The Fostering Creative Community Connections project promotes reading and literary joy, community engagement, library programs and services, and creative expression from diverse writers through Short Story Dispensers and a national writing contest. The project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and sponsored by the Public Library Association and French publisher, Short Édition, founder of the literary platform, short-edition.com, and creator of the Short Story Dispensers.
Contest Official Rules
BY ENTERING THE CONTEST, YOU AGREE TO THESE OFFICIAL RULES, WHICH ARE A CONTRACT.
1. CONTEST PERIOD
The writing contest (“Contest”) opens Tuesday, September 25, 2018 (12:00am CT) and will remain open until Tuesday, October 30, 2018 (11:59pm CT). Sponsor’s computer is the official clock for the Contest. Editorial and juried review begins Tuesday, November 6, 2018 and runs through Tuesday, November 20, 2018. Winners will be announced in early December 2018.
Contest only open to residents of the 50 U.S. States or D.C., who have reached the age of 13. If you are under the legal age of majority in your state of residence (a "Minor"), one of your parents or legal guardians must confirm that they have read, understood, and agreed to these Contest rules with your submission, and that such agreement constitutes acceptance of these Contest rules on behalf of you and themselves. Your parent or legal guardian must have reached the age of majority in the state in which they reside.
Sponsor will also automatically disqualify and delete as promptly as reasonably possible any submission knowingly received from persons under the age of thirteen (13) in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (“COPPA”).
The Jurors and Staff of Sponsor, Knight Foundation, Short Édition, Akron-Summit County (Ohio) Public Library, Free Library of Philadelphia (Penn.), Richland Library (Columbia, S.C.), Wichita (Kans.) Public Library (Collectively “Contest Entities”) and their immediate family members and those residing in the same household of each such individual are not eligible to enter or win.
3. HOW TO ENTER
No purchase necessary to enter or to win. Judgments and decisions of the Short Édition editors as to submission eligibility and disqualification are at their complete discretion and final. All Contest submissions will be reviewed by Short Édition editors for compliance with the Contest theme and these rules. Every submission is subject to disqualification based on violations of these rules.
All submissions must be original works by the submitter, in English. Submissions can be co-authored.
Submissions must not be published anywhere else or submitters must provide written permission from previous publisher to enter into formal intellectual property agreement with Short Édition. Submissions may be simultaneously submitted elsewhere, but if it is published or accepted elsewhere prior to the announcement of winners, it will be disqualified from the Contest.
Submission Limits and Format:
The submission process is entirely electronic via the Short Story Contest submission portal. No paper manuscripts will be accepted. The submission form is copy/paste format.
All submissions must fit within the contest theme of “Courage.”
Within the contest theme of “Courage,” submissions must also fall within the short story fiction category. Submitters must tag the submission with one of the following genres: Suspense and Crime, Romance, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Humor, or Fiction and Drama.
- All genres are accepted, as long as they are about literary fiction, (historical fiction is acceptable if it includes an imaginative story).
- Submissions must be appropriate for publication in a commercially distributed publication.
- Submissions must not violate or infringe the rights of any other person or company (including but not limited to privacy rights, copyrights, trade secrets, confidential information, trademarks, or trade names).
- Submissions must not defame, libel, or slander anyone or any entity.
- Submissions must not contain or describe any obscene, vulgar, offensive, profane, provocative, excessive violence or sex, or otherwise inappropriate content.
- No submissions containing violence or derogatory, racist, or sexist language or situations will be accepted.
- No biographical narrative, news-related texts or social issues written in a journalistic style will be accepted.
- Plagiarism, which includes the use of third-party poetry, song lyrics, characters or another person’s universe, without written permission, will result in disqualification.
Submissions may not exceed 8000 characters (including spaces). Submissions may be excerpts from longer works or a complete story or prose piece, so long as the length limit is followed.
- Dialogue. Any portions of dialogue should be enclosed in quotation marks.
- Italics. Titles of work, narrator thoughts, emphasis on words, and words in a foreign language should all be italicized.
- Line breaks. Insert a single blank line between paragraphs for ease of reading.
- Short Story Titles. Titles for submitted works written in capital letters will not be preserved, with the exception of acronyms and initials. Please follow typographical norms for writing your title (i.e. capital letter with each word – The Great Gatsby, A River Runs Through It, etc.).
- No indentations. Please do not indent any lines.
Multiple Submissions: Submitters may submit only once.
Acknowledgments: Each submission will be emailed a confirmation of receipt. Submitters will receive an email if there is a change in status of the submission.
Potential winners will be notified via email before the announcements are made public.
Rights to Submitter Data and Submissions:
Submission of the registration details and any prize notification documents (“Entrant Data”) constitutes your consent for Sponsor to obtain, use, and transfer your name, address and other details for Contest administration purposes. Any Entrant Data shall be used only in a manner consistent with the consent given by submitters at the time of entry and with these rules.
