Have you ever entered a writing contest? Did you read the fine print before you signed the application form? Many writers don’t. They figure that they don’t have anything to lose, except maybe the contest. Wrong. Just like with everything from buying a home to leasing a car, you need to read all of the details, every last word.
But what could possibly happen? It’s just a writing contest, right? Maybe. If you’re lucky. However, if you’re not, you might’ve just sold your rights to that piece of writing.
Think you’re safe because you didn’t actually sign anything? Don’t be so sure. Many forms accept digital signatures including typed out names as legal. There are other ways around a signature, too. The fine print might say that by entering the contest, you acknowledge you no longer retain the rights for that piece.
There aren’t many contests out there that take your rights from you, but you need to be aware that they exist. And some of them may not even be real contests, just people trying to make money off your talent.
Don’t take the risk. Read all the fine print before signing.
Have you ever entered a contest without reading the fine print? Have you encountered a contest that owns the contest entries?