Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press

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Trent Walters

I responded to your article here at

I love all the critical work you've been doing lately. Great stuff.


That was a pretty good trick there, getting from $727 to "thousands" just by adding postage, paper, and ink.

Click over to the actual list of contests in question at
There are currently FORTY-SIX such contests listed, which averages out to significantly less than $20 per entry fee. Admittedly, this might not be the exact list the letter responded to but the idea of a $20-30 entry fee is hardly outrageous gouging. Running a competition costs time, money and staff, not to mention the prizes offered. P&W also clearly states, "Because of space limitations, we list only prizes of $1,000 or more, prizes of $500 or more that charge no entry fee, and prestigious nonmonetary awards." Methinks both YOU and the original letter writer doth complain WAAAAAAY too much.

Daniel Green


You overlook the fact that my post was not about how much money the contests ultimately cost, nor how many are listed in P&W. It was about the ethical propriety of staging any such contest at all.


Just came across an add with a reading fee and did a search to see if this was common. Unfortunately, two years later, they're still around. Your remarks are very well well. It's a shame publications feel the need to abandon any pretension of credibility and make use of "fees" to scam money to do the job they should be doing.

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