Poor mouse author

The perception of authors is that they must be rich if they can afford not to have a ‘proper’ job. 😀
The reality is that they enter short story competitions with the aim of winning a few pounds to help towards the cost of the next cartridge for the printer. 
If there is an entry fee involved we have to decide whether the cost will be worth it for the resulting publicity for our books.

What is even more important is to read the Ts & Cs carefully, and then read them again. 
This was brought home to me recently when a well known and established magazine were running a competition which I decided to enter.

Reading through the blurb it appeared that just by entering I gave up all rights to my story forever and ever, even if I wasn’t short-listed.   I would not even be permitted to share on my blog, Facebook author page or other social media which is my publicity lifeline. 

Checking with fellow authors I realised that my interpretation was correct, but it did inspire the following Drabble, (a short story of exactly 100 words excluding the title) which I think sums it up perfectly. 

For those of you old enough to remember ‘Be careful out there.’

Mice and cheese 16.1.16

‘Write a story’ they said. ‘Submit it for our competition’ they said.
‘It will be great and you will get publicity for your books,’ they said.
So I did.
Being a naïve, struggling author, living in an attic and surviving on the bread and cheese the mice didn’t get to first, I sent off my entry.
It was an overnight success.
Social media went wild and I had to hire someone to keep up with the acknowledgments. Film rights were on the cards. I was rich, or so I thought.
Then I read the contract.
Look out mice, I’m hungry.

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