets published.

* This excerpt is from Writing Basics. Worth checking out if you're looking to get your writing back on track.

Writer's Digest Best Live Streams, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels 2021

Writer's Digest Best Live Streams, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels 2021

Here are the top live streams, podcasts, and YouTube channels as identified in the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 576

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a back to blank poem.

Where Are the Toxic Families in Children's Books?

Where Are the Toxic Families in Children's Books?

Christina Wyman discusses how for children who suffer difficult family dynamics, seeing their experiences reflected in books is few and far between.

the island

The Island

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, build yourself an island.

Nawaaz Ahmed: On Personal Identity in Literary Fiction

Nawaaz Ahmed: On Personal Identity in Literary Fiction

Nawaaz Ahmed discusses how his personal experiences acted as the impetus for his new book, Radiant Fugitives, and how it went from novella to novel.

Comedy vs. Comity (Grammar Rules)

Comedy vs. Comity (Grammar Rules)

There's nothing funny about learning when to use comedy and comity (OK, maybe a little humor) with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Shugri Said Salh: On Writing the Coming-Of-Age Story

Shugri Said Salh: On Writing the Coming-Of-Age Story

Debut author Shugri Said Salh discusses how wanting to know her mother lead her to writing her coming-of-age novel, The Last Nomad.

100 Ways to Buff Your Book

100 Ways to Buff Your Book

Does your manuscript need a little more definition, but you’re not sure where to begin? Try these 100 tips to give your words more power.

Kaia Alderson: On Internal Roadblocks and Not Giving Up

Kaia Alderson: On Internal Roadblocks and Not Giving Up

Kaia Alderson discusses how she never gave up on her story, how she worked through internal doubts, and how research lead her out of romance and into historical fiction.