Agreed. You can never be too cautious with those things!
Agree 100%, Patsy. It's essential that writers don't just sign or enter without understanding what they're agreeing to. Writers' have to look out for their own interests, and get the best terms they can.
We don't always have the chance to negotiate, Carol - but that doesn't mean we should just sign anything.
A wise precaution, Patsy!
Agreed. But is there anywhere on the internet where new writers could find guidance about things like contracts? Comps are not such an issue because there are usually only a few terms and conds and you can usually make up your mind pretty quickly whether you're happy with them or not.
There's some information, Charlie - but that can be as confusing as the contracts and as each one vaies there's not one simple explanation we can rely on.
If a contract is too detailed, forget it.
Detailed isn't always bad, Oscar. Complicated and contradictory is bad.
Hear, hear! Really important to read all those competition T's & C's, partly to make sure you won't be giving away any rights you'd prefer to keep, but also to prevent your brilliant entry from being disqualified at the first hurdle. (I once judged a short story competition and was amazed at the number of people who thought the clearly stated maximum word count didn't apply to them!)
Apparently even some of the big fee paying competitions recieve a high percentage of entries which have to be disqualified.
I have almost got into trouble in several comps where I hadn't read the t&cs. But I'm going to make sure to do so in future. marion
It's very easy to get caught out, Marion.
Thanks so much for commenting!