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2023 Winter Anthology Contest: Compelling First Chapters

Grand prize: $1000 and anthology publication
All finalists will receive $50 and anthology publication
PROMPT: It's simple: enter the first chapter of your in-progress novel or memoir. Your goal (as our judging reflects) is to create a sample that compels readers to click buy. Note: Bardsy never publishes novels, so please don't send manuscripts!
Why Bardsy's Contests are Unique
Our contests are about more than winning; they're about boosting you toward ultimate success. Along the way, you'll enjoy a professional editorial experience that features actionable feedback and revision. This means better stories for you, our judges and your future readers: a win-win-win.
You'll receive professional feedback via our Publishability Index ™ READ MORE
After feedback, you have the opportunity to revise your entry before judging
Then, if your entry is accepted for anthology publication, you'll work with an editor
Your entry fee: $20
PREREQUISITE: Original, previously unpublished work between 2,500 and 3,000 words. English only.
CONTEST DEADLINE: 3/11/24 - submitting early will give you more time to revise!!!
REVISIONS DUE: 3/23/24
FALL ANTHOLOGY WINNER & FINALISTS PUBLISHED: around 4/2/24 - to share with the world, especially agents and publishers.
Not ready to enter? Stay in touch with announcements and winning tips:
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Entry Instructions
NON-MEMBERS: Click to SET UP A GUEST ACCOUNT then follow the member instructions.
MEMBERS:
  1. Log in, then under WRITE, click NEW STORY
  2. Enter a working title, click USE EDITOR; then, paste your entry into the big box
  3. Use the shopping cart (upper right) to pay fee
  4. Return to the editor; click PUBLISH/STYLE; then, check SUBMITTED TO CONTEST
If you don't receive a confirmation upon checking, please contact us ASAP.
Call (213) 465-0885 for tech support; email other queries to contest@bardsy.com
How Bardsy's Anthology Contests Work
We want you to perfect your entry and gain recognition as you do. Toward this end, we provide concrete feedback (with recommendations) on every entry and offer you one chance to revise. We also provide live tech support and the opportunity to speak to our editors (within reason). READ MORE

Communication with our staff is critical. Just as you would with a publisher or agent, you must respond to each email ASAP. You’ll receive an email:
  • To confirm your entry
  • When your feedback is complete
  • If your entry is under finalist consideration
  • A publication candidate requires something
Failure to respond automatically removes your entry from our queue, so please contact us if you don't receive them. Most likely there's an address or spam problem. Note: we judge entries on a rolling basis; when entries with strong potential appear, we may accelerate the editorial process.
Additional Rules
If, after reading the following rules carefully, you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact us at contest@bardsy.com.

By entering or participating, you agree to and accept these rules and the decisions of Bardsy, Inc. (“Bardsy”). Winning a prize is conditioned on complying with these Rules and fulfilling all other requirements. If you pay for a contest but do not enter, you can use the credit for a future anthology contest. No refunds will be issued after 24 hours.

Bardsy may reject or disqualify a story having any content we consider actually or potentially objectionable to anyone. Some examples include violence or sex we consider gratuitous or inappropriate, intellectual property violation, invasion of privacy, disparagement of people or places or incitement of violence. We are not limited to these examples. We are not obligated to explain our decision. We are not obligated to screen or identify such matters. We do not assure we will identify or disqualify an entry on these grounds.

Author keeps ownership of your work. If published, you grant Bardsy unlimited, non-exclusive, royalty free, perpetual publication, research and promotion rights to that portion of your story and use of your name and likeness, in any and all present and future media and forms of communication of Bardsy’s choice. Bardsy will have the rights, even if we do not exercise them, at any time(s) to make edits, publish and/or promote portions or abridged versions of that portion. Bardsy may also use non-published entries for research or other activities related to our mission.

Among various reasons for these provisions are that technologies and methods will change in ways not presently known, and to enable Bardsy to exercise these rights using present and future technologies and methods.

Bardsy may be willing, but will not be obligated, to comply in whole or in part, with author’s request to publish, stop publication, edit, modify or withdraw the story or author name. Submit your request to contest@bardsy.com. A request must include author’s name, email address, story title and internet address that links to the story. AUTHOR WAIVES ANY CLAIM, AND BARDSY WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO AUTHOR OR ANYONE ELSE, FOR FAILURE OF BARDSY, WHETHER INTENTIONAL OR INADVERTENT, OR REFUSAL, TO COMPLY WITH AUTHOR’S REQUEST.

