I have decided to enter some writing competitions. Seventeen to be precise.
Last night, I got my submission to the Massachusetts Cultural Council in hours before the deadline.
This morning, I’ve been tidying up various excerpts from GINNED UP, DOUBLE DIRTY, and MY PLUS ONE to fit within the requirements of each specific contest.
Prize money and other benefits — such as publication by an independent, i.e., small, publishing house — vary among the contests. Most have entry fees averaging $25.00.
It’ll cost me about $400.00 to enter all of them. That’s a decent amount of money and I haven’t a clue as to how many people submit their work.
The competition might be especially fierce.
Today’s submission to the North Carolina Writers’ Network brought me into email communication with someone whose first name is “Salem.”
In my enthusiasm to get in my submission to NCWN, I send my file with my name as a part of the file name and withing the document itself, my name was in the header on every even-numbered page. Well, the directions clearly state to not include any indicia of authorship. At the bottom of the contest page, it was made clear that once you check “submit” you can make no changes and there were no refunds.
I thought were I to send a self-effacing email, they might make an exception.
When Salem — from North Carolina — politely explained, in response to my request to fix my mistake, that I could remove the adulterated file but would have to pay the entry fee again, I accepted the general axiom of “Read Directions Carefully” and chose to see the communication by “Salem” was a sign to pay twice.
(Side note: Perhaps being from the “South,” the Salem I came into contact with is one of many. My 10-year-old, who we believed was uniquely name “Salem” is, so far, one of zero people up here in New England with that moniker.)
So, $50.00 bucks later, I’ve re-learned a lesson: Don’t be an impulsive moron.
That’s the motto of the day.