I’m constantly debating with myself whether or not it’s worthwhile to enter writing contests, since I hate paying the entry fees when I have no idea how many potential contestants I’m actually up against. It seems a bit unfair not to know your odds. I mean, even people playing the lottery can at least envision their one-in-10-million chances and decide for themselves whether it’s worth the buck or two to just go for it. Should short story writers not receive the same courtesy when they’re gambling?
Anyway, mostly I guess it comes down to two things: the cost of the entry fee and the amount of potential prize money. While NYC Midnight’s Short Story Challenge 2010 is a bit costly to enter ($49 US), it does offer a potentially meaty prize of $1,250 for the first place winner, plus $500 for second, $250 for third and $100 for fourth. Not bad, right? You could at the very least double your money if you took fourth place, so that seems pretty good. It’s just too bad they don’t offer you some kind of a freebie for signing up, so at least you could get something positive out of the experience if you lose. Y’know, a nice “How to Write Short Stories” e-book or some such? All the cool kids are doing it, after all. Just look at the recent Funds For Writers annual contest, where contestants could choose between NO entry fee or a $5 fee with the potential to win some helpful Tweetebooks. Now that’s news you can use.
But back to the NYC Midnight contest: If you’re interested in signing up, the deadline to mail in your payment is coming up fast. Wednesday, January 13 is the last day to register, and there are plenty of rules you’ll have to read too, so get cracking!