2019 update – I note that they haven’t changed the rules, so the below still applies. Disappointing. Not even bothering to write a new post this year.
Last year and the year before I posted about why I wouldn’t enter the Sunday Star Times short story contest. The same applies this year. Without going over the same old ground too much, it comes down to one clause in their rules (scroll down to T&C), where, by entering, you give them the right to publish your story “without fee”.
As I said before, writers get paid.
I write for the love of writing, but I also take myself seriously as a writer. I license my stories for remuneration. Kind of along the lines of how anyone with skills does work for remuneration. The bus driver, the plumber, the dairy owner where you buy your copy of the Sunday Star Times.
Goodness knows, most writers make little enough money as it is.
If you’re so inclined, by all means, enter. The entry details are here. Check those terms and conditions (I know we live in a world of clicking ‘agree’ to terms and conditions without having read them. Some T&Cs out there are as long as a few of my novels).
I would love to enter for the chance of winning. I know the thrill of winning a writing contest. I know the satisfaction of banking a cheque. But that clause is a step too far.
Of course many writers will enter the contest. The newspaper will find an excellent story and publish it and pay the writer the prize money (it’s pretty good prize money too). But then, the newspaper might publish some of the other entries “without fee”.
It’s simply no way to treat writers.