Sunday, July 10, 2011

Judging a blog: Part 3 Charging

The current model for the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors Excellence in Writing Competition involves the payment of an entry fee and the award of a small cash prize to the winner in each category. Historically this:
  • Covered the costs of copying and distributing the entries to all judges via paper and snail mail. (This has been changed to electronic submissions beginning in 2012.)
  • Provided for the cash prizes to the top entry in each category.
Here are the anticipated entry fees:
Between 1 March – 15 April 
      Included is my entry fee ($7.50 per entry for ISFHWE members)
      Included is my entry fee ($10.00 per entry for Non-Members)

Between 15 April – 3 June NO entries accepted after 3 June 2012
      Included entry fee ($10.00 per entry for ISFHWE members)
      Included entry fee ($12.50 per entry for Non-Members)
ISFHWE membership dues are $15 ($US) annually.
  1. Entry fees discourage submissions. Only writers with disposable income are likely to submit their work. This effectively precludes nominations by followers. 
  2. The cost of judging the contest has been reduced since submissions and aggregating scores will be done electronically.
  3. Isn't a "Good Houskeeping" seal from ISFHWE more valuable than a small cash award? 

ISFHWE isn't a for-profit organization. We have no product to sell. Wouldn't an Excellence in Writing Award with accompanying award logo suffice be a true award of merit?

What if we didn't charge for submitting entries in the blog category as they do in the usual ISFHWE writing contest? What if we didn't award cash prizes? Might we then have more participants? What if someone other than the author submits a blog, blog post or blog series for consideration? 

The best question is:
Will Ol' Myrt's email in-box ever get emptied?

We've got to start somewhere, and your feedback in comments is greatly appreciated.


Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.


  1. I do like your ideas about simplifying the blog part of the contest. In the past I have entered, but hate to relinquish the rights to my works. The cost is also a factor. With blogging it is different and I would love to submit a post or would it be the blog website as a whole?

  2. I don't have strong thoughts either way...but if you're going to have an entry fee, please make sure there's a way to pay it online. I am blown away that there are still organizations out there that only accept payment by check. I haven't had paper checks for years.

    I also agree that winning the contest is mosty about prestige, not cash (unless it's a really big cash award or something).