This week, I found out that a contest entry fee could be counted as an expense, and thus used as a deduction at tax time.
That got me thinking (which admittedly is dangerous territory for my kind, so wish me luck!). What's the difference between submitting to a contest and submitting to anything else?
Consider the contest process: a. submit story, essay, or poem b. wait around for x number of weeks c. receive compensation if entry wins; receive nothing if entry loses.
Now consider the typical submission process: a. submit story, essay, poem or book to market b. wait around for xxx number of weeks c. receive compensation if submission is accepted; receive nothing (except perhaps one of those "thanks, but no thanks" emails or letters) if submission is rejected.
It's competition any way you look at it. Except that one could argue that there is an entry fee with some contests. But I could say that all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into creating that lovely market submission could just as easily be called an entry fee. Unfortunately, you can't deduct a writer's bodily fluids.
But if I can deduct a contest fee, I think it's high time I added a few more. What have I got to lose (other than the contest)?