About 8 months ago, I entered a writing contest that was looking for two winners. It had none of the rules or requirements that are usually connected with writing contests. I was one of the winners. After a brief announcement about the winners on their website, we heard nothing for the next seven months and then only after I contacted them on Twitter. I’d been concerned about what they intended to do with our stories because mine was part of a collection that I was hoping to get published this year.
We were told that the publishing house didn’t use contracts because they were ‘restricting’ but that we would get a percentage of the book sales. But if a writer wanted a contract then, they would produce one. I asked for a contract. A few weeks passed with no contact, and then the second ‘director’ took up negotiations with me.
The contract stated that the publisher wanted the right to print, publish, distribute, sell and license the rights to any and all editions and or formats of the book in the English language throughout the world indefinitely, and that although the rights they were asking for weren’t exclusive, if the story was to be published as part of a collection by someone else, that publisher could not have exclusive rights to the winning story.
In my last emailed conversation with the second director, he told me that the prize wasn’t really a prize, although the word prize is used and is blatantly there across all references to this publisher on the net.
I haven’t signed anything. But I’d just be interested in how this story strikes you?