By accepting a prize, Winner consents to the use of his/her name, biographical information, including city and state of residence, for promotional purposes by Sponsor, and its designees, including but not limited to the posting of winner’s name on the Sponsor website, in a Winners List, without additional compensation, except where prohibited by law (“Promotions”). All copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights in such Promotions shall be owned by Sponsors or its licensors and winner hereby disclaims and waives any claim of right to such Promotions. Such Promotions shall be solely under control of Sponsor or its licensors, and winner hereby waives any claim of control over the Promotions content as well as any possible claims of misuse of winner’s name under contract, tort or any other theory of law.
Submitter irrevocably grants to Short Édition and PLA a non-exclusive transfer of first publication and a royalty-free, and perpetual right and permission to publish, reproduce, broadcast, post and adapt the submissions for the 12 Short Story Dispensers funded by the Knight Foundation and associated digital web pages. Submitter understands and acknowledges that he/she will not be paid for granting these rights.
Short Édition, Akron-Summit County Library (OH), Free Library of Philadelphia (PA), Richland Library (SC), Wichita (KS), the Public Library Association and the Knight Foundation reserve the right to publish winning submissions on their websites, newsletters, blogs and/or social media. Winning stories may be published on any library site with permission and citation information received from Short Édition.
Accepted submissions will be published online for reading, “liking” and public comments, as well as be considered by the editors and contest jury for contest prizes. Short Édition reserves the right to contact contest participants to enter into a contract for the publication of their stories on the Short Story Dispensers around the world.
Your Representations and Warranties:
Each submitter represents and warrants that the submission is his or her own original work; does not infringe the intellectual property, privacy or publicity rights or any other legal or moral rights of any third party; and has not won previous contests or awards. Submissions must not be published anywhere else or submitters must provide written permission from previous publisher to enter into formal intellectual property agreement with Short Édition. Submissions may be simultaneously submitted elsewhere, but if it is published or accepted elsewhere prior to the announcement of winners, it will be disqualified from the Contest. Additionally, each submitter represents and warrants that s/he owns all rights and title to his/her submission, including, without limitation, the copyrights and all other intellectual property rights. Each submitter agrees to indemnify and hold Contest Entities, harmless from any and all claims, damages, expenses, costs (including reasonable attorneys' fees) and liabilities (including settlements), brought or asserted by any third party against any of them due to or in any way arising out of the use of such submission, including but not limited to claims for trademark infringement, copyright infringement; violation of an individual's right of publicity or right of privacy; or defamation.
4. JUDGING AND PRIZES
Review: Using the scoring rubric, the Short Édition Editorial Team will review and score all submissions and select a total of 40, but no more than 60, finalists. The finalists will then be reviewed and scored using the same rubric by the U.S. jury.
The Short Édition Editorial team will use the scoring rubric (published on the submission platform), which is comprised of four different categories: Originality (1-4 points); Creative Expression (1-4 points); Storytelling (1-4 points); and Language Use (1-4 points), with a total of 16 possible points per submission. In addition to the points possible, the Short Édition Editorial team will provide comments and feedback for each finalist. In the event of a tie, the submissions with higher scores in the Storytelling category will hold more weight, in addition to the comments provided by the Short Édition Editorial team. Additionally, comments and feedback provided by the Short Édition Editorial team may or may not be used to further discuss and determine a winner from the finalists.
Members of the public can “like” as many stories as they wish, but only “like” each story one time. Members of the public can comment on as many stories as they wish.
The offering of incentives in exchange for “likes” or comments is prohibited.
The use of bots and/or robotic submissions is prohibited.
The submissions with the most comments and “likes” will be featured on the submission site as the “Readers’ Choice” and two honorable mentions.
Jury: A jury comprised of five to seven members with expertise in readers’ advisory, poetic/creative/technical/academic writing or journalism, and/or teaching.
The Prize: A monetary prize of $1,000 USD, as well as a copy of This Journal Is Overdue (American Library Association, 2018), a $16.99 USD value, will be awarded to one juried winner in short story fiction. A monetary prize of $500 USD will be awarded to two honorable mentions for short story fiction. Monetary prizes will be distributed by a check mailed by the American Library Association. The approximate retail value (“ARV”) of the prizes is $2,016.99 USD. The prizes will be shipped at no expense to the winner, to the address provided by the winner at the time of entry. The winner is solely responsible for any taxes on the prize. The winner is responsible for confirming the correct ship-to address. A signature will be required at the time of delivery.
The prizes may not be transferred or exchanged. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prize. No prize substitutions are permitted, except by Sponsor. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize with one of comparable or greater value, at its sole discretion. Prize awarded is subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these rules. If a potential winner cannot be contacted after a reasonable number of attempts; is ineligible according to these rules; fails to provide the required information and/or return any requested documents within the specified time period; if a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable; a potential winner decides to decline his/her prize for any reason whatsoever, or if a potential winner otherwise fails to fully comply with these rules, he/she will forfeit his/her prize and the prize may be awarded to an alternate winner from among all remaining eligible entries received, at the Sponsor’s sole discretion. Upon disqualification, no compensation will be given. Decisions of the Sponsor are final in all respects of the Contest.
