View Full Version : Zondervan contest

Betty W01
06-10-2004, 03:51 AM
What's in your head? Put it on paper.
A faith-based, nonfiction writing contest
Purpose: To discover fresh voices, uncover true passion, and publish Christian books that connect with a new generation of readers.

Grand Prize: $1,000 and a trip to Zondervan headquarters to discuss publishing your submission.

Submission Deadline: August 31, 2004

Length: 50,000 - 75,000 words

No purchase necessary

Details at www.zondervan.com/whatsinyourhead/ (http://www.zondervan.com/whatsinyourhead/)

06-10-2004, 05:38 PM
Has anybody else followed and looked up this link? I did and I am rather scratching my head trying to figure out what exactly they are looking for. It says "non-fiction," but I can't see any other specific description of what they are looking for. Since it's 50-75,000 words, no small chunk, I am interested in having a bit clearer idea of what they are looking for before doing too much on it.

Does anybody else get any more "detailed" vibes off of reading their web page??


Betty W01
06-11-2004, 03:41 AM
Nope, me either. I'd call that a book rather than an article, but what do I know? Did you try contacting them for further details? I didn't because I'm not interested in entering, but they're a reputable place, so I wasn't worried about it. But if someone has more info, that would be cool.

06-11-2004, 03:52 AM
Well, I know they're reputable, but some of the contest details were unsettling to me: "All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned." And, "Acceptance of prizes constitutes permission to use the winnerís essay, name, likeness, biography, and prize won for purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity without additional compensation." The Grand Prize is listed as: "$1,000 and a trip to Zondervan headquarters to discuss publishing your submission."

The way I read all this, there is no guarantee that they will publish it, and if they do, the rights are all theirs and you get no further compensation than the $1000?--And not only that, but even the non-winning entries become property of Zondervan? Am I missing something here?

50,000 words is a lot of text in my book, and if I had something that I felt confident enough to submit in a contest, I'd probably rather submit it to a publisher and take my chances with that. But that's just me, and maybe I'm reading this all wrong.

I'm interested if there are any other opinions from those who've checked out their site.


Betty W01
08-18-2004, 07:58 AM
"All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned."

This is a typical comment, and it usually means the actual physical entry (i.e. the paper manuscript) NOT the writing on the paper, which you own rights to until you sign them away.
This is stated in most contests so that they do not have to acknowledge, keep up with, or return the actual physical manuscripts once they've made their decision about the winner. It does NOT mean they own the writing on all those entries.

And to my mind, $1,000 and a chance to pitch your book to a big reputable publishing house is a GREAT prize!!

08-18-2004, 09:31 AM

My whole manuscript is a true life story of me and how faith in God has affected it in so many ways.

its around 50-60,000 words..still on editing

but $1000 and they own my lifestory? yea right

08-20-2004, 09:45 PM
When you've read about one prayer being answered, have you essentially read them all? To me, this sounds very fishy:

Entrants acknowledge that the Sponsor receives and publishes each year many works of faith-based nonfiction and covenant not to sue the Sponsor on the ground that a work subsequently published by Sponsor is substantially similar to the manuscript submitted by such Entrant. (Emphasis added.)

I've never read such a paragraph in a contest or anything, for that matter. This is essentially saying that if somebody steals your idea, changes a few words here and there, then publishes it, you can do nothing about it. That is the essence of intellectual theft, in my limited opinion.

I think I'll skip this contest and advise that others do as well. Zondervan is a big house, but my exposure to them, should I ever be so lucky, will only be through a knowledgeable agent.


Betty W01
08-22-2004, 07:18 AM
If I write about God healing me from a twisted shoulder after having hands laid on me, and then someone else writes about and is published on the same topic, I can see why Zondervan (or any other house, really) might want my assurance that I wouldn't sue them for a story similar to mine.

If you read about one prayer being answered, have you read them all? No, but there's only so many ways to say something like "I was blind and now I can see."

Good luck with an agented submission. Let us know how it turns out.

08-30-2004, 09:24 AM
Has anyone submitted an entry to the Whats in Your head contest?

01-21-2005, 01:51 PM
Actually, yes, I did. I'm getting pretty anxious as the January 31 winners' notification date approaches. I've worked with Zondervan before (one title-credited edited book with Z), and my fiction has been rejected by them before. I've got 5 edited books out in the market right now, but I'm still seeking my first authored book. I'll let you know how it goes.

02-22-2005, 08:02 PM
Winners have been announced and are on Zondervan's website.

There has been some disgruntled feedback (add me to the list) about the contest, as all 5 winners were books written by women, for women, in anecdotal style, about overcoming heartache after key relationships (fiancee, son, home, etc.) fall apart.

My book didn't fit that style and is not to be found among the winners.

Betty W01
02-22-2005, 08:32 PM
Sorry. Maybe next time? Don't give up...