Monday, August 20, 2012

Complete Rules: Harlequin/ Mills & Boon's So You Think You Can Write Contest (UK/ Ireland/ US/ Canada/ Australia/ NZ)

Post date: Monday, August 20, 2012
Deadline: 30 September 2012

(Note: The Writing Contest is open to legal residents of the South Africa, U.K., U.S., Canada [excluding Quebec], Republic of Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand [collectively, the "Territory"] who have reached the age of majority in their country, state, province or territory of residence at the time of entry.)

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN WRITE CONTEST

Harlequin (Harlequin.com), a leading publisher of books for women, and Mills & Boon, their international romance imprint, today announced the inauguration of a global English-language writing contest that offers aspiring authors the chance to win a publishing contract. The free 24/7 online conference, So You Think You Can Write (soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com) will take place September 17–21, 2012 and will be the first event to combine the strength of the publisher’s two iconic brands—Harlequin (North America) and Mills & Boon (Europe, Australia and Africa), taking advantage of an international presence and audience.

So You Think You Can Write allows hopeful romance novelists to spend a week with more than 50 editors from Toronto, New York and London through social media tools including podcasts, videos, webinars, blogs, live chats, community discussions and Twitter events. Aspiring authors will attend a virtual romance-writing “boot camp” designed to teach them how to write a romance novel that will attract the attention of publishers. So You Think You Can Write has been organized in such a way as to help participants prepare completed manuscripts for submission to the So You Think You Can Write contest by the deadline, October 13, 2012.

Entrants into the contest portion of the conference will experience the path a professional writer undertakes from the genesis of a story idea all the way through to the publication of a novel. Participants will initially be asked to submit a first chapter accompanied by a maximum100-word pitch. An online vote, open to the public, will narrow the field down to 25 contestants who, along with three “wildcard” entrants selected by Harlequin, will then be required to submit a finished manuscript. Harlequin and Mills & Boon editors will select three finalists whose manuscripts will be judged in an online vote, again open to the public, and a winner will be named and awarded a publishing contract to write a series romance novel for Harlequin/Mills & Boon.

Harlequin and Mills & Boon editors believe that by engaging aspiring writers, showcasing the tremendous appeal of the romance genre and offering expert insights into crafting the perfect story, they can help promising novelists hone their skills and achieve their dreams of writing for the world’s leading publisher for women.

OFFICIAL RULES

No purchase necessary to participate or receive prizes. Purchase or acceptance of a product offer does not improve your chances of winning.

How to enter: During the First Chapter Submission Phase (as set out below), visit www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com (the "Contest Website") for instructions on how to enter the Writing Contest by completing a submission form and uploading one (1) eligible first chapter (see Submission Requirements below) suitable for publication under one of the Harlequin® Series Imprints (as defined below) (the "First Chapter Submission"), published by Harlequin Books S.A., an affiliate of Harlequin Enterprises Limited (collectively, the "Sponsor"). First Chapter Submissions that do not comply with the Submission Requirements set out below will be disqualified. The Writing Contest begins at 00:01 Greenwich Mean Time ("GMT") on September 23, 2012 and ends at 23:59 GMT on November 27, 2012 (the "Contest Period"). The Writing Contest consists of the following five (5) phases:
  • First Chapter Submission Phase: September 23, 2012 - September 30, 2012
  • First Chapter Judging Phase: October 2, 2012 - October 11, 2012
  • Manuscript Submission Phase: October 13, 2012 - October 18, 2012
  • Top 28 Manuscript Judging Phase: October 19, 2012 - November 2, 2012
  • Top 3 Judging Phase: November 16, 2012 - November 27, 2012
  • The Sponsor's computer is the official time-keeping device for the Writing Contest. A fee is not required to enter the Writing Contest.
All First Chapter Submissions must be received by way of file upload only as directed on the Contest Website by 23:59 GMT on September 30, 2012 (each an "Entry"). Submissions will only be accepted online. A copy of these Official Rules can be obtained by sending an e-mail request to sytycwhelp@harlequin.ca or can be viewed online at www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com. Limit of one (1) Entry per person. If more than one (1) Entry is submitted by the same person, only the first eligible Entry submitted will be considered. Entries will not be returned to the entrant. By entering the Writing Contest, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules. In the event of a dispute regarding any aspect of the Writing Contest, the Sponsor will make the final ruling in its sole discretion. Such ruling shall be final and binding, and no communication or correspondence will be exchanged with entrants regarding such ruling(s) unless otherwise required by law.

If selected to continue past the First Chapter Judging Phase, entrants must be prepared to submit a full manuscript by 23:59 GMT on October 18, 2012 in order to successfully progress through the winner selection process (as outlined below).

