Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yo Mama Mama!

You have to read down to the very last line to get the horror of this particular call for submissions:

Hip Mama Fiction Contest

It's time to make something up! ~~~
For all of you beautiful liars out there- Hip Mama is gonna be breaking some fresh ground and doing a Short Story Contest judged by Kerlin Richter and Ariel Gore.

First Prize is $100, your Short Story as the feature in issue 44, the Creativity issue, along with a profile and picture of your brilliant self, AND a Lifetime Subscription to Hip Mama (we don't even sell lifetime subscriptions anymore).

Ten runners up will get a four issue subscription, their names and story titles in the zine and their full stories will be published online.

** what about?**
Write any short story you want. Just make sure there is a Mama in there somewhere. It can be any genre, any style, from any ol' point of view. The only rule for content is: There must be a Mama in the story.

** how long?**
Keep it under 2500 words.

** where to?**
The best way is to attach your story as a word document and e-mail it to

(replace (at) with @). In the subject line write 'Short Story Submission' and your name. Or
Mail it old school to P.O Box xxxxx, Portland OR 97212.

** how much?**
$25 per story entry fee, or splurge and for $60 and I will mail back your story with comments.

Say, what, Mama?  Six-Oh-Clams for what? Your back wash on my fiction so you can line your pockets?  If you treated the dear woman who gave birth to me that way, I'd seriously have to slap you. Not cool, hipster.  Not cool.

(Thanks to the anonymous reader who sent this in.)


Native Ink said...

A $25 or $60 entry fee for a small chance at a $100 prize? That's just nuts I tell ya.

i actually laughed out loud said...

$25 for "reading" less than 2500 words??? It takes 10 minutes to read a 2500 word story, so these editors would get paid at least $150 per hour, assuming anybody actually submits. (slim chance!)

The tough times and a recession seem to bring out the best in some people (my landlord who isn't raising rent this year) and the worst in others.

T said...

Fee-based contests should be structured so that the winner receives a certain percentage (60-80) of all the reading fee money, not a fixed amount. This has several advantages:

(1) The editors receive a more realistic share of the fee considering how easy it is to process (not read) most submissions.

(2) The winner (assuming the contests are not rigged (see Foetry if you don't believe that ever happens)) would receive a prize amount that is inversely proportional to the chances of winning.

I realize there a flaws with this system; the big one being that more unscrupulous contests will charge even more, and naive people will pay. But still, I think it's a good experiment, and I haven't yet run across any contests that use this kind of prize system.

Anonymous said...

This almost sounds like a joke. 60 bucks for a chance to win 100 bucks? What on earth....

Anonymous said...

I agree with T that it shoudl be a percent, although no way should it be 80%!

Contests are basically fundraisers to keep magazines afloat. If the winner got 80% of the winning there would be no point in doing a contest.

The winners (plural, I think runners up should get some money) should probably get between 20 and 30%

Dzanc said...

If you want to receive feedback from professionals on your fiction check out Dzanc Books. They just started a program where you can choose from over 60 authors and buy 1 hour of editing for $20, 2 hrs for $30, or 4 hrs for $50.

I'm sure the advice will be better than this scam.

T said...

Anon 4:24,

Fair enough. Thank you for a civil response. I also think runners up should get something too.

back wash said...

Dzanc, I don't mean to rabble-rouse, but I don't see how your offer is much better...aside from there being a larger list of nobodies from whom to receive critique, and a pricing based on hours (how is that figured?).

Are your feed-back-givers doing it pro-bono to help support all the Dzanc projects? In that case, I think it's a fine offer.

cheerio then.

Dave Clapper said...

I probably shouldn't speak for Dzanc, but I happen to know the answer to that: yes, the feedback-givers are doing it pro bono to fundraise for things like Dzanc's Writer in Residence Program, which sends writers into local schools in Michigan. It's a great program.

Hip Mama, on the other hand... this is a total freaking con. At best, you get a 4:1 return on your entry fee? What a joke.

CAPS MAN! said...

where exactly is the info about paying for editing? could one of you provide the url? i could only find info about the short story contest...

Writer, Rejected said...

What do you mean, CAPSY? It's the line under the heading "how much." Follow the link, or read the post above down to the bottom. THe editor says for 60 bucks I'll send you my thoughts on your story.