We know writing contests can get expensive over time. But we also believe that literary magazines are part of a gift economy, one in which writers and editors, who are often one and the same, support one another. We think this is okay. In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s pretty damn cool. For Atticus Review, it means we aren’t beholden to anybody except you, and we like that.
As an extension of this idea, we’ve made it easy for friends, family, foundations, or any other mysterious and generous benefactor you may have access to (we don’t ask questions!) to take part in this exchange and gift you an Atticus Review contest entry.
Here’s what you need to do: Find yourself a sponsor and that person can make a one-time gift to you for the cost of the contest submission fee. For our current Flash Fiction contest judged by Mary Miller, your sponsor would have the ability to gift you either one submission or two submissions.
Alternatively (and even better!), your super-kind benefactor could become an Atticus Review Patreon Supporter at the “Sustainer” level or above. In addition to the fact that they’d be helping support a worthy literary magazine (hi! *waves*), they would also have the ability to gift one contest entry per contest to a writer for as long as they remain a supporter. All they need to do is get in touch with us during a contest entry period to request a free contest submission for a friend and send us your name and email address.
Another option, of course, is you yourself could become an Atticus Review Patreon Supporter at the “Sustainer” level or above and you will be able to enter contests for free for as long as you remain a supporter. And if you don’t have any pieces ready to enter in a particular contest we’re holding, then just gift the option to a writer friend!
We encourage you to practice what Amanda Palmer calls “the art of asking.” Read her book, or if you already have a full reading list and want the quick version, here’s her TED talk from 2013.
When Palmer started asking fans for money instead of selling her music through a label, she was asked by the media how she “made” all those people (25,000 of them) pay for her music. Her response was simple: “I didn’t make them, I asked them. And through the very act of asking people, I connected with them. And when you connect with them, people want to help you.”
We’ve embraced this philosophy at Atticus Review with our Patreon campaign and with the voluntary contributions we ask writers for when they submit.
It’s not easy, to ask. As writers, we often hate it. If writing doesn’t make us vulnerable enough, asking people for money makes us even more so. We might hear the critical voice in our head: “Get a real job!” The thing is: this is your job. Just as it’s our job.
So…write a family member. Let them know that you’ve been growing as a writer. Maybe they already know that. Maybe they’ve already shown support for your ambition to be a writer. Send them an email. Say you’d like to enter a contest at Atticus Review. Send them to our site. Tell them about us. Tell them you could use some help. And that in helping you, they’d be helping us. We’d all be connecting. And that’s what it’s all about.
Here you go, we’ll make things even easier by including some sample language you can use. [Make sure to sub the stuff in brackets.]:
[Hi Aunt Beatrice! How’s it going? How’s Uncle Ted doing? I hope that ingrown toenail has healed!]
As you know, I’ve been working on developing as a writer over the last several years. For us writers, a big part of what that involves is submitting to literary magazines and, sometimes, to the contests they run. There’s this one magazine I really like called Atticus Review and I’d like to submit to their [Flash Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Videopoem] contest but I could really use some help with the fee. They’ve made it simple for you to help me out by either making a one-time gift of the submission fee [link: https://at-tic.us/contestaidff2018], or by becoming a regular supporter [link: https://at-tic.us/patreon].
If you’d like to learn a little bit more about Atticus Review, here’s their mission statement taken from their web site:
“Our aim at Atticus Review is to provoke and encourage conversation through the publishing of art and literature from under-represented artists and writers. We seek to give visibility to our contributors by promoting, nurturing, and supporting them, even after they’ve been published in our pages. We also aim to serve and help build the wider literary community.”
[Thank you, Aunt Bea! Can’t wait to see you at Thanksgiving. Tell Uncle Ted I’m going to kick his ass at Pinochle.]
Good luck. Happy asking!