Are you participating in the writing contests? Do you regularly participate in the writing contests? When you participate in the writing contests, one of the important factors that you may want to pay attention to is your copyrights. As an author, you should own full copyrights to your work. Just because you are submitting your work to the contest, it does not mean you should lose your copyrights.
Take your time to review and pick the most reputed writing competitions so that you know that you are signing up for a contest that best meets your requirements and for a contest where your work is safe.
When you submit your work to the contests, there could be a number of competition copyright scenarios. In certain contests, the contest rules will indicate that the contest owner will get the full copyrights to the work submitted and that they are free to use the contest wherever they like or change the work to any form they like. You should be mindful of such contests. You would not want to completely forfeit your copyrights.
The second scenario is that you own the copyrights but the work will be made visible in the contest website. The contest organizer is free to use the content with your prior permission wherever they like on your approval.
The next scenario is work reserved for publishing. You might want to publish the work but at the same time submit it for the contest. In such a situation, you should limit the circulation to private so that only limited people have access to this content and that your publisher does not have any issues regarding the copyrights.
Unless you take the time to understand the various scenarios with contest guidelines, you could easily miss your benefits and lose your rights. If you have any questions or if you have any doubts, it is vital that you first have these doubts and questions clarified with your contest organizer. You should participate in the contest and submit your work only when you have total clarity on the guidelines on copyrights. Do not be lured by the huge prize money and blindly submit your work before you have established that your work is safe and that you will not lose your copyrights at any point of time.
Budding writers that are participating in the writing contests do not pay attention to these factors and you could be easily ignoring this factor thinking it is not important. For any writer, his or her work is the most prized possession and losing the rights to their work could be painful. The next time you are thinking of participating in the writing contest, take time to pay attention to all these factors and join highly reputed contests so that you know you are with the right contest organizer and that your work is safe. There are many good contests out there that let you make private submissions to the contest.