Writer Beware Redux – “America’s Next Author.”


There’s another “contest” out there calling itself “America’s Next Author.” They’re promising prizes of up to $5,000.00 for a winning short story.

But when you read the rules, there are some hiccups.

5. GRANT OF RIGHTS. By submitting an Entry you grant eBookMall the publication rights to your Entry during the contest and 12 months after the completion of the contest.

Umm…no. By submitting you should only be offering an option for rights, which they would exercise if you win one of the three awards. Simply by entering this contest you’re granting all publication rights (which includes all media) to your submission, whether you win or not or get any kind of compensation.

So let’s say you write a story and submit it to them. You don’t win the contest. A month later you turn around and sell it to The New Yorker for a nice chunk of change. The people running this contest can turn around and sue you for not only every penny you just earned but for statutory damages as well because you’d already granted publication rights to them by virtue of these rules.


In addition, to the extent that any moral rights (for example, the right to attribution and the right to integrity) apply, you waive (and to the extent that these rights may not be waived, agree irrevocably not to assert) your moral rights in your Entry for purposes of this Contest

Never surrender your moral rights, especially without payment. Do you see where they say “the right to attribution?” That means you give them the right to publish your work, even if you don’t get paid for it, without even identifying you as the author.

Always remember, read the rules in their entirety before you enter a contest.

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