I won a contest; did I lose my publishing rights?

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Mushroom7b
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I won a contest; did I lose my publishing rights?

Post by Mushroom7b » February 18th, 2011, 6:21 pm

Hello Nathan,
I got your courteous reply to my email suggesting I post my question on this forum, so here I am. Thank you for your time.
I’ve been reading your agent blog for a while, which I guess is now your not-an-agent blog. I enjoy reading your tips and insights, and I’d like to wish you success in your new enterprise.
Nathan, I was wondering if you or anyone else on this forum could answer a question for me. I entered an essay in the Truckers News Mark Twain Essay Contest in 2008, and I won the grand prize of $1,000 for my story, Million Dollar Baby. What I wanted to know was if in your opinion, I would be able to include this story in a collection of trucking stories that I am assembling to publish on Amazon on the Kindle platform. Here is what the pertinent contest rules were, and I included a link to the digital archive copy of Truckers News. Trucker News is printed by Randall-Reilly Publishing; it is a monthly magazine of about 130K circulation.


Publishing rights (either in print, audiotape or other media) to winning and honorable-mention winners become the property of Trucker News in consideration for prizes awarded.



Here is the link so you can see the story and all the rules on the entry form:

http://digitalmagazinetechnology.com/a/ ... =45&zoom=1


Do I have the copyright for this story? Do I have to get their permission to include it in my collection? If so, do you have any advice for me on how to approach them and anything I should be watching for?
I appreciate any advice or insights you could offer. Part of the reason I am doing this is due to some of your blog posts about self publishing; we as authors have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So with that in mind, I’m just going to doll up my stories a little, then kick them out in the void and see what happens. The worst that could happen is the collection will sit on a computer somewhere, and well, it’s doing that now. Most of the stories are in the same vein as this one, but there is also a couple of fiction ones included. I believe the trucking market is underserved; most of the titles I looked at on Amazon ranged from how-to succeed books of dubious provenance, or ludicrous mad trucker stories. (My personal pet peeve of the genre). For the most part, trucking people are honest, hardworking people that see more in a month than most people see in a lifetime, and I accept the challenge of conveying those stories. Thanks Nathan, and thanks Everybody!

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: I won a contest; did I lose my publishing rights?

Post by Nathan Bransford » February 21st, 2011, 11:39 am

I'm not a publishing attorney, so please don't take my advice to have any legal bearing, but it seems like Trucker News would have the rights, and at the very least you're better safe than sorry trying to clarify their stance before you publish the story yourself. And if you're in doubt, you should consult with a publishing attorney before proceeding.

Mushroom7b
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Joined: February 18th, 2011, 5:01 pm
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Re: I won a contest; did I lose my publishing rights?

Post by Mushroom7b » February 21st, 2011, 11:55 pm

Thanks,Nathan. I was leaning toward contacting the publisher anyway, just to cover the bases.

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