Text reads: Pay to enter a contest – why? Cartoon owl in the right corner staring with an exclamation mark over its head.

A little while ago we received a message from an unnamed organisation. It promoted an upcoming contest and suggested that our webcomic (Realm of Owls) could be a fitting contender. So we went and checked their website for details.

And there it was, the catch: to enter the contest, we’d have to pay a fee.

Now, I know running a contest isn’t free. Even if it’s a digital event without a physical venue, organising any contest will generate expenses. And the organisers have to cover those expenses somehow.

Contests usually fund themselves with sponsors or other means that don’t include involving the contestants. So maybe an entry fee is an organiser’s last resort for not being able to secure enough funding.

If that’s the case, I have to wonder if winning at such a poorly managed contest is worth the fee at all.

Whatever the reasons for making the contestants to pay the bill may be, I still take issue with it. Because contests are an opportunity for new talent to find recognition for their work. Sometimes they might even help people to get their foot in the door of a new creative career!

Shouldn’t that kind of chance be allowed to as many as possible, rather than to those who can afford to lose money?



An artist who lurks in dark places and walks on her toes – a habit from when she was a little dinosaur. If invited for a friendly jog or to play some video games, deep ponderings about life, humanity and functional design choices may occur.

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