If you're a novelist or short story writer looking for contests that lead to publication and other prizes (including cash) you'll want to streamline your search with our e-book directory of literary contests for book-length fiction. It's just been updated, with much more detail to each listing. Download your free preview with sample listings--and tips for contest entrants--here.
I hadn't updated this e-book since December, so several links had changed and some contests had to be removed, too. Notably, two contests previously run by Lewis-Clark Press had to be taken out.
When I checked in with the editor at Lewis-Clark (LC) Press (I had to e-mail her because the press does not appear to have a Web site--sometimes a bad sign in itself if only because it signals an antiquated approach to marketing) about the Lewis-Clark Discovery Award and the Lewis-Clark Expedition Award, I was surprised to hear back that the press is no longer running any contests. I was even more surprised to discover that the Press will now read submissions year-round--for a $10 fee.
The press calls this a "no-risk fee," because they promise to refund the fee if they select your manuscript for publication, and they'll send you one of their past titles if they don't. But somehow, I don't think this is going to sit well with many members of the literary community, however honest the intent behind it.
I have to admit I'm leery about it myself, especially now that I've done a little more research and discovered an article that reveals how unhappy one LC contest winner was with her published book. Apparently Billie Travalini's work was published with a number of typographical flaws. Only 500 copies were issued, and the book was not available on Amazon.com.
So, of course, I've removed the LC Contests from our e-book. And I can't see myself submitting my own work to that press, especially for a fee....
By the way, the e-book also includes a list of additional resources to consult for contest guidance. What I've learned about Billie Travalini's experience makes me especially glad I've included a link to Laura Backes's article on "How to Tell if a New or Small Press is Legitimate." Though the article is targeted to children's writing/publishing, its wisdom transfers easily to the market for grown-ups, too.