Harlequin has another contest open for the Superromance line that I was really excited about. It's the "Conflict of Interest" on eHarlequin.com. But a writer on one of the chat boards has posted this interesting conflict of her own...
Regarding the "Conflict of Interest" contest: Should be a dream come true opportunity, no? But the rules say, "In consideration for winning the award of a prize in this Contest, winners agree that his/her entry and the copyrights and any other rights therein become the sole property of Sponsor which may edit, modify, publish, promote, display, broadcast and otherwise use entry submitted for any purpose without further permission..." The entry is one scene, first chapter, and NTE 10 page outline. 3 winners will receive a detailed editorial evaluation and MAYBE (but not necessarily) a request for a full. (And, of course, no guarantee of a contract if they do request the full.) Oh, and a year's subscription to the Superromance series. So, ok, nothing like jumping to the "what if I win" mode, but what IF I was one of the 3 winners and they did NOT request a full. Now they have all rights to my 1st chapter, a scene, etc, which would mean I couldn't shop it around to any other publisher, right? (Even if I revise it?) Would this make anyone else a little nervous? Am I nuts? (ok, maybe don't answer that one...)
After I went back to the contest page and reread the rules...it left me a little sceptical. Surely that is a conflict with copyright laws...but if you enter the contest knowing this is inserted...? Could they? Would they? It's only the first chapter/scene...but it's also your entire storyline in the outline including goals, motivation, conflict and resolution. It is a great opportunity to get published...right?
Harlequin is pretty well known for taking open submissions without having to have an agent. They are also good with their pubbed authors from what I've heard. Well hell. It is being debated on a couple threads now. Hopefully an editor will throw in her two cents and ease some of the concerns this may cause. It might be a good thing though for writers to think twice and read the contest entry rules before entering.