You may enter multiple stories. Each entry must be submitted separately. Bardsy can refuse multiple entries by the same author if Bardsy considers the number or other aspect to be excessive.

The Contest is sponsored by Bardsy. The Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or other social media sites, each and all of which you release from any and all liability.

For a story with joint or multiple authors, each author is deemed to agree to and accept these Rules and decisions of Bardsy The individual who submits the story represents and warrants that all authors agreed to these Rules and decisions of Bardsy.

Bardsy reserves the right to direct any prize or award to the first named author, who shall be responsible for any division among authors, or in the names of multiple authors. In the event of multiple claimants to a prize or award, Bardsy may elect to divide and allocate a prize or award so that in the aggregate, the total prize or award does not exceed the one prize or award for which the story is eligible.

The Contest is open to adults who are at least age 18 at time of entry. Employees and contractors of Bardsy and its affiliated entities, advertising and promotion agencies, service providers, and other companies associated with the Contest, and immediate families (spouse, parents, siblings, pets and children) and household members of any of the foregoing in this sentence, are not eligible.

The Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations. The Contest is void and inapplicable where prohibited by law. Entrants in such jurisdictions are ineligible. Upon notification of finalist or winner status in our contest, entrant must email us relevant Zelle bank information or a physical mailing address within thirty days to claim their prize. Winners of any prize over $599 must also provide an appropriate tax form (W9 or W8BEN) and will be required to sign a release to receive the cash award or other prize. Winner is responsible to pay all taxes associated with receipt of a prize. If all relevant information is not received within 30 days of the request date, the award or other prize will be forfeited. Forfeited awards and prizes will not be awarded to anyone else.

After entry deadline passes, you will not be able to access the online entry system. You may be able to view the story on the website. Bardsy is not obligated to post the story. If posted, Bardsy reserves the right to remove the story at any time, to repost, remove again, all the foregoing any number of times and at any time(s). Entrant represents and warrants to Bardsy that the entry is entrant’s original work, the work is entrant’s property, it does not violate any rights of any person or entity, and entrant has the right to enter and grant Bardsy the rights granted herein.

BARDSY IS NOT LIABLE FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT, INVASION OF PRIVACY, PUBLICITY, DISPARAGEMENT OR DEFAMATION OR OTHER VIOLATION OF ANY RIGHTS OF ANY PERSON OR ENTITY BY AN ENTRANT.

Non-Winner Notification: Entrants not selected as winners will not be notified individually. Bardsy may attempt to email a competition status update in the weeks after the winner notification date. If you enter multiple times, you may receive an email for each separate entry.

If operation, security, or administration of the Contest is impaired in any way for any reason, including, but not limited to harassment, intentional or accidental fraud, virus, bug, work, hacking, other unauthorized intervention or other technical problem, or if the Contest is unable to run as planned for any reason, in Bardsy’s judgment, we may, in our discretion, (a) suspend the Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Contest in a manner we believe best conforms to the spirit of these Rules, or (b) terminate the Contest and, if terminated, choose not to award some or all prizes or choose to award prizes at random from among eligible, non-suspect entries received up to the time of impairment, or (c) take other steps, including the rejections of entries, permanent bans and the like. Further, should these events come to pass fee refunds will be awarded at the Bardsy's discretion.

Bardsy reserves the right to disqualify any individual(s) or group or category or class of persons, entrants or entries we find or suspect to have done or attempted to do or who may have done any of the following: tampered with the entry process or operation of the Contest, or acted in violation of these Rules or in any unsporting or disruptive manner, or other act or thing we view as violating any content, purpose or spirit of the Rules. Any attempt to damage the website or undermine legitimate operation of the Contest may violate criminal and civil law. Bardsy reserves the right to recover damages, attorney fees and other remedies. Failure or delay by Bardsy to enforce any rights does not waive the rights.

Judging Disclaimer

Judges inevitably bring their own views, experiences, subjectivities, likes, dislikes, conflicts and biases to the judging process. Judging writing and stories has inherent subjectivity. We instruct judges to be fair, ethical, free of conflicts-of-interest and impartial. We cannot and do not assure that judges or the judging process, or any aspect of the Contest, also including selection of topics and judging criteria, will be free from bias, conflicts-of-interest or other actual or perceived impediments to complete fairness or impartiality.

