Friday, October 12, 2007

How to Support Your Contest Habit

Entering approximately 20 contests a year averages out to about
$1,000 a year. The math I’ll save for my next post. Yes, it’s tax deductible and all part of doing business as a writer. But for every dollar going out it’s nice to have one or two coming in. It seems only poetic that I pay for my habit by well, writing.

  • Freelance blogging: Blogging pays from 6 to 10 dollars and many gigs are by the week or month. Turn what you know into a paying job. My favorite place for all things freelance? Freelance Writing Jobs
  • Confession Mags: Don’t scoff. And you didn’t think those stories were true did you? True Romance, True Confessions, True Love. Now owned by Dorchester Media. They have been around since 1922. They buy all rights and pay a month after publication. Stories have the first person appeal of a neighbor chatting over coffee and –confessing. Payments vary and they buy all rights. Essays and columns pay 50-65 dollars. Details can be found in each magazine or check a copy of Writer's Market.
  • Women’s World Magazine: The weekly magazine features a romantic short story each week. This magazine pays $1000 upon acceptance for 1,1000 words. The Fiction Editor is Johnene Granger. The style is intimate and sweet, as the audience is a homemaker or working mother. Read several issues to familiarize yourself with what they are buying. Author Kate Willoughby has a great blog that critiques and makes suggestion for WW Wannabes each week. CAUTION: there is some adult content on this site.

    I’d love to hear your suggestions for supporting the contest habit.


  1. You really write for True Confession Magazine? How come I didn't know about this...seems like the kind of thing you'd have confessed before.
    Tina really is the biggest of the big winners in this group. She either needs to retire her jersey or maybe join a twelve-step program. But she's your girl if you want to know ANYTHING about contests.
    That contest diva thing I talked about for myself. Tina is our QUEEN.

  2. Great suggestions! I can't wait to see what others come up with. Cool blog!

  3. I'd be curious to hear more about your statement that "blogging" pays 6 to 10 dollars a gig. Can you give us some examples of specific blogging gigs you've accepted?

    (And thanks for your interest in!)

  4. Thanks for the info, Tina! When I get around to confessing, I'll know just where to start. lol

  5. Hi Mark,

    I am a total newbie to blogging for pay. All answers are based on research via Freelance Writer. I am happy to be educated. I am delighted to revise my findings with your expertise.

    I am doing test/interview blogs as we speak for a few sites posted on Craigslist or found via Freelance Writer.

    -College tips has hired me to do one article for 25 dollars with the possibility for more if things float,

    -And I am test blogging for a blogging position at,


    Pay is commensurate with that puts me at the bottom of the pay scale, but you have to start somewhere.

    -I am also in the second stage of writing interviews for a new women's clothing company out of Dallas. Product blogging.

    WOW, High Calling is beautiful and reader friendly. Can you give us any tips on blogging?

    Thanks for stopping by.


  6. I have sold dozens of sweet short romances to the Trues and to essays for columns. The downside to confessions is they can bump you without warning. So you should consider the checks a nice surprise not a given. The upside is they often pass stories between editors, so if yours is not right for one True you may sell to another without spending another mailing fee.

  7. Hi, Mark. I was the one who came over and checked out High Calling yesterday. Or at least I did, maybe other Seekers did too.
    We've got about a dozen different careers in this group. Ruthy alone has like...six.
    Besides our connection through writing.
    So we could be a great fit with your blog.
    Thanks for stopping by. If you have any ideas to add to our conversation that'd be great.
    Tina, blogging for money, huh? Very interesting.
    I applied for an online job ... I think this was it, it was a while ago ... grading the essays of home schooled children and mentoring and tutoring them in writing.
    I didn't get the job.
    That always made me wonder. Sure thay might have had tons of applications but I'm a published author, I have a journalism degree, I'm a teacher, and one of the key subjects I teach is ... writing essays for the GED.
    Now who's more qualified than me for this, HUH???????????!!!!

  8. True Story was the very first place I got published. They had a regular column called My Moment With God. They wanted a prayer. I sent one, it was accepted and they sent me a $25.00 check six months later. I thought 'wow, this is easy' and I've been a struggling writer ever since. LOL

    Great blog you ladies have going here. I love it!!

  9. Okay, Jess. That is the one column I have not sold an essay to. This may have an underlying meaning I do not wish to explore at this time.

    However I did pimp my sweet tabby cat for fifty bucks..with her permission and she signed the picture I submitted.

    Here are some of the current columns:
    True Romance--Happily Ever After $50

    True Confessions--My Man:Love at First Sight $65, TC Phenomenal Women $65, That's Incredible $65, My Moment With God $75, Worst Date Ever $65.

    True Story--My Visit From Beyond $100, My Pet $50, Miracle of Faith Mini Story $100, My Hero $100.


  10. Tina, My Moment with God might not be in True Story anymore. I sold that prayer in the early 70s. I'm so impressed that payment has increased. I wonder who I can pay to go to the store and buy me copies of all those confession mags. I'm positive I'd run into my pastor if I did it myself. :-) Think he'd understand?

  11. Wish I could say I earned those entry fees, Tina. My husband doled out the money for years. With rare exception, every penny was well spent. I love contests!

  12. My husband fronted the money for me, too, while I was a stay at home mom.
    He always said that, although he had a hard time believing there'd ever be a book, he was just a little too much afraid I'd hit the big time, so he decided to let me go ahead.
    The spirit of sweet greed...
    ...another True Romance story. I wonder if it'll sell?

  13. Mary, the way you're raking in contracts, I'd say Ivan knew what he was talking about. :-)

    I've had one sale and my husband decided its time I paid my expenses. At least he isn't asking me to reimburse him for nine years of attending conferences, entering contests, buying craft books and other writing related stuff.

  14. WOOO HOOO!!!

    I got the blog job at college tips.


  15. Yay, Tina!! Congrats on the job! I need to check it out since I'm pulling out my hair right now on that stuff.


    Great post, by the way. Lots of new info to me.