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Fees for Competition Judges

I am a volunteer competitions organiser for a writing organisation. Up until now we have been very lucky in that our competition judges have judged for love, but we would like to reward judges who make a living through writing. Could anyone advise me on what would be reasonable sort of a fee for a competition judge? Would he/she be paid for the whole comp or per entry? Would there be other considerations?

Asked by: Rosemary Johnson

  1. Helen Yendall on September 16, 2019

    Suggest that you have volunteer 'readers' who will whittle the entries down to a reasonable short or long list (say 10 or 20 stories, respectively) and then ask your paid judge to pick his/her 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed stories and to write you a short report, of a few paragraphs. That is not overly time-consuming and I'd say a figure of around £100 should be acceptable to most. Hope that helps!

  2. Edward Richardson on August 10, 2019

    I have waited to see what other readers might have to say in the way of advice, but it seems there has been no follow-up.

    You might be interested in what I am paid for speaking engagements, and I would expect much more than this if I were asked to judge (it depends how long it took me to read through the short-listed items).

    For the engagement itself: I look for my travel expenses (Taxi, car mileage, or Standard Class rail fare); sustenance expenses; accommodation costs if necessary.

    For the event itself I charge twenty-two pounds fifty an hour (that fifty pence usually incites interest!), with a minimum of two hundred pounds. I adjust this upwards if the event is a large one.

    From then on I would need to add judging costs, and much of this would be as a (almost) proof-reader. With a signed contract, I would study up to six books at a cost of two hundred pounds per book (and I am assuming these are literary works, not technical).

    Does this help?

    You will appreciate all this is variable, as time and circumstances have to be taken into account. If I do not want the work I over-price, and if this is accepted I consider myself fortunate!


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