The Dark Side of Writing
As writers, we all know about the dark side of writing. If you don’t know, you should read up on it. Some have been lucky enough to avoid such problems. We’ve had the benefits of learning from other writers’ mistakes. There are other ways to avoid such scams.
Never pay any money for anything and if you do, you better know all the risks beforehand. Don’t pay someone to do something that you can do yourself such as editing. You took the time to write it. Therefore, take the time to edit it (this is where writing groups come in handy).
I’ve always been a bit unsure about writing contests because of conflicting advice about fees. I’ve come to realize that while contests with no fees are mostly likely better those with fees of $5-$15 can be okay too. If you’re paying $15 for a prize of $50 then it’s probably not worth your time. Also avoid contests where everyone wins or the contest claims all rights to your entry whether you win or not. Basically, read the entire guidelines very carefully, even the fine print, and do research on the organization, magazine or publisher who is running the contest before submitting an entry.
This is but only the tip of the iceberg. There are so many writing scams out there and more pop up all the time. The best thing you can do to protect yourself from them is, and I can’t stress this enough, talk with other writers, research, research, research, ask questions, and check websites such as SFWA Writers Beware and Preditors & Editors.
Do you have any writing horror stories?