Quote Originally Posted by RosalieStanton View Post
You make some really great points.

Yes, people have been contracted by publishers as a result of the contest. Unfortunately, the one publisher I’m aware of (Samhain) is no longer around. I think we need larger-caliber judges than the small publishers.

I’d be happy to waive the conference registration for winners, but in order to have a conference, we first need to have a really great return on the contest. At this point, the conference won’t return until 2019, pending the performance of 2018’s contest, since the contest is how we fund the conference.

The marketing follow-up for the contest is definitely something that we need to work on as a group. Excellent points there.

Thank you!
It's definitely a hard catch-22, needing contest money to fund the conference, needing the conference to give the contest purpose. Are there other fundraising things your group could do? Maybe simple things like Amazon Smile donations or restaurant fundraisers? In my area, lots of the local restaurants will give out coupons and 20% of your check will be donated to the organization. It's a win/win - the organization gets money, and the restaurant gets more business. They're usually Tuesdays, the slowest day for eating out. Brainstorm things that don't "cost" anything. Then use that as seed money. What about a contest that the prize is publication in an anthology? If you have already-published members of your group who would be willing to be "anchor" authors, that may help. What about involving local bookstores (especially used book stores)? They might sponsor a book signing event. You could self-publish it on demand, or maybe there's a local publishing company that might be willing to take on the project? That gives you all of 2018 to raise funds in non-traditional ways, then your 2019 contest could be solely for the conference.

IDK, I'm just kind of spitballing here, hopefully there's a nugget of something that might help.