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

In order to be eligible, the First Chapter Submission and Manuscript Submission (as defined below) (each, or together, the "Submission") must meet the following requirements (collectively, the "Submission Requirements"):
  • Each Submission must adhere to the writing guidelines for a novel under one of the following Harlequin® series imprints: Harlequin® American Romance®; Harlequin® Blaze®; Harlequin® Desire; Harlequin® Heartwarming™; Harlequin® Historical (Mills & Boon Historical Romance); Harlequin Intrigue®; Harlequin® Kimani™ Romance; Harlequin® Kiss; Harlequin® Medical Romance™ (Mills & Boon Medical Romance); Harlequin® Nocturne™; Harlequin Presents® (Mills & Boon Modern Romance); Harlequin® Romance (Mills & Boon Cherish and Mills & Boon Riva); Harlequin® Romantic Suspense; Harlequin® Special Edition; Harlequin® Superromance®; Heartsong Presents™; Love Inspired®; Love Inspired® Historical; Love Inspired® Suspense; (each, a "Harlequin® Series Imprint"). Writing guidelines for each Harlequin® Series Imprint are available online at: www.Harlequin.com;
  • Each Submission shall be in English;
  • The Manuscript Submission shall adhere to the specific length requirements set out in the writing guideline for the applicable Harlequin® Series Imprint;
  • The First Chapter Submission shall be no more than 5000 words and shall be accompanied by a maximum 100-word pitch outlining the story concept, plot, characters, conflict and setting;
  • The First Chapter Submission shall be uploaded as an RTF file or a Word document, named as follows: [TITLE]_FIRSTCHAPTER (where the title of the entrant's proposed manuscript is inserted in place of "[TITLE]");
  • The Manuscript Submission shall be uploaded as an RTF file or a Word document, named as follows: [TITLE]_MANUSCRIPT (where the title of the entrant's manuscript is inserted in place of "[TITLE]");
  • The first page of the Submission shall contain the following information: the manuscript name, the entrant's legal name, e-mail address and phone number (including applicable country and area code), and the applicable Harlequin® Series Imprint. The first page of the Manuscript Submission, in addition to the foregoing, shall include a computer word count of the manuscript; and
  • Each page of the Submission shall be numbered and the header of each page shall include the title of the manuscript and the entrant's legal name.
By participating in the Writing Contest, each entrant represents and warrants that: (i) the Submission is original to the entrant, and all right, title and interest (including but not limited to copyright) therein and thereto is exclusively owned and/or controlled by the entrant to the full extent necessary to enable the Sponsor to use the Submission as contemplated by these Official Rules; (ii) the Submission does not contain any material that is libelous, defamatory, profane or obscene, as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion; (iii) the Submission does not contain any material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; (iv) the Submission does not contain any material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where the Submission is created; (v) the Submission does not infringe upon the intellectual property or other statutory or common law rights of any third party (including but not limited to copyright, trademark, personality or privacy rights); (vi) the Sponsor's use and re-use of the Submission in accordance with the terms set out herein will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party (including copyright), or require any payment to or consent/permission from any third party; and (vii) the Submission has not been previously exploited or published in any form, and no rights in or to the Submission have been granted, pledged, or assigned to any third party which would interfere with or derogate from the rights granted to the Sponsor hereunder.

ELIGIBILITY

The Writing Contest is open only to legal residents of the U.K., U.S., Canada (excluding Quebec), Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa (collectively, the "Territory") who have reached the age of majority in their country, state, province or territory of residence at the time of entry. Entrants are required to have Internet access and an active e-mail account in order to participate. Void where prohibited by any law, regulation, rule or authority. The following individuals are not eligible to participate in the Writing Contest: (i) Professionals (as defined below); (ii) employees of the Sponsor and its parent company, affiliates, and subsidiaries; (iii) all agencies, entities and persons engaged in the marketing and/or administration of the Writing Contest; and (iv) Immediate Family members (as defined below) of any of the foregoing.

For the purpose of these Official Rules, the term "Immediate Family" shall mean husband, wife, spouse, mother, father, brother, sister, son and/or daughter, whether or not they reside in the same household.

Furthermore, the term "Professional" shall mean any person who has had a literary work, in any format (i.e., print or digital), acquired or published by the Sponsor or any of its affiliates (e.g., Harlequin Books S.A.) in the Territory, regardless of whether such person has received any financial compensation in relation to such literary work.

The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to immediately disqualify, without notice, any and all Submissions that do not comply with the Submission Requirements set out above, as determined in the Sponsor's sole discretion. Submissions shall not be returned to the entrant for any reason. No communication or correspondence will be exchanged with entrants except with the entrants selected for a prize.

Submissions shall be deemed to be submitted by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the Entry (i.e., the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet service provider, online service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address). A potential winner may be required to provide the Sponsor with proof that she/he is the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the potential winning Submission.

