Is the Freeditorial Contest a Scam?

Here on Write to Done, we were involved with the first Freeditorial contest for long-short stories.


Because it sounded great! In fact, it sounded too good to be true.

And it was.

Here is what Freeditorial promised:

Winners will be selected based on two criteria:

  • Literary quality of the work
  • Number of downloads of the story at

The contest jury will comprise the WTD team and literary experts from Freeditorial.

Shortly after closing submissions, the WritetoDone team was informed that the literary quality of the submitted pieces was irrelevant so there would be no adjudication.

Freeditorial determined the winner by the number of downloads.

As you can imagine, we (and the many people who submitted stories) were very unhappy with this!

After the winners had been announced, I got scores of emails by enraged and disappointed writers.

One of the emails I got was from David Barkey. His comment expresses what many felt after the contest:

I’m disgusted to find out that the contest was determined by the number of downloads, that the adjudicators did not even read the contents of the submissions.

If that is a fact, then this contest was a farce, a disgrace to be called a literary contest. Essentially every one of us who worked on preparing manuscripts wasted our time and effort.

I feel bad about being involved with this so-called contest. We and our readers feel duped by Freeditorial.

Here is another of the many emails we got. It’s from Pam Fernande, the author of The Stage Outside

When the contest was finally over and I got nowhere with my story, as good a story as it turned out to be according to some of my readers, I went through some of the other contest stories.
I was a shocked to say the least that no regard for literary content was actually paid attention to. Foul language, especially the flagrant use of the F word in the first place winner’s story, was disgusting, and I couldn’t get past the first few pages. Given the fact that she “borrowed” the plot from Shakespeare, I’m sure he is turning over in his grave right now.
I remember specifically when you outlined the rules, there was to be no foul language or sexual content. I guess many of the contestants never read the rules. But I had hopes that the supposed judges would disqualify anyone who didn’t follow the rules.


These emails are just two of the many outraged emails we received.

The fact is, you don’t stand a chance of winning the contest if you …

  • Don’t have a big social media following
  • Don’t have a big blog
  • Don’t have a ready-made audience.

But if you do submit your story, you may lose crucial opportunities.

Do you want to lose your digital rights?

If you don’t win, your story will continue to stay on Freeditorial and be downloaded for free. You cannot remove your story from Freeditorial, once you’ve submitted it.

This means that your story is deemed published. You will never be able to publish it with a true publisher, because it is already published and can be downloaded for free.

If you win one of the prizes, Freeditorial will retain the digital rights. You can publish it in book form, but you can’t publish it on a digital platform, such as Kindle.

This is a serious drawback!

What does Freeditorial get out of the contest?

Here is what Freeditorial says about its business model:

Our innovative business model is mainly based on using advertising space on our online platform.

This means that Freeditorial sells advertising space. Every time someone downloads a story, they profit by showing ads to the reader.

In other words, their interest seems to lie getting people to download stories so that they can profit from selling advertising space.

In conclusion…

Should you submit your story to Freeditorial?

My recommendation is not to waste your precious story on this so-called ‘literary’ contest.


Vision Boards For Writers: 3 Ways To Achieve Your Dreams

Vision boards are more than just a fun activity to engage in at the start of a new year or season. While vision boards are often designed to be aesthetically pleasing and can be a relaxing activity, they actually can be more helpful to your writing dreams than you...

The 7 Best Pens For Writing

Did you know that you can purchase some of the best pens for writing without breaking the bank? Yes, pens can definitely be a costly purchase, but if you’re looking for both a comfortable and affordable writing tool, we have you covered.  In addition to the...

How to Find Freelance Writing Work (2023 Guide)

Freelance writing is a great way to earn some extra money on the side. But as you may discover once you get a foothold in the industry, it’s more than possible to turn it into a full-time job and lifelong career. There are some hurdles that you have to overcome,...

Hero’s Journey In Nonfiction: 4 Steps To Spectacular Writing

The hero’s journey is a classic story structure that has been used for centuries. This timeless storytelling technique encompasses the three core aspects of a protagonist’s journey. Using it in fiction often seems like common sense, but the secret is to use it in...

How To Find A Good Reading Chair + 7 Of Our Favorites

When you first become a passionate reader, you might not understand the importance of a good reading chair. It will only take a few weeks or months of reading for your body to figure out that sitting in something comfortable that supports your posture is essential to...



Then you need KDP Rocket – the killer advantage of pro authors.

Related Posts

Is It Too Late to Start Writing?

Is It Too Late to Start Writing?

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to be a writer but haven’t made it happen yet.  There are so many reasons why you might not have made the leap from aspiring to write to actually starting to do it yet. Maybe you doubt whether you’re good enough. Maybe writing has...

Why Is Writing So Hard? (And What to Do About It)

Why Is Writing So Hard? (And What to Do About It)

Do you ever find yourself asking why is writing so hard? When people picture the working process of a writer, they often picture a carefree, fun, and creative situation.  Perhaps that's how you imagined being a writer would be. Often, our earliest experiences...

About The Author

Mary Jaksch

Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at and for her cutting-edge book, Youthful Aging Secrets. In her “spare” time, Mary is also the brains behind, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

Latest Posts

How to Find Freelance Writing Work (2023 Guide)

How to Find Freelance Writing Work (2023 Guide)

Freelance writing is a great way to earn some extra money on the side. But as you may discover once you get a foothold in the industry, it’s more than possible to turn it into a full-time job and lifelong career. There are some hurdles that you have to overcome,...

31 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Writing

31 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Writing

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. - Jack London No matter how much you love writing, there will always be days when you need inspiration from one muse or another. In fact, I would argue that inspiration is not just a desirable...