[…]the contest is being run by an
organization that apparently will eventually transform itself into a
literary agency, it is, in effect, a reading fee (according to the
contest rules, literary representation isn’t limited to the 10
winners–offers can be extended to semi-finalists).
[…]This is tantamount to signing with a literary agent whose background
you haven’t checked or aren’t able to research, and, in my view, is the
main argument for avoiding the contest.
Also, I’d never
advise a writer to pay $85 even for a contest of proven, unimpeachable
Good advice. If you were to ask me, I’d say save your money and submit your manuscript instead to an established literary agency or reputable publisher that doesn’t charge you anything to read your work.
(Thanks to Tari Akpodiete for the heads up)