5. CONDITIONS OF ENTRY
Contest Entities are not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate transcription of entry information, or for any human or printing error in these rules or any promotional materials, technical malfunctions, lost/delayed data transmission, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, line failures of any telephone network, computer equipment, software, or any other error or malfunction, or any injury or damage to participant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation in the Contest, or for late, lost, stolen, illegible or misdirected entries. Entry materials that have been tampered with or altered are void. If, in the Sponsor’s opinion, there is any suspected or actual evidence of electronic or non-electronic tampering with any portion of this Contest, or if any difficulties compromise the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Contest, the Sponsor reserves the right to void any entries at issue and/or to suspend, modify or cancel, or terminate this Contest, in whole or in part, at any time without notice and award the prizes in a random drawing from among all non-suspect eligible entries received as of the termination date. In case of a dispute as to the owner of an entry, entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the email address provided in the entry form. The authorized account holder is deemed as the natural person assigned to an email address by an Internet access provider, service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses or the domain associated with the submitted email address. In the event of time of war, national emergency, accident, dangerous weather conditions, fire, riot, strikes, lock-outs, industrial disputes, acts of terrorism or other matters beyond the Sponsor's reasonable control, Sponsor has the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate the Contest. Notice of such action will be posted online at pla.short-edition.com.
This Contest is conducted in English. Except where prohibited, all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the participant and Sponsor in connection with this promotion, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of Illinois, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of Illinois, or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than in Illinois.
BY ENTERING THE CONTEST, ENTRANT AGREES THAT TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW: (1) ANY AND ALL DISPUTES, CLAIMS AND CAUSES OF ACTION ARISING OUT OF OR CONNECTED WITH THE CONTEST, OR ANY PRIZE AWARDED, WILL BE RESOLVED INDIVIDUALLY, WITHOUT RESORT TO ANY FORM OF CLASS ACTION; (2) ANY AND ALL CLAIMS, JUDGMENTS AND AWARDS WILL BE LIMITED TO ACTUAL THIRD-PARTY, OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS INCURRED (IF ANY) NOT TO EXCEED FIFTY DOLLARS ($50.00), BUT IN NO EVENT WILL ATTORNEYS’ FEES BE AWARDED OR RECOVERABLE; (3) UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL ANY ENTRANT BE PERMITTED TO OBTAIN ANY AWARD FOR, AND ENTRANT HEREBY KNOWINGLY AND EXPRESSLY WAIVES ALL RIGHTS TO SEEK PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR SPECIAL DAMAGES, LOST PROFITS AND/OR ANY OTHER DAMAGES, OTHER THAN ACTUAL OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES NOT TO EXCEED FIFTY DOLLARS ($50.00), AND/OR ANY RIGHTS TO HAVE DAMAGES MULTIPLIED OR OTHERWISE INCREASED; AND (4) ENTRANTS’ REMEDIES ARE LIMITED TO A CLAIM FOR MONEY DAMAGES (IF ANY) AND ENTRANT IRREVOCABLY WAIVES ANY RIGHT TO SEEK INJUNCTIVE OR EQUITABLE RELIEF. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY.
7. DISPUTE RESOLUTION
The parties each agree to finally settle all disputes only through arbitration; provided, however, the Sponsor shall be entitled to seek injunctive or equitable relief in the state and federal courts in Illinois and any other court with jurisdiction over the parties. In arbitration, there is no judge or jury, and review is limited. The arbitrator’s decision and award is final and binding, with limited exceptions, and judgment on the award may be entered in any court with jurisdiction. The parties agree that, except as set forth above, any claim, suit, action or proceeding arising out of or relating to this Contest shall be resolved solely by binding arbitration before a sole arbitrator under the streamlined Arbitration Rules Procedures of JAMS Inc. ("JAMS") or any successor to JAMS. In the event JAMS is unwilling or unable to set a hearing date within fourteen (14) days of the filing of a "Demand for Arbitration," then either party can elect to have the arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association ("AAA") or any other mutually agreeable arbitration administration service. If an in-person hearing is required, then it will take place in Chicago, IL, Washington, DC, New York City, NY, Los Angeles, CA, Atlanta, GA or Dallas, TX (whichever is closest to entrant's residence); provided, however, if none of these locations are convenient for the hearing, the parties may mutually agree on an alternative location. The federal or state law that applies to these Official Rules will also apply during the arbitration. Disputes will be arbitrated only on an individual basis and will not be consolidated with any other proceedings that involve any claims or controversy of another party, including any class actions; provided, however, if for any reason any court or arbitrator holds that this restriction is unconscionable or unenforceable, then the agreement to arbitrate doesn’t apply and the dispute must be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction in [Identify jurisdiction]. Sponsor agrees to pay the administrative and arbitrator's fees in order to conduct the arbitration (but specifically excluding any travel or other costs of entrant to attend the arbitration hearing). Either party may, notwithstanding this provision, bring qualifying claims in small claims court.
8. WHO WON
For the names of the prize winners, available from 12/12/2018, indefinitely. Please access: pla.short-edition.com.
American Library Association, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, Illinois 60611.