February 27th, 2012


The Griffith Review Novella Contest

Today, I learned that the Griffith Review had announced a new project directed at publishing novellas.

Judged by a panel, published, and getting a share of 30k, I thought it sounded interesting enough to have a look at, and promptly discovered this in the rules:

Unless you have been contacted by Griffith REVIEW and individually invited to make a Novella submission, you will be charged an entry fee of $50 (or $35 if you hold a current print or digital subscription to Griffith REVIEW) upon entry to this competition. The entry fee will be used to cover the administrative costs of conducting this competition.

Well, isn't that nice?

Honestly, this is a real shame. It doesn't impact on me, not really--I doubt anyone at the Griffith Review knows me, and certainly no one has asked me to submit--but with the implication that they'll be cherry picking from authors they like, it's of no real consequence. However, this does push one of my dislikes, which is the endless scamming of young and new authors in the publishing industry. While fifty bucks is fairly benign, it's no real different than a couple of grand for a 'private editor's appraisal' by people who don't work for publishers, by the self publishing outfits that take your money and promise you greatness, and the countless other endless ways that new authors are parted by their cash in the hope that they will be published in a good and respectable way.

If Griffith Review wants to publish novellas by established authors they champion, there's no problem with that. Given the quality of authors who have appeared in the magazine over the years, I'm sure it'll be fine.

But to scam on the new and young and desperate while you do? That's a bit unnecessary.

If you're a new author coming by this post because you're curious about the contest, take my advice: skip it. There are a lot of places to get published. None of them will take your money to do so. A lot will even pay you without you giving them a thing.