This is topic Ineligible? WOTF in forum Open Discussions About Writing at Hatrack River Writers Workshop.

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Posted by Wannabe (Member # 9510) on :
OK so I have a story on smashwords that has gotten a reasonable number of downloads. Partly, I'm sure, because it's free. Does getting n downloads disqualify one fro participating in events like WotF? What if the story was earning royalties for awhile and I made some money? (Though not a lot.)

I don't have high hopes for WotF but I believe some of you have had a great deal of success because of it. So maybe I should take it, and similar opportunities, more seriously.

Posted by JenniferHicks (Member # 8201) on :
This question has come up in other forums. I'm pretty sure that only sales to SFWA-qualifying markets count toward disqualification from the contest, and you'd need four short story publications to do it.
Posted by Brendan (Member # 6044) on :
They will probably have to address this in the future. I suspect that they will use the same criteria that is used for the inclusion of magazines to SFWA - the sale of 5000 copies (perhaps with a total of at least 5c per word)
Posted by genevive42 (Member # 8714) on :
The issue that may come up would be with anonymity. If your story is available online while they're judging, it may violate that rule. You may have to take it down. You should contact Joni regarding this.
Posted by axeminister (Member # 8991) on :
To be honest, I don't believe you can have a story up, and then submit it. Once you post it, it is [i]published[i/]. Regardless of how many hits you get.

I believe the hit thing is referring to your name, not your story.

Have you made 3 qualifying sales? Yes? Ineligible.
Have you had a story online that had over 5k hits? (I believe this is 1 of the 3 above.)

Totally check with Joni tho.
It'd be great if the updated their rules to be more specific.



Posted by JenniferHicks (Member # 8201) on :
The wording on the contest rules is confusing, but it says you cannot have sold "more than three short stories." It was determined on the WotF forum (after a query to Joni) that you are disqualified on the day your fourth short story is published professionally.

As Axe said, any story that has been previously published, including one you self-publish as an e-book, cannot be entered in the contest.

If you're eligible to enter, you should. Every quarter, without fail, until you disqualify yourself by winning or proing out.

Posted by LDWriter2 (Member # 9148) on :
I think sold is a key word here. If the story is free, it's not sold.

The rest of what Jennifer said made sense except for one thing I have been wondering about. Evidently Joni said after the fourth story is published. So that means it has to be on a store's shelf or the magazine with the story is out?

I ask that because I entered another contest where your book had to be on the bookstore shelves or the magazine with your story in had to be out for it to count as a disqualification. In other words just selling the story or signing a contract for a book didn't count.

Posted by tchernabyelo (Member # 2651) on :
(Post redacted due to my slight misunderstanding)

[This message has been edited by tchernabyelo (edited October 21, 2011).]

Posted by Auskar (Member # 9674) on :
You can submit another story to WotF, but not that one). Once you've put it up on the web, it's published. After that, it's a reprint.
Posted by EricJamesStone (Member # 1681) on :
Actually, as I read the rules, prior publication per se does not necessarily disqualify a story from being entered in the contest:

Entries may not have been previously published in professional media. [Emphasis added.]

Posted by MartinV (Member # 5512) on :
And Smashwords isn't publishing. It's distribution.
Posted by Robert Nowall (Member # 2764) on :
Aren't "publishing" and "distribution" one and the same?
Posted by MartinV (Member # 5512) on :
Then why is Smashwords so popular? Because you don't sign off any rights.
Posted by EricJamesStone (Member # 1681) on :
If you put something up on Smashwords, you are self-publishing it. It counts as publication. It does not, however, count as professional publication (as far as I can tell) for the purposes of Writers of the Future eligibility unless you receive payment and have 5000 downloads.

While you may not "sign off" any rights by putting your work on Smashwords, you are using up your first publication rights by self-publishing and can no longer sell first rights (first anthology rights or first serial rights, for example) to anyone. You can only sell it as a reprint.
Posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (Member # 59) on :
Distribution involves how a product is made available to its market.

As a postal analog, writing a letter, or writing a check to pay a bill, would be considered "publishing," and but "distribution" would be putting the envelope containing that letter or check in the mail and having the post office get it where it needs to go.

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