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Simon & Schuster’s First Novel Contest

Official Rules

 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.

 

Simon & Schuster’s First Novel Contest (“Contest”) may only be entered in or from the 50 United States and the District of Columbia and entries originating from any other jurisdiction are not eligible for entry.  This Contest is governed exclusively by the laws of the United States.  You are not authorized to participate in the Contest if you are not located within the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.

 

Note that these Official Rules contain an arbitration provision below in Section 14. Disputes; Governing Law, and it applies to your participation in the Contest. Except for any Excluded Disputes (as defined below in Section 14. Disputes; Governing Law), you and Simon & Schuster, Inc. (“Simon & Schuster”) agree that disputes between you and Simon & Schuster will be resolved by binding, individual arbitration and you waive your right to participate in a class action lawsuit or class-wide arbitration.  

 

1. How to Enter.  To enter the Contest, go to https://www.simonandschuster.com/p/gallery-first-novel-contest, to fully complete the entry form, and follow the directions to submit the following entry materials:

 

  • Online entry form, including your full name, mailing address, email address, and phone number;
  • The opening twenty-five (25) pages of your original adult fiction manuscript (each a “Manuscript”).  Pