Christmas Story Contest

Updated 07/08/09 (see bolded purple info below)

Writing Tip Tuesday: Enter contests. Like this one. . .

Remember that Christmas Story Contest I mentioned last month? Well, here it is.

LDSP's 2009 Christmas Story Contest

Prize: Publication in a Christmas collection that will be published and ready for sale in October.

Submission Rules:
  • FOLLOW rules carefully! In the past, I've let some of you slide a little. But since this is for a publication, I'm going to be as sticky-picky as I am when receiving real submissions. Why? Because this is a REAL submission!
  • Write a short Christmas story in any genre. Stories should be positive and family friendly. I reserve the right to refuse any story I deem inappropriate for this blog/book.
  • Maximum word count: 2,000; no minimum.
  • Story must be previously unpublished. Stories published anywhere other than your personal website or blog are ineligible. (That includes books, magazines, e-zines or other contests.)
  • Stories submitted for previous years' contests are also ineligible for this contest. (But may be selected for publication in the book.)
  • Paste entire story into an e-mail. NO ATTACHMENTS, please.
    —Put "Contest: Title of Story" in the subject line of your e-mail. (Example: Contest: A Christmas Gift for Mary)

    —At the top of the body of your e-mail, type your name, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, word count and whether you are a published or unpublished author (defined below). (Example:

    LDS Publisher
    123 My Street
    My Town, ST 00000

    word count: 1990
    published author

    —Skip a line, then put the title of your story

    —Skip a line, then paste in your story.

  • "Published"—as in published author—is defined as someone paid you money or comp copies (in the case of magazines) for any story or book written by you. (So either a publisher paid you, or you self-published and people bought your book.)
  • If you are a published and/or agented author, check with your publisher and/or agent before submitting. They will want to know the information listed under "Book Details".
  • You may submit more than one story. Send each submission in a separate e-mail. Include all your info, as outlined above, with each e-mail/story.
  • SUBMIT your story any time between NOW and Saturday, August 15, 2009.
  • I will post the stories beginning on August 1st, in the order that they arrive.
  • We will have Reader Voting for the best stories, as we have done in previous contests. The winners are guaranteed a spot in the book. Voting will take place August 16–22nd. I will post voting rules then.
  • You may tell your friends that you've submitted a story and to please go vote, but DO NOT tell them which story is yours. We want the stories to win on merit, not personal popularity.

PRIZE: Publication in the Christmas Collection
  • There will be four winners:
    Readers' Choice/Published Author
    Readers' Choice/Unpublished Author
    Editor's Choice/Published Author
    Editor's Choice/Unpublished Author.

    These four winners are guaranteed a spot in the book.
  • As usual, I reserve the right to not award one of the Editor's Choice awards if I feel none of the stories deserve it.
  • Other stories in the book will include my choices from this and previous Christmas contests held on this blog, selected based on providing a variety of stories and book size.
  • All authors to be included in the book will be notified by the end of August, 2009.

Book Details (Read Carefully):
  • By submitting a story to this contest, you are agreeing to all the conditions below.
  • Authors shall give LDS Publisher One-Time Publishing Rights for inclusion of story in the as yet untitled Christmas story compilation. This is the non-exclusive right to publish your story in this compilation, in various formats, and to retain your story in the compilation until LDS Publisher takes the compilation out of print.
  • Authors shall retain all other rights and copyrights to their stories and may sell this story to any other party with a publication date after December 25, 2009.
  • Compensation for use of story in this compilation shall be: one free e-book copy of the published book sent to author upon publication; author's name listed in the Table of Contents and on the first page of the story; and rights to use this compilation as a publishing credit. No royalties, advances or other monetary compensation will be given to any author. Author may not print or sell the e-book files.
  • Compensation exception: If sales of the book exceed costs to produce it, LDS Publisher shall notify authors and arrange an equal royalty split between all authors. Conditions and terms of royalty and payment shall be determined at that time.
  • LDS Publisher shall assume no rights to any future works by author.
  • LDS Publisher shall have full editorial rights to the stories included in the compilation, including, but not limited to, title changes, editing for space and content, design and layout of book, title of book, and book cover.
  • The compilation will be available for purchase online in both print and e-book formats by October 31, 2009.
  • The compilation may or may not be made available to bookstores at discounted pricing, but in any case, no marketing will be done by LDS Publisher to guarantee placement in any bookstore.
  • Authors agree to help spread the word about the contest and the book by any or all of the following methods:

    —Word of mouth to friends and family

    —Website/blog buttons, links, posts, etc

    —Facebook, My Space, Twitter, or other networking sites or forums
I think I've covered everything. If I update any of the above, I'll post a notice and mark it in bolded purple. I'll have buttons created later this week that you can post on your blogs/websites.

Help spread the word! Post about the contest on your blog, in your forums, and e-mail all your friends.

Buttons for your blogs:

Standard Sidebar (220px)

Smaller Sidebar (125px)


Anonymous said...

And one more rule. You can't call all your friends and have them vote ONLY for your submission. I know you can't police it, but you should make it a rule so that the ethical ones will think twice about it. You could get a real stupid submission winning the reader's choice awards and be stuck publishing it in your Christmas book because everyone in my ward is going to vote without reading any of them. Sort of like the congress and all their bills. Vote yes, but don't actually read them.

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear. The story should win on its own merits, not because the readers voting for it had personal ties to the characters. Perhaps LDSP could also reserve the right not to publish the readers' choice.

Ahem. Not that this irritated me in the past or anything...

Lee Ann Setzer said...

Love the idea of a real book! I feel wistful each year for the fine stories that get "accepted" in LDSP's hypothetical Christmas book.

Anonymous said...

How about this. Make two rules. Not that you can enforce them, but you can ask everyone to follow the honor code.

1. Authors can invite readers to read the stories on the site, and tell them that one of the stories belongs to them, but they are prohibited from telling their friends, family and other recruits which story they authored.

2. Readers are asked to wait until they've read all the submissions before they begin voting.

Its a bit of a sham to have them read one story, and vote for the one. If they read it all.

Like I said, you can't force them to obey the rules, but I think nearly ALL submitters would be very willing to abide by the don't ask don't tell policy. And most readers, if asked, will read all the submission and then vote.

Its at least worth a try.

Th. said...


What if instead of voting for one, you institute the star system on LDSF? (I still agree with the please-don't-votebomb suggestion. But this would mean people could reasonably weigh in without reading every story.)

LDS_Publisher said...

Thanks for reminding me about that anonymous rule. I usually mention it in the voting rules, but I just added it here too.

Voting does not begin until after all the stories are posted and I do urge people to read all stories, then vote for two in both categories. (That allows the authors to vote for themselves and for one other story.)

The star rating system is a good idea. I'll think about using that instead of the comment voting.