One of the things that piqued my interest in Vocal Media was the fact that they often put out writing challenges for cash prizes. Though, most of these challenges are for subscribed members, of which I am not one. But the Vocal+ Fiction Awards might be worth giving it a try.
I mean, it’s an easy $5k if I am one of the 25 selected winners with the story being published in Vocal’s upcoming book of shorts.
And as I am really pushing for getting more published pieces out there in the world today, I am really debating on forking over the money to join with a Vocal+ membership.
What Are the Vocal+ Fiction Awards?
The Vocal+ Fiction Awards is the biggest challenge the platform has ever released. It’s open to all Vocal+ members and centers around writing fictional pieces between 600 and 4,000 words.
Winners will be given $5,000 each and featured in Vocal’s upcoming book of short stories. If that’s not enough, 1,000 runners up will get a free year of Vocal+, which is a $99 value.
The contest ends December 29, 2021, at 9:59 PM MDT. This gives you just over two months to come up with an awesome short story if you plan to enter.
The content is open to writers over the age of 13 who live in areas supported by Stripe, as that is the payment method Vocal Media uses.
Why Haven’t I Joined Vocal+ as of Yet?
I don’t have a lot of disposable income from one month to the next. Between maintaining the things I have, children, a mortgage, and other living expenses, I have to be a bit selective as to what I dump cash into.
Usually, I’ll try to buy things that will help with either the blogs or YouTube channel. It’s more of an investment into the content I create. Kind of like how I pay $15 every month for Epidemic Sound, as that is where I get the sound effects for Despair, the audiobook I have on YouTube.
But when it comes to Vocal+, I haven’t been able to justify spending the extra money each month.
Sure, there are a few benefits that might make it worthwhile for some. I just don’t generate enough reads to really make it worth the expense.
However, I’ve been seriously thinking of spending the money for a few months now just so I have access to some of the challenges that are available. After all, I am all about challenging myself in just about anything.
What Other Benefits Come with a Vocal+ Membership?
I suppose if I put in a bit more effort for writing on Vocal Media, outside of the fiction awards, I might generate enough of an income where membership would be worthwhile.
And I’m sure there are probably plenty of people out there who do fairly well for themselves on the platform.
- $6.00 per 1000 reads, vs $3.80. This means I’d get about $0.20 per month instead of $0.11.
- 2.9% processing fee on tips, vs 7%. As I’ve only had one tip, this really doesn’t impact me much.
- $20 minimum withdrawal balance, vs $35. Right now, I have $27 saved up…I’d be able to claim it.
- Vocal+ Badge. I think this is the little “V+” that appears next to your avatar in Vocal.
- Vocal+ Exclusive Challenges. This is probably what I would use the most. Vocal doesn’t have a lot of challenges available throughout the year for free users.
- Quick edit published stories. I suppose cutting time off how long it takes for a story to be accepted is more time in front of readers.
One of my biggest hangups, though, is the lack of time I often have. I mean, this would add yet one more platform I would have to regularly write content for in order for the $5 per month to be justified.
I barely have time to maintain some of the other blogs I have right now. But, maybe I can dedicate one story per week, in addition to entering the writing challenges.
Then again, if I wound up making enough to get a payout every month, it might be worthwhile as another revenue stream.
Not to mention that the Vocal Media videos on YouTube seem to get a bit of attention. Perhaps I can connect the monthly membership with some video content.
You Still Have to Write What People Want to Read
Just like any platform, you need to put in a bit of effort to write something people will want to read. Unfortunately, this means cranking out a bit of content that is going to fall flat.
Well, at least until you start building an audience. And even then, you still need to give them what they want to consume.
The Vocal+ Fiction Awards are a bit different, though. Yes, you still need to write something that keeps someone flipping through the pages. But it’s not quantifiable with data, such as using SEO tools to determine a good article for search intent.
This is all based on your imagination and how well you can convey that story. For me, it’s stepping well outside of my comfort zone.
Then again, I read my own story as an audiobook on Creative Sanctuary’s YouTube channel. If I can do that, then writing a piece of fiction should be nothing.
Still, I’m competing with a lot of writers on this one. And that makes me a bit nervous. On the other hand, I’ll never know how far the experience can take me if I don’t at least give it my best shot.
And five grand could go a long way to fixing up my YouTube channels and blogs.
Time’s Ticking, Better Make Up My Mind Soon…
Every time I look at the Vocal+ membership screen, I start to get cold feet, but not because of the fiction awards challenge. I always get this way when I spend money on something that merely has “potential.”
At least when I pay for something like Yoast SEO, I know full well what I’m getting and use all of the tools at its disposal. In this case, I don’t know if I will spend enough time to make it worthwhile.
Yet, it’s only $5 per month. I spend far more than that on coffee throughout the week. I better make up my mind soon, though. If I wait too long, I won’t have enough time to grind out a 4,000-word story.