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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

Silibilimili Fri 28-Sep-12 12:44:01

Marking place.

megandraper Fri 28-Sep-12 12:45:11


LadySybildeChocolate Fri 28-Sep-12 13:02:37

Sorry, but check 8 and 9 in the terms and conditions:

8. By entering this competition you hereby (a) unconditionally and irrevocably grant and assign to Mumsnet throughout the world in all languages all copyright and rights in the nature of copyright and all other rights in your entry, together with full title guarantee and all rights of action to the same belonging or accrued and shall hold the same to Mumsnet for the full period of copyright and all extensions and renewals thereof and thereafter; (b) waive all moral rights as defined by sections 77-83 of the Copyrights Designs and Patents Act 1988 or any similar laws of any jurisdiction; (c) warrant you have the power to grant the rights herein stated, that your entry is original to you, does not infringe copyright, moral rights or the rights or licence of any other third person/entity, has never been published anywhere in the world, does not contain anything libellous, in breach of confidence, inaccurate or in any other way contrary to law and any recipes or formulas are not in any way injurious or harmful; and (d) indemnify and keep Mumsnet harmless against all loss, risk, cost, damages, claims, liabilities and expense occasioned to Mumsnet in consequence of any breach of these warranties or arising out of any claim alleging that your entry constitutes in any way a breach of these warranties.

9. By entering this competition you hereby acknowledge and accept that a) the prize offered by Mumsnet is the full compensation receivable by you for any or all uses of your entry and b) you have no claim at any time for any royalty, fee, advance or any other form of payment from the publisher, Walker Books Ltd. and c) no correspondence will be entered into with your agent or other representative, in the event you have one, and you will only deal directly with Mumsnet for the purposes of this competition and the terms and conditions of entry

This is basically saying you'll have no rights to the story that you've written. It's not enough to see your book in print if someone else is making money from it. I'd have a good think before you submit.

mamij Fri 28-Sep-12 13:11:06

Thanks lady. Not everyone would read the small print.

LadySybildeChocolate Fri 28-Sep-12 13:14:12

Always read the small print. I've seen some terrible T&C's. It's a good competition if you don't want to earn anything from your story, it also means that you can't reproduce it in any way though.

megandraper Fri 28-Sep-12 13:16:20

Most competitions I've seen just require the 'first printing' rights, I think, not the complete, forever copyright.

It seems a bit off to me.

LadySybildeChocolate Fri 28-Sep-12 13:19:18

Sorry, MNHQ. These are sucky T&C. biscuit

TheDogDidIt Fri 28-Sep-12 13:30:09

There's no mention of first rights or copyright returning to author after a period of time.

£500 is more than I'd usually get for a single story, but I'm not a children's writer. For children's stories, 1,500 words could be a whole book.

LadySybildeChocolate Fri 28-Sep-12 13:38:35

"no correspondence will be entered into with your agent or other representative, in the event you have one, and you will only deal directly with Mumsnet for the purposes of this competition and the terms and conditions of entry." shock This means if you have a literary agent representing you, they will not be contacted. Literary agents will stand in your corner and fight for a fair deal for the writer!!! shock

I write children's books. An advance for a picture book can vary depending upon how many books the publishers think they can sell, but is usually £800-£1000. This is deducted from any royalties, so once the advance is clear the writer gets a percentage of the book sales as well. Picture books are usually less than 800 words.

megandraper Fri 28-Sep-12 14:19:07

Thanks LadySybil, very helpful posts.

EmpressOfTheGoldOceans Fri 28-Sep-12 14:43:14

Does that mean MN would have rights over the story characters too?

fuzzpig Fri 28-Sep-12 14:45:12

Oh bugger that's a shame. I'd like to write children's books one day but not if I had no rights over the story sad

LadySybildeChocolate Fri 28-Sep-12 14:46:18

No problem. Publishers are always looking new work. You're better off getting a copy of the Children's Writers and Artists year book and approaching them directly. Competitions are a great way to get your work noticed, do check the T&C's though as ones where the author relinquishes all rights to their work do exist, sadly. Chicken House and the Times run a great competition, 10K advance for a children's novel, plus a publishing contract. It closes in October, but they do run the competition yearly so there's always next year. smile

LadySybildeChocolate Fri 28-Sep-12 14:47:19

It looks that way, Empress.

EmpressOfTheGoldOceans Fri 28-Sep-12 14:59:27

Thanks, LadySybil.

Now waiting for HQ to comment.

LadySybildeChocolate Fri 28-Sep-12 15:03:26

I don't think there's much they can say, it's all in the terms and conditions. sad

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 28-Sep-12 15:11:33

Afternoon. Thanks for raising your concerns about this.

We're afraid there's no one in the office right now who knows enough about this particular competition to be able to comment on your concerns. But we're doing our best to find someone - or find out from someone - who can.

EmpressOfTheGoldOceans Fri 28-Sep-12 15:15:47

Thanks Helen.

LadySybildeChocolate Fri 28-Sep-12 15:23:56

Thank you smile. Sorry.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 28-Sep-12 16:53:11

Hi all,
Thanks for raising these points about the t&cs - we do see where LadySybildeChocolate is coming from.

First, the intention of this competition is really to provide a break for new writing talent - the competition isn't really designed for those who have been previously published, hence the stuff about agents etc.

Obviously there is the £500 prize to ten Mnetters for being included in the book and we would hope that being included could be the break into being published in the future. The word count is ?up to 1500 words?. It is a maximum not a requirement and this is not a picture book. It is a collection of bedtime stories akin to an anthology, where it is much more usual to pay a flat fee.

Nonetheless we we did think about sharing royalties with the contributors but to be honest it became pretty complicated with regard to administration with tax implications of us receiving revenue and then passing on - Walker books's contract was with us not with the authors - so we dumped the idea as potentially costing more monies than we'd be dealing with. But we are happy to revisit with our accountant to see if we can come up with simpler solution.

We'll get back to you.

popsypie Fri 28-Sep-12 17:19:52

Thanks ladysybil for all that info and great tips.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 28-Sep-12 17:37:13

Hello. Just to add to Justine's post: we'll also revisit the rights question with Walker Books, and try to clarify the position next week.

LadySybildeChocolate Fri 28-Sep-12 18:08:02

Thank you for getting back to us smile

DisorderlyNights Fri 28-Sep-12 18:53:14

Good catch Sybil!

Have to say, MNHQ, I'm personally not bothered by royalty issue. But the rights is
something of a concern.

Anyway, thanks for giving us aspiring writers an opportunity. I'm raring to go after the Mumsnet Academy/Faber Academy writing course I did a few weeks ago!

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