ROMANCE WRITING LIFE
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO PARTICIPATE OR RECEIVE PRIZES. PURCHASE OR ACCEPTANCE OF A PRODUCT OFFER DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.
Sponsors. Rakuten Kobo Inc. (“Kobo”), 135 Liberty St. Suite 101, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA M6K 1A7, Harlequin (UK) Limited (“Harlequin”), Eton House, 18-24 Paradise Road, Richmond, UK TW9 1SR and WHSmith PLC (“WHS”), Greenbridge Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK SN3 3RX (collectively, the “Sponsors”).
Competition Period. The Competition begins on April 13, 2015 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (“EDT”) and ends on July 31, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EDT (the “Competition Period”). Kobo’s server is the official time keeping device for the Competition. The time that an Entry (as defined below) is received by Kobo will be the time at which it is received by Kobo’s mail server or web server (as applicable), as determined in accordance with the applicable server’s clock.
How to enter. A fee is not required to enter the Competition. To participate in the Competition, entrants are required to have or create an active account on Kobo Writing Life, located at http://www.kobo.com/writinglife. There are no fees associated with the creation of a Kobo Writing Life account. During the Competition Period, entrants must visit the Competition website located at www.romancewritinglife.com (the “Competition Website”) for instructions on how to enter the Competition by completing an entry form (the “Entry Form”), and submitting an eligible single-page plot synopsis (the “Synopsis”) and an eligible first chapter suitable for publication under the Mills & Boon® Single Title Imprint (as defined below), published by Harlequin Books S.A., an affiliate of Harlequin (UK) Limited (the “First Chapter”). The Synopsis and the First Chapter must meet the Submission Requirements set out below.
The Entry Form, the Synopsis and the First Chapter (collectively, an “Entry”) must be received as directed on the Competition Website by 11:59 p.m. EDT on July 31, 2015. Submissions will only be accepted online. A copy of these Official Rules can be obtained online at the Competition Website. Limit of one (1) Entry per person. If more than one (1) Entry is submitted by the same person, only the first eligible Entry submitted will be considered. Entries will not be returned to the entrant. By entering the Competition, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules. In the event of a dispute regarding any aspect of the Competition, the Sponsors will make the final ruling in their sole discretion. Such ruling shall be final and binding, and no communication or correspondence will be exchanged with entrants regarding such ruling(s) unless otherwise required by law.
If selected as the Grand Prize (as defined below) winner, entrants must be prepared to submit a full manuscript of 70,000 words or more to Harlequin on or about September 30, 2015.
Submission Requirements. In order to be eligible, the Synopsis and the First Chapter (collectively, the “Submission”) must meet the following requirements (collectively, the “Submission Requirements”):
- Each Submission must adhere to the following writing guidelines for a novel under the Mills & Boon single title imprint (the “Mills & Boon Single Title Imprint”), also available on the Competition Website: The Mills & Boon Single Title Imprint is a commercial romantic fiction list. These are strong, hook-driven stories, published in B-format with real mass-market appeal. Perfect for readers who enjoy curling up with a good rom-com. The Mills & Boon Single Title Imprint publishes exciting, contemporary women’s fiction, filled with romantic spark and featuring a love story at heart.
- Each Submission shall be in English, and shall be submitted as a single Word document in 12-point, double-spaced font;
- Each Submission shall not have been previously exploited or published in any form. However, authors who own all rights in a self-published work published in electronic format only (a “Self-Published Work”) may submit the work as a Submission;
- The Synopsis shall be no more than 500 words, and shall outline the story concept, plot, characters, conflict and setting;
- The First Chapter shall be no more than 5000 words;
- The Synopsis and the First Chapter shall be submitted as directed on the Competition Website;
- The first page of each Submission shall contain the following information: the title of the potential manuscript, the entrant’s name, e-mail address and phone number (including applicable country and area code), and a computer word count of the First Chapter; and
- Each page of the Submission shall be numbered and the header of each page shall include the title of the potential manuscript and the entrant’s name.