PRIZES

One (1) grand prize will be awarded consisting of: (i) publication of the Submission under one of the Harlequin® Series Imprints in the publication format (i.e., digital or print) of such imprint as of the time of publication, subject to the entrant entering into a publishing agreement with the Sponsor in its standard form; and (ii) access to the services of a Harlequin® series editor for the duration of the Sponsor's standard editorial assessment period (the length of which period will vary depending on the quality of the Submission), including an editorial evaluation of the Submission (by telephone, e-mail, or in person, as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion), advice and guidance with respect to the strengths and weaknesses of the Submission, and suggested revisions to the Submission, as applicable (collectively, the "Grand Prize").
  • One (1) second prize will be awarded consisting of a one-time editorial consultation regarding the Submission to be conducted via telephone (initiated by Sponsor) with an editor of the Sponsor or one of its affiliates (or other qualified individual to be selected at the Sponsor's sole discretion) (the "Second Prize").
  • One (1) third prize will be awarded consisting of a year subscription to the Harlequin® series of the winner's choice (approximate retail value of $350 USD) (the "Third Prize").
The Grand Prize, Second Prize and Third Prize must be accepted as awarded and cannot be transferred, assigned, substituted or redeemed for cash, except at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Winning entrants are solely responsible for any and all costs associated with claiming a prize. The outcome of the Writing Contest is dependent on the total number of eligible entries received, the quality of each Submission, the entrant's skill and the Judges' application of the Judging Criteria (as described below).

The Sponsor and/or its affiliates may, but are under no obligation to, contact entrants for the purpose of discussing the possible publication of Submissions that were not selected as a winning Submission.

WINNER SELECTION

The winners will be determined through the following process:
  • First Chapter Submission Phase: During the First Chapter Submission Phase, the Sponsor will review and post all eligible First Chapter Submissions to the Contest Website for public viewing and comment.
  • First Chapter Judging Phase: During the First Chapter Judging Phase, individuals who have reached the age of majority in their country, state, province or territory of residence in any country throughout the world, excluding entrants and those individuals set forth in (ii) to (iv) of the Eligibility section (each, a "Voter"), will be invited to register at www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com and vote for their favorite First Chapter Submission. Subject to each entrant's compliance with these Official Rules and the Submission Requirements, the twenty-five (25) First Chapter Submissions receiving the highest percentages of votes (the "Top 25 Submissions") will advance to the Manuscript Submission Phase (as described below). In the event where two or more First Chapter Submissions receive an equal number of votes and these First Chapter Submissions span the last places in the Top 25 Submissions, the Sponsor, in its sole and professional judgment, will select the First Chapter Submission(s) that best adhere to the writing guidelines of the relevant Harlequin® Series Imprint to determine which First Chapter Submission(s) become a Top 25 Submission. The Sponsor, in its sole discretion, will also select three (3) "wildcard" First Chapter Submissions (the "Wildcard Submissions") to advance to the Manuscript Submission Phase. The Top 25 Submissions and Wildcard Submissions collectively make up the "Top 28 Submissions".
  • Manuscript Submission Phase: During the Manuscript Submission Phase, entrants who submitted the Top 28 Submissions will be required to upload one (1) eligible full manuscript (see Submission Requirements above) of his/her story suitable for a Harlequin® Series Imprint (each, a "Manuscript Submission", and collectively the "Top 28 Manuscripts"). Manuscript Submissions that do not comply with the Submission Requirements set out above will be disqualified.
  • Top 28 Manuscript Judging Phase: During the Top 28 Manuscript Judging Phase, the Top 28 Manuscripts will be reviewed and assessed by a panel of qualified judges chosen by the Sponsor in its sole discretion (which will include at least one (1) judge who is independent of the Sponsor and its affiliates and whose name shall be made available upon request) (the "Judges") based on the following judging criteria (the "Judging Criteria"): Voice (33%) (the "Voice Category"); Content (33%); and Writing Skills (34%).
  • The three (3) manuscripts receiving the highest scores (each, a "Top 3 Manuscript") will advance to the Top 3 Judging Phase (as described below). In the event two or more Top 28 Manuscript Submissions receive the same overall score and these Top 28 Manuscript Submissions span the last places in the Top 3 Manuscripts, the Top 28 Manuscript receiving the highest score for the Voice Category, as determined by the Judges, will be deemed to be a Top 3 Manuscript.
  • Top 3 Judging Phase: During the Top 3 Judging Phase, the Top 3 Manuscripts will be posted on the Contest Website. Voters will be invited to vote for their favourite Top 3 Manuscript. Subject to each entrant's compliance with these Official Rules and the Submission Requirements, the manuscript receiving the highest percentage of votes will be selected as the winning manuscript and which shall be awarded the Grand Prize. The Top 3 Manuscript receiving the second highest percentage of votes shall be awarded the Second Prize and the Top 3 Manuscript receiving the lowest percentage of votes shall be awarded the Third Prize. In the event of a tie, the Top 3 Manuscript which received the highest score for the Voice Category in the Top 28 Manuscript Judging Phase will be deemed to be the winning manuscript. In the event the tied Top 3 Manuscripts received equal scores in the Voice Category in the Top 28 Manuscript Judging Phase, the Sponsor, in its sole and professional judgment, will select the winner.
Decisions of the Judges are final and binding in all respects. The identity of the Judges shall be made available upon request. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to select alternate winners at any of the public voting phases, based on the next highest percentage of votes, should the voting appear to have been tampered with or manipulated in any way. In the event a Top 3 Manuscript is disqualified as a result of, in the Sponsor's sole discretion, voting having been tampered with or manipulated, the Sponsor shall award the Prizes to the remaining Top 3 Manuscripts according to percentages of votes received and select the Top 28 Manuscript(s) with the next highest overall score(s) from the Top 28 Judging Phase to fulfill any remaining Prizes.

