Avoid contests that take all rights to ALL entries - regardless of whether they're winners!

By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, March 28, 2007 At 1:05 PM

Today I spotted an announcement for a contest, posted on someone else's blog. The contest is the Lady Speed Stick (R) 24/7 National Day Diary Contest, sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive Company. The idea is to submit a diary of a 24-hour period.

Here's the catch: Simply by submitting an entry, you are giving up all rights to it, whether it wins or not! As far as I'm concerned, that's just wrong. Writers should be able to retain their rights to their work if they don't win. After all, they might want to tweak it and resubmit somewhere else.

My advice of the day: Don't submit to any contest (or publication) that takes all rights to ALL submissions! Think about how low your odds are of winning or being selected for publication. Chances are you won't win or get published, and they'll get your rights for free. It's just not worth it!

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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