Fiction Writing Contests for students

Sunset and Pier-Blue Variation-Red Enhanced-Unsharp MaskFrom Writer Beware:

Recently, Big 5 publisher Simon & Schuster announced the launch of two adult trade speculative fiction imprints: Saga Press, which will do both print and digital, and Simon451, which will also do print and digital, but will concentrate on digital-firsts and ebook originals. Simon451 currently is accepting submissions from unagented authors.

Simon451 is also running a novel-writing contest for college students. Students submit a synopsis ad the first 50 pages of a novel. A panel of judges will select ten finalists, who will be asked to submit their entire manuscripts. The winner receives a publishing contract with Simon451, a $3, 000 advance, and a trip to NY Comicon.

In the past weeks, I’ve heard from a number of writers who are wondering about an apparent rights-grab in the contest guidelines .

Submission of an Initial Entry grants Sponsor and their agents the unconditional, irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to excerpt in part or whole, use, adapt, edit and/or modify such Entry in any way, in any and all media, without limitation, and without consideration to the entrant, whether or not such Entry is selected as a winning Entry.

. . . .

What if you become a finalist, though, and are asked to submit your entire manuscript? Per pages 3 and 4 of the guidelines, you are subject to the exact same grant of rights, expressed in identical language. The only difference is the use of the term “Entry, ” rather than “Initial Entry, ” referring to the full manuscript:

Submission of an Entry grants Sponsor and its agents the unconditional, irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to excerpt in part or whole, use, adapt, edit and/or modify such Entry in any way, in any and all media, without limitation, and without consideration to the entrant, whether or not such Entry is selected as a winning Entry.

Link to the rest at Writer Beware and thanks to Ekta for the tip.

PG says it looks like another case of runaway lawyers.

He doesn’t read contest rules for fun, but almost every time he does, he finds overbroad language and rights-grabs.

On one occasion, PG was thinking about entering one of his photographs into a contest for calendar photos featuring landscape shots. His primary reasons for doing so were that proceeds from the sale of calenders went to a children’s hospital and he thought his photo was better than previous winners.

Then he read the contest terms and conditions and discovered, instead of granting rights to use his photo on the calendar, he was surrendering all rights to his photo, which could be used for any purpose, including being licensed to third parties without compensation to the photographer.

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