Wednesday, April 7, 2004
Via Maud Newton's blog.
The guidelines are still up, even though the contest was canceled. They include the line "Each manuscript must be accompanied by a nonrefundable submission fee of $25.00." And later "The decisions of Zoo Press as to eligibility are final. Zoo Press reserves the right to withhold the Award in any given year."
In most of these contests, the presses reserve the right not to select a winner if the judge feels that none of the entries is suitable. For instance, the guidelines for The Paris Review Prize (coordinated and published by Zoo) also state that "The decisions of Zoo Press as to eligibility are final. Zoo Press reserves the right to withhold the Award in any given year." The same is true of the many of the contests on this list. A policy like this is really pretty standard, and I can recall other occasions where no winner was selected by other presses in other contests.
Even without the cost of producing a winning book (and paying $5000 to the winner), Zoo still had to pay their contest coordinator, their readers, the judge, and their own staff and contest-related advertising costs. They also "lost" the revenues they'd projected from the sale of the winning volume. So even if they hadn't stated their no-refund policy beforehand, from a practical standpoint a FULL refund for every entrant seems impossible.
But perhaps with the scratch from the new Jeff Tweedy book Zoo could at least pick up the shipping charges as a placating gesture? Then again, poets who don't win the other contests Zoo administers get zip, nada, nothing. Hmm.
Posted by shanna at 8:31 AM