I would never pay honest money up front for the "honor" of maybe winning a ribbon. It is a ripoff. If the organizers can't figure out how to come up with enough dough from persons other than the artists, to run their little scam, then they should get out of the racket. I imagine there are a few honest competitions that charge the entrant but there are dinosaur bones around, too. You just have to dig mighty hard to find them.