By participating in the Competition, each entrant represents and warrants that: (i) the Submission is original to the entrant, and all right, title and interest (including but not limited to copyright) therein and thereto is exclusively owned and/or controlled by the entrant to the full extent necessary to enable the Sponsors to use the Submission as contemplated by these Official Rules; (ii) the Submission does not contain any material that is libelous, defamatory, profane or obscene, as determined by the Sponsors in their sole discretion; (iii) the Submission does not contain any material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; (iv) the Submission does not contain any material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where the Submission is created; (v) the Submission does not infringe upon the intellectual property or other statutory or common law rights of any third party (including but not limited to copyright, trademark, personality or privacy rights); (vi) the Sponsors’ use and re-use of the Submission in accordance with the terms set out herein will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party (including copyright), or require any payment to or consent/permission from any third party; and (vii) the Submission has not been previously exploited or published in any form, excluding Self-Published Works, and no rights in or to the Submission have been granted, pledged, or assigned to any third party which would interfere with or derogate from the rights granted to the Sponsors hereunder.
Eligibility. The Competition is open only to legal residents of the forty eight (48) contiguous United States, District of Columbia, U.K., and Canada (excluding Quebec), (collectively, the “Territory”) who have reached the age of majority in their country, state, province or territory of residence or older at the time of entry. Entrants are required to have Internet access and an active e-mail account in order to participate. Void where prohibited by any law, regulation, rule or authority. The following individuals are not eligible to participate in the Competition: (i) Professionals (as defined below); (ii) employees of the Sponsors and their respective parent companies, affiliates, and subsidiaries; (iii) all agencies, entities and persons engaged in the marketing and/or administration of the Competition; and (iv) Immediate Family members (as defined below) of any of the foregoing.
For the purpose of these Official Rules, the term “Immediate Family” shall mean husband, wife, spouse, mother, father, brother, sister, son and/or daughter, whether or not they reside in the same household.
Furthermore, the term “Professional” shall mean any person who has had a literary work, in any format (i.e., print or digital) acquired or published by the Sponsors or any of their respective affiliates (e.g., Harlequin Books S.A., HarperCollins) in the Territory, regardless of whether such person has received any financial compensation in relation to such literary work.
The Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to immediately disqualify, without notice, any and all Submissions that do not comply with the Submission Requirements set out above, as determined in the Sponsors’ sole discretion. Submissions shall not be returned to the entrant for any reason. No communication or correspondence will be exchanged with entrants except with the entrants selected for a prize.
Submissions shall be deemed to be submitted by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the Entry (i.e., the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet service provider, online service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address). A potential winner may be required to provide the Sponsors with proof that she/he is the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the potentially winning Submission.
Prizes. One (1) grand prize will be awarded consisting of: (i) a publishing contract for the publication of a novel under the Mills & Boon Single Title Imprint based on the Synopsis and the First Chapter, subject to the entrant entering into a standard-form publishing agreement with Harlequin Books S.A., an affiliate of Harlequin (UK) Limited; (ii) access to the services of a Mills & Boon editor for the duration of Harlequin’s standard editorial assessment period (the length of which period will vary depending on the quality of the work), including an editorial evaluation of the work (by telephone, e-mail, or in person, as determined by Harlequin (UK) Limited in its sole discretion), advice and guidance with respect to the strengths and weaknesses of the work, and suggested revisions to the work, as applicable (collectively, the “Grand Prize”).
Two (2) runner-up prizes will be awarded consisting of one (1) Kobo e-reader (each a “Runner-Up Prize” and collectively, the “Runner-Up Prizes”). The approximate retail value of each Runner-Up Prize is One Hundred Fifty dollars ($150.00 USD).