Release and Limitations of Liability

BY ENTERING THE CONTEST, EVEN IF ENTRY IS LATER WITHDRAWN OR DISQUALIFIED, ENTRANT RELEASES AND AGREES TO INDEMNIFY, DEFEND AND HOLD HARMLESS BARDSY AND ITS AFFILIATED ENTITIES, ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION AGENCIES, OTHER COMPANIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE CONTEST, EACH OF THEIR RESPECTIVE SHAREHOLDERS, MEMBERS, DIRECTORS, MANAGERS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, REPRESENTATIVES AND INSURERS AND ALL JUDGES (COLLECTIVELY, “RELEASEES”) FROM AND AGAINST ANY CLAIM, ACTION, CAUSE OF ACTION, INJURY, LOSS OR LIABILITY ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO PARTICIPATING IN THE CONTEST OR RECEIPT OR USE OF PRIZE OR AWARD, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO (A) TECHNICAL ERROR ASSOCIATED WITH THE CONTEST, SUCH AS BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOST, INTERRUPTED OR UNAVAILABLE INTERNET SERVICE OR CONNECTION; (B) DISRUPTED ACCESSIBILITY, MISCOMMUNICATION, FAILED COMPUTER, SATELLITE, PHONE, CELLULAR TOWER OR CABLE TRANSMISSION, (C) ANY OTHER TECHNICAL FAILURE OR DISRUPTION, (D) HARDWARE OR SOFTWARE MALFUNCTION OR FAILURE; (E) UNAUTHORIZED HUMAN INTERVENTION IN THE CONTEST; (F) MECHANICAL NETWORK, ELECTRONIC, COMPUTER, HUMAN, PRINTING OR TYPOGRAPHIC ERROR; (G) OTHER ERROR OR PROBLEM IN CONNECTION WITH OR RELATING TO THE CONTEST; (H) GRIEVANCE OVER JUDGING; (I) FAILURE OF ANY JUDGE, ALLEGED DISHONESTY OR IMPROPRIETY CONCERNING JUDGING, SELECTION OF OR ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNERS; OR (J) INJURY, DEATH, LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND, TO PERSONS OR PROPERTY, CAUSED, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE CONTEST, OR FROM ACCEPTANCE, RECEIPT OR MISUSE OF PRIZE OR AWARD.

Entrant agrees that in any claim or cause of action, Releasees’ liability will be limited to cost of entering and participating in the Contest, and in no event shall entrant be entitled to receive attorney fees. Releasees are not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate information whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by equipment or programming associated with or used in the Contest. Entrant waives the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages. All decisions of Bardsy are final and binding.

Disputes

Except where prohibited, entrant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with or relating to the Contest or any prize or award shall be resolved individually, and not in any form of joint, collective or class action, and exclusively in the United States District Court for the Central District of California or Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles. Entrant consents to the sole and exclusive jurisdiction and venue of these courts. All issues and questions concerning construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Rules, entrant’s rights and obligations, and rights and obligations of Bardsy in relation to the Contest shall be governed by, and construed according to the laws of the State of California, applicable to agreements made in and to be performed entirely within the State of California and thus without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules, which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than that of the State of California.

The provisions in these Rules were drafted with a view to fairness and balance taking into account ease of entry, absence or minimality of cost to entrant, absence of any obligation or compulsion to participate, and entrant’s freedom to choose whether or not to enter or participate. The provisions of these Rules shall be interpreted and construed according to their fair meanings and not strictly for or against any entrant or Bardsy.

Community Rules, Privacy Policy and Other Terms

Bardsy’s Content Policy, User Agreement and Privacy Policy also apply and are incorporated here by this reference. You can access these by clicking here for the Content Policy, here for the User Agreement and here for the Privacy Policy. You agree to comply with our Content Policy and User Agreement.

Information collected from entrants is subject to Bardsy’s privacy policy which can be accessed on site. Our Community Rules, Content Policy and User Agreement also apply. Bardsy will have the right to assign and transfer Bardsy’s rights and benefits under these Rules.

Modification

These Rules were last substantively updated on December 1, 2021. Bardsy may modify these Rules at any time. Modifications take effect when posted on this site and may be made prospective only or retroactive, at Bardsy’s election.

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