VOTING LIMIT

Each Voter may vote one (1) time per day during the First Chapter Judging Phase and the Top 3 Judging Phase. Votes received from any Voter or Voter's e-mail address in excess of the stated number of votes per one day period will be void. The Sponsor will not accept Votes that are in its sole opinion intended to subvert the voting process or those generated by script, macro, or other automated means. Entrants are prohibited from manipulating or tampering with Votes or otherwise obtaining votes by any fraudulent or inappropriate means, including, without limitation, offering prizes or other inducements to members of the public. Any entrant found to have done or attempted to do any of the foregoing shall be immediately disqualified from the Writing Contest.

WINNER NOTIFICATION

On or about October 12, 2012, the Top 28 Submissions will be identified and the corresponding entrants will be notified by the Sponsor via telephone or e-mail using the information provided by the entrant at the time of entry. On or about November 5, 2012, the Top 3 Manuscripts will be identified and the corresponding entrants (the "Top 3 Entrants") will be notified by the Sponsor via telephone or e-mail using the information provided by the entrant at the time of entry. The Top 3 Entrants will be required to sign and return (scanned copy of original to be received by Sponsor within five (5) business days of the date of the Sponsor's notification, with the original document to follow by registered mail) an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release that confirms his/her: (i) eligibility for the Writing Contest and compliance with these Official Rules; (ii) acceptance of the Grand Prize, Second Prize, or Third Prize as awarded; (iii) release, to the fullest extent permitted by law, of the Sponsor and its parent company, subsidiaries and affiliates, and its and their respective employees, directors, officers, suppliers, agents, sponsors and administrators (collectively, the "Releasees") from any and all liability for any loss, harm, damages, cost or expense arising out of participation in the Writing Contest, participation in any contest-related activity or the acceptance of any prize, including but not limited to costs, injuries, losses related to personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light, or from any and all claims of third parties arising there from; (iv) grant to the Sponsor and its affiliates of the unrestricted right, in the Sponsor's sole discretion, to publish, reproduce, convert, broadcast, communicate by telecommunication, exhibit, distribute, translate, adapt and otherwise use and re-use the winner's name, photograph, likeness, voice and biographical material in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, in connection with the Writing Contest and the promotion and exploitation thereof, without compensation, unless prohibited by law; and (v) agreement to the Sponsor's exclusivity (i.e. entrant shall not submit First Chapter Submission or Manuscript Submission to any other publisher or self-publish) during the Contest Period and for a period of three (3) months following the close of the Contest period.

In the event that a potential winner: (i) fails to respond within the stated timeline or refuses to sign the Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release in the form provided; or (ii) is the potential Grand Prize winner and is unable or unwilling to enter into the Sponsor's standard form publishing agreement, the potential winner will be disqualified and an alternate potential winner will be selected by a process determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion. Notification of potential winners is deemed to have taken place at the time the Sponsor contacts a potential winner, either by telephone or by e-mail, at the telephone number or e-mail address provided by the potential winner at the time of entry. Upon Grand Prize winner confirmation, the Grand Prize winner will be required to provide to the Sponsor a photo of the Grand Prize winner which may be used by the Sponsor, its parent company, affiliates and/or subsidiaries for publicity and promotional purposes relating to the Writing Contest and the Sponsor's related So You Think You Can Write program, an online conference for aspiring romance writers, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, without further compensation unless prohibited by law.

Upon receipt by the Sponsor of the signed Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release, the potential Grand Prize winner will be provided with the Sponsor's standard form publishing agreement along with a non-disclosure agreement regarding same. The Grand Prize winner will be announced on the Contest Website on or about November 29, 2012.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

For queries: sytycwhelp@harlequin.ca

For submissions: via the website (starting September 1st)

Website:
http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/
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