Update on: Interesting tid-bit about Writers Digest Self-Published Contest

Bob enlightened some of us on Linkedin about the scam Writers Digest is pulling off with their indie book contest.
It’s also enlightening that you don’ t find out about this until after you’ve filled out all the “paperwork” and are about the send in your money. How sneaky is that. Shame on you Writers Digest.


Indie authors, save your $100 for publishing your book.

Thanks Bob for letting us in on this!



Apparently WD heard all the complaining about this issue and has backtracked on their contest fine print clause. Below is a letter a writer received recently from WD, someone who withdrew her book from the indie publishing contest after learning about this issue. I’m not sure I believe the WD person when he/she says they have never heard of this issue before, but they did remove it.

See – the writing community does have a bit of power!

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“I’ve been in the WD publisher role for about three years now and to be honest the fine print noted below is actually not something I’d seen before. Too many moving parts, too few people I’m afraid.

“The clause for nonexclusive one-time rights is actually meant for our Annual Competition, which is made up entirely of short stories. At the end of the competition, we take the winning stories (grand prize winners and runners up) and turn them into a short book. The book stays in print until the next year’s Annual Competition. The request for rights in this case is pretty standard and the winners are generally quite pleased about having their work published, even if the lifespan of the work is of a relatively short duration. It’s also a one time, non-exclusive right, so it’s not meant to take publication rights away from the authors. They can publish their work elsewhere at any time.

“For years, I think the competition division has applied the clause below to every competition’s fine print simply as a matter of convenience, even though it only applies to the Annual Competition. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that. We actually don’t do anything with the winning entries of the self publishing competition, so the paragraph below doesn’t even apply. We just award the prizes and that’s it.

“I’m grateful you called this to our attention, as I might never have realized otherwise. I’ve asked the competition division to have the clause struck from the fine print of the self publishing competition wherever it appears online and in any future print promotional materials (though we don’t do much of that anymore). So if you’re still interested in participating in the self pub competition, wait a few days and the offending clause should have been eliminated.”