The Grand Prize and Runner-Up Prizes must be accepted as awarded and cannot be transferred, assigned, substituted or redeemed for cash, except at the sole discretion of the Sponsors. The winning entrants are solely responsible for any and all costs associated with claiming a prize and all portions thereof. The outcome of the Competition is dependent on the total number of eligible entries received, the quality of each Submission, the entrant’s skill and the Judges’ application of the Judging Criteria (as described below).
The Sponsors and/or their respective affiliates may, but are under no obligation to, contact entrants for the purpose of discussing the possible publication of Submissions that were not selected as winning Submissions.
Selection of Winners. All eligible Synopses and First Chapters will be reviewed and assessed by a panel of qualified judges chosen by the Sponsors in their sole discretion, which will include at least one (1) judge who is independent of the Sponsors and their respective affiliates (the “Judges”), based on the following judging criteria (the “Judging Criteria”):
- Voice (30%)(the “Voice Category”);
- This is what makes an author special as a writer, and is the unique element that makes their writing stand out from the crowd. These are the quirks and hallmarks that make a novel unmistakably their work. Voice is what will keep bringing fans back to their writing book after book;
- Content (30%);
- Content is plot and what the story is about, (i.e. what makes it a story that needs to be told?). We sometimes call this the commercial hook, and are looking for stories that are compelling enough that you could pitch them in a sentence; and
- Writing Skills (40%);
- Is the author’s writing strong and clear enough to convey meaning and emotion easily?
Subject to each entrant’s compliance with these Official Rules and the Submission Requirements, the three Submissions receiving the highest scores will be awarded the Grand Prize and Runner-up Prizes respectively, according to their scores received. In the event two or more Submissions receive the same overall score, the Submission which received the highest score for the Voice Category will be deemed to be the winning Submission.
Decisions of the Judges are final and binding in all respects. The identity of the Judges shall be made available upon request.
Winner Notification. On or about August 14, 2015, one (1) potential Grand Prize winner and two (2) potential Runner-Up Prize winners will be identified based on the Judging Criteria and the corresponding entrants will be notified by the Sponsors via e-mail using the information provided by the entrant at the time of entry. The entrants who submitted the potential winning Submissions will be required to sign and return (scanned copy of original to be received by the Sponsors within five (5) business days of the date of the Sponsor’s notification, with the original document to follow by registered mail) an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release that confirms his/her: (i) eligibility for the Competition and compliance with these Official Rules; (ii) acceptance of the Grand Prize or Runner-Up Prize (as applicable) as awarded; (iii) release, to the fullest extent permitted by law, of the Sponsors and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries and affiliates, and each of their respective employees, directors, officers, suppliers, agents, sponsors and administrators (collectively, the “Releasees”) from any and all liability for any loss, harm, damages, cost or expense arising out of participation in the Competition, participation in any competition-related activity or the acceptance of any prize, including but not limited to costs, injuries, losses related to personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light, or from any and all claims of third parties arising therefrom; (iv) grant to the Sponsors and their affiliates of the unrestricted right, in the Sponsors’ sole discretion, to publish, reproduce, convert, broadcast, communicate by telecommunication, exhibit, distribute, translate, adapt and otherwise use and re-use the winner’s name, photograph, likeness, voice and biographical material in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, in connection with the Competition and the promotion and exploitation thereof, without compensation, unless prohibited by law; and (v) agreement to Harlequin’s exclusivity with respect to the Synopsis and the First Chapter (i.e. entrant shall not submit to any other publisher, or self-publish in print format, either the Synopsis or the First Chapter) during the Competition Period and for a period of three (3) months following the close of the Competition Period.
In the event that a potential winner: (i) fails to respond within the stated timeline or refuses to sign the Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release in the form provided; or (ii) is the potential Grand Prize winner and is unable or unwilling to enter into Harlequin Books S.A.’s standard form publishing agreement, the potential winner will be disqualified and an alternate potential winner will be selected by a process determined by the Sponsors in their sole discretion. Notification of potential winners is deemed to have taken place at the time the Sponsors contact a potential winner by e-mail at the e-mail address provided by the potential winner at the time of entry. Upon Grand Prize winner confirmation, the Grand Prize winner will be required to provide to the Sponsors a photo of the Grand Prize winner which may be used by the Sponsors, their parent companies, affiliates and/or subsidiaries for publicity and promotional purposes relating to the Competition in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, without further compensation unless prohibited by law.
