Competition Magazines and Publishers
Long before the internet arrived, the main source of competitions for compers were from magazines like Competitor's Companion and Winners Friend. These titles followed in the footsteps of the first ever magazine, Competitor's Journal which launched in 1913. Inside a typical copy of Competitor's Companion you'd find 100s of competitions to enter via postcard and phone, tiebreaker suggestions, articles, advice and details of previous winners. The magazines were always subscription only and could never be purchased from a newsagent. Back in the day magazines were good value because they were the only source of information but with so many competitions now online are they really worth the money and what choice is there for subscribers?
Fast forward to 2021 and competition magazines are an endangered species. Just a few years ago the most "well known" competition magazines came from publishers Oxfordshire Press and Accolade Publishing with their main titles being Simply Prizes and Compers News respectively. Competitors Companion (the magazine, not the unrelated website which piggy backs on the name) and Prize Draw Winner were incorporated into Compers News in 2011, whilst Winners Friend was incorporated into Simply Prizes. The latter gave up being a printed magazine in 2016 and is now subscription online listing service.
Whenever we were asked about magazine subscriptions we always recommended a popular independent publication, Compers Grapevine. Run by Jane Willis it did everything the other magazines did but without your money going to a big company. However the title has now been absorbed by Compers News owned by Accolade Publishing. Many compers, including Di Coke who writes/has written for the magazine, do have a good word for Compers News and that's perhaps the best option now. In fact it's your only option if you want a printed publication!
If you're lucky you may be able to get a trial issue of the magazine for just £1. We have seen a number of offers running so it's worth keeping an eye out. However a full subscription doesn't come cheap. An annual subscription is now £77.40 for 12 issues or £59.40 if you agree to an annual direct debit payment. A single issue costs £4.95 via monthly direct debit. Your subscription gets you a magazine, access to the digital version and access to the Chatterbox Forum.
Compers News Express
Compers News also has a sister publication - Compers News Express. This will cost you £21 for six months (via direct debit) and it's "dedicated to discovering and winning short-life competitions". The comps in this publication aren't the same as in the main title. This means that you can pay over £100 a year for both Compers News and Compers News Express. Whether that's good value really depends on whether the competitions aren't listed elsewhere and whether you can win enough to more that make the outlay worthwhile.
Simply Prizes is the online subscription service of the former magazine. An annual subscription costs £67 a year but you can choose to pay quarterly or monthly. For your money you have access to "1300 new competitions added every month". These are a mix of online, social media and postal. It has a sister online publication, Coffee Break Winner, which offers "135 short closing competitions added every week". An annual subscription will cost you £49. Again you'd be paying out over £100 a year if you subscribed to both titles.
As well as the traditional comping "solutionist" magazines you can also purchase puzzle competition subscriptions like Prizes Galore, Take a Break, and Puzzler. These feature a wide range of puzzles and competitions for you to enter, often with big prizes. Again, Loquax makes no recommendations about any of the titles listed. For the best advice about the quality of the publications why not visit our forums and ask other compers for their opinion?