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Thursday, 5 March 2020

Prima short story competition

Prima are still running their short story competition. This is from the current issue (with details of the winner hidden, in case she'd rather not be mentioned).


If you're (understandably) struggling to read the small print underneath it says that by entering you give up your copyright.

If you found this (or any other) post interesting/useful please leave a comment. Without those I'll assume nobody is interested in the subject(s) and there's no point in me posting about it!

If you're not sure how to comment, see this post.

17 comments:

Lindsay said...

Good to point out the copyright issue. Some years back I entered a story into a magazine competition and only realised later that it meant giving up copyright. Luckily it didn't win! It went on to win another conmpetition for which I received a cash prize and I retain copyright!

Patsy said...

@ Lindsay – Giving up copyright on the winning story is bad enough but in this case, and some others I've seen, writers do that just by entering.

carrie said...

Thanks for sharing, Patsy. I used to enter Prima contests until I found out about the copyright issues. Seems very grabbing of magazines to do that.

ados123 said...

LIke Carrie I've entered this before and had a story used - I have to say they were quick to use it and quick to pay - but haven't sent them anything recently because of the all rights issue.

I could accept the limited licence like Yours magazine does, as I don't use the stories again but I want to collect my ALCS monies as this is valuable additional income each year.
Alyson

Jenny Worstall said...

Sorry to be dense but does this actually mean that by entering you give up copyright on your story, regardless of whether you win or not? That sounds a bit bonkers...so I'm hoping they mean you only give up copyright if they use your story. Not that I'm saying magazines can't have bonkers policies, because we all know from bitter experience they can. But, if they take all rights even from non-winning entries, this deserves to be widely publicised for the sake of writers who might not realise so thanks for bringing the topic up, Patsy. As always, your fantastic blog is a trailblazer and offers a great service to writers everywhere.

Anonymous said...

When I queried this with Prima last year, they emailed me to say they take the rights to the winning story only BUT this might have changed, so I'm not sure now!
If I'm not sure, I won't be bothering and they'll be crossed off my list.

Patsy said...

@ Carrie – the rights thing is what stops me entering. As you say, it's very grabbing.

@ Alyson – Magazines can take all the rights they need and want without actually taking 'all rights', and several do – which is why I consider it so unfair of a few to insist on all rights.

@ Jenny – You're not being dense and it does seem bonkers! The small print does indeed say that 'by entering' you agree to assign all rights. Whether your story is published or not doesn't matter.

Patsy said...

@ Anonymous – The wording I've shown is from the current issue.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this opportunity, Patsy, although, like many of your correspondents, I'm put off by the 'all rights' situation. I would be genuinely interested to hear from the publications that demand 'all rights' what advantage they feel they gain from this. Eirin Thompson

Anonymous said...

I've heard of this sort of thing before - all rights taken just for entering the competition. Too scary - this is definitely one to avoid! Thanks for pointing this out.

Angie M

Carolb said...

It's really a submission process under the guise of a monthly competition, and if you 'win' you get paid, but if you don't you're providing them with free content.

If a writer understands that and they're happy to submit, then that's okay, but sadly, there will always be newer writers who haven't realised that's what it means. :(

Lindsay said...

Further to my earlier comment, thanks too for pointing out that simply submittimg can affect loss of copyright. It's utterly appalling.

Lynn Love said...

I had no idea some comps take the copyright of all entries - that's appalling. When are writers going to get some things going their way rather than against them? It all seems weighted in the publishers favour, always

Patsy said...

@ Eirin – I'd be interested to hear from publishers about why they feel they need all rights too. If any of them would care to explain I'd be happy to post up their answer.

@ Angie – It's unusual, but this example isn't the only time I've come across it.

@ Carol – You're right, it's really just a different way to handle submissions, rather than what we usually consider to be a competition. That part doesn't bother me at all.

@ Lindsay – Yes, it is.

@ Lynn – Yes, it can feel that way at times.

Sharon said...

This is the second competition I have come across this week where the act of submitting a story is taken to also mean giving up all rights to the story.

I think it is totally unreasonable and I won't enter any competition with such a clause. I'm not overly happy that a winning story requires the author to give up all rights - whatever happened to the days of signing over First British Serial Rights only.

I'll stick to self-publishing I think.

Patsy said...

@ Sharon – I agree it's unreasonable.

FBSR is very rare now, in fact I'm not aware of any magazine which buys fiction on those terms. Most publications manage to come up with something which gives them the extended rights they require without taking all rights away from the author. A few insist on everything.

Al Watt said...

It seems to be something of a dirty tricks to catch the writer unaware. it really does sicken me.