Mumsnet /Walker books bedtime stories competition - winners announced. Now read the blog from Walker book editorial team about creating the book.

(160 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 28-Sep-12 11:42:28

Do you secretly have a book inside you? Would you like to see it published?

Enter the Walker Books/Mumsnet writing competition and your story could be included in an illustrated gift book of Bedtime Stories for the under-sevens. For your chance to be considered, submit your original manuscript of up to 1,500 words by 30 November 2012.

Over the next month we're going running some Q&A sessions and webchats with children's book authors and will keep you posted about this on this thread

nickeldaisical Tue 02-Oct-12 10:39:07

exactly, Edu - it can't be a step up onto the writing ladder if you can't tell the publisher to which you're pitching that you've got history of published work!

CarpeThingy Tue 02-Oct-12 10:47:13

Good Lord. So you write a story and then can't say that you wrote it? shock

Sounds like one for the "See your name in print!!!!" crew rather than serious writers. The fee is pretty good (although still not fantastic for a contest), but I've never seen one with T&C like that before.

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 02-Oct-12 10:59:37

Rights and contracts for literary works are a very specialist areas of law, and even though I studied Copyright legislation as part of my law degree, I know that I still don't have sufficient knowledge and experience to be able to draft something like this. I do think the T&C's haven't been drafted by someone with the right knowledge of this sector (sorry MNHQ blush). I don't believe that MNHQ are trying to pull a fast one here.

I'm going to be on MNHQ's 'most hated' list for this. sad

Indeed it does pookamoo

Right everyone flounce then I'll win, turn my book into a series and be the UK's next JK Rowling. Yippee!

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 02-Oct-12 15:20:37

Erm...no. You won't have your name on the book so no one will know that you wrote it. Sorry. sad I'd offer to be your agent and sort this out, but they won't talk to agents.

Ah well, its still a way in to a publisher which would have otherwise slammed the door in my face.

I'm too much of a wimp to self publish- tried it with my blog and got precisely nowhere.

I doubt I'd win anyway, I had the idea for the book years ago, and resurrected it last night, so had to write the whole thing there and then.

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 02-Oct-12 15:27:25

They don't all do that, they are incredibly slow though. The trick is to keep trying. If you have a great story that is well written it will be picked up. smile Blogs are difficult things to use to launch a writing career, every Tom, Dick, Harry and William has one. It's so hard to get people to look at one now. It doesn't mean the writing's dribble, just that the market is saturated.

CarpeThingy Tue 02-Oct-12 15:30:18

Wouldn't the author's name at least be on the story in the anthology?

In any case, you couldn't do anything else with the same characters if you sell the moral rights along with the story.

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 02-Oct-12 15:33:43

It depends (on the T&Cs). Some will just have a list of contributors, some won't state the author's name at all.

I think because the story was written for my DS (it has his and his sisters names in it as characters), it would give me a kick to see it published, and for the DCs to have a copy.

If it's more a case of wanting to take things further, then I can see the reason why most are a little reluctant. Story writing isn't my big thing anyway, I'm more trying to get a break in magazines and newspapers.

i've done half of mine, and got some feedback from other people's children; the only worrying thing is the point raised about not being able to say/proff you wrote it if you win! can you clarify this?

artifarti Tue 02-Oct-12 18:38:20

Also waiting for MN's position on this...

DarkMatter Wed 03-Oct-12 10:29:36

I don't think anyone should be put off entering - I would if I was a first-time author. You will still get the exposure (this will be a well-promoted book) and if the publisher really likes your writing (which they will if they choose it for the book) you will have a great way in to get them to look at future stories.

DisorderlyNights Wed 03-Oct-12 14:22:11

Any news MNHQ? I've adapted an earlier short story and then got done inspiration and written another one. But haven't decided whether or not to enter yet.

sabretiggr Wed 03-Oct-12 21:04:44

Oh! I was going to enter - have it all typed up and everything. Glad I saw this chat, as I would otherwise have gone ahead and entered without thinking about what 'moral rights' were. I'll hang on until MNHQ clarify.

abc123d Wed 03-Oct-12 22:22:34

I am not happy about this point in T&C at all. All morning I was thinking about my news story and now I am not sure about it anymore. The inspiration is gone. It is so unfair and disrepsectful to the future author.

abc123d Wed 03-Oct-12 22:28:16

But it does say: "Please note: the 10 winning authors must be willing to participate in PR and promotional activities connected to the book using their real name and photo."

LadySybildeChocolate Wed 03-Oct-12 22:43:30

They just haven't been written very well (Oh, the irony). MNHQ needs to get someone with the right experience and knowledge to sort them out (no offence intended).

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 04-Oct-12 11:50:56

Morning. And thanks for bearing with us on this one.

Right, we've had a chat with Walker Books and this is where we've got to.

On the question of the prize money, we do think it's a pretty reasonable amount and comparable with the kind of fee you might expect (as a first-time author) a publisher to pay for a story of this length - especially when you consider that you'll have both Walker Books and Mumsnet behind you in terms of promotion and publicity.

As far as rights as concerned, Walker Books assure us that it's quite usual to pay a flat fee for this kind of story and retain the copyright in the text.

The waiver of moral rights is purely to cover the eventuality that a story might need some changes before it's published - but both we and Walker Books are extremely happy to identify the authors of the winning ten stories in the anthology. It was always our intention to do so.

The UK residency thing was stipulated, it turns out, purely to ensure that the winners would be able to make themselves available for promotion and publicity when the book is published.

However, we are willing to accept entries from overseas on the condition that those who enter from overseas are willing and able to be available in the UK (at their own expense) for promotion and publicity, should their story be selected as one of the winners.

Hope that clarifies things. Good luck to all of you!

LadySybildeChocolate Thu 04-Oct-12 12:11:21

Thank you for clarifying this. smile

sybil have you been known as a different nc? I'm wondering if we used to speak on the creative writing boards (me under nc) a looong time ago? About childrens writing?

LadySybildeChocolate Thu 04-Oct-12 13:59:22

Yup, I used to be a Belle. I kept the 'chocolate' so people would recognise me. It didn't work, did it? blush

TheCunningStunt Thu 04-Oct-12 15:02:08

Do you need to be available for publicity? Or is that down to personal discretion?

The chocolate gave it away! What happened with your publisher?

LadySybildeChocolate Thu 04-Oct-12 15:12:59

They ditched it, saying it didn't fit their list. I've been waiting for a Bear and a very Random place to get back to me about the same book. It's taking so long I've given up hope so am back to square 1. I have a different story for this competition though.

I hope you're doing better, notactuallyme. smile

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