Upon receipt by the Sponsors of the signed Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release, the potential Grand Prize winner will be provided with Harlequin Books S.A.’s standard form publishing agreement along with a non-disclosure agreement regarding same.
The prize winners will be announced on the Competition Website on or about August 28, 2015.
Conditions. Neither the Sponsors nor their respective parent companies, affiliates and/or subsidiaries, are responsible for printing, clerical or typographical errors of any kind or nature relating to entries. In no event will the Sponsors be obligated to award more than the stated number of prizes. Entrants agree that neither the Sponsors nor their respective parent companies, affiliates and/or subsidiaries shall be obligated to publish or otherwise exploit any Submission (including the winning Submission) in any manner, unless a written agreement is entered into between the potential winner and Harlequin Books S.A. Entrants agree that the Sponsors and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotional agencies shall not be liable for negligence, gross negligence, damages, injuries or losses of any kind resulting in whole or in part from participation in the Competition, or from acceptance, use or misuse of any prize, except that which cannot otherwise be excluded by law. By participating in the Competition, entrants agree to indemnify the Sponsors and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotional agencies from any claims incurred as a result of such damages, injuries and losses. Neither the Sponsors nor their respective parent companies, affiliates and/or subsidiaries assume any liability for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, undeliverable or misdirected entries, notifications and/or responses, or for any computer, online, software, hardware or technical malfunctions that may occur, including but not limited to malfunctions that may affect the transmission or non-transmission of an Entry. Entrants are responsible for all costs associated with participation in the Competition, including but not limited to computer equipment and Internet connection charges. Neither the Sponsors nor their respective parent companies, affiliates and/or subsidiaries shall be responsible for damage to any participant’s computer system/software related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in connection with the Competition. Neither the Sponsors nor their respective parent companies, affiliates and/or subsidiaries assume any responsibility or liability in the event that the Competition cannot be conducted as planned for any reason whatsoever, including but not limited to reasons beyond the control of the Sponsors, such as infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes outside the control of the Sponsors which impairs or affects the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Competition. Neither the Sponsors nor their respective parent companies, affiliates and/or subsidiaries assume any responsibility for undelivered or undeliverable e-mails resulting from any form of active or passive e-mail filtering by an entrant’s Internet service provider and/or e-mail client or for insufficient space in entrant’s e-mail account to receive e-mail. The Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Competition. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE Competition WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE Competition MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND/OR CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SPONSORS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. The Competition and these Official Rules are void, in whole or part, where prohibited by law and is subject to all applicable laws and regulations.
Termination and Waiver. Subject to any governmental approval which may be required, the Sponsors reserve the right to terminate or suspend the Competition, in whole or in part, and/or amend the Official Rules in any way, at any time, for any reason, without prior notice. In the event that the Competition is terminated or suspended, the Sponsors will select potential winners from all eligible, non-suspect Submissions received prior to such action. The Sponsors’ failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.
Amendments to Official Rules. Any amendments to the Official Rules will become binding upon all entrants at the time they are posted to the Competition Website. Entrants are advised to regularly check the Competition Website for updates, notices and revisions to the Official Rules during the Competition Period.
Governing Law. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the entrant or Sponsor in connection with the Competition, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of Ontario and the laws of Canada applicable therein.
List of Winners. The winners’ names and country of residence will be posted to the Competition Website on or about August 28, 2015, and will be available for viewing for at least one (1) month thereafter. To receive a list of winners, entrants may send a hand-printed, self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Romance Writing Competition c/o Kobo Self-Publishing, 135 Liberty St. Suite 101, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA M6K 1A7. Requests must be received by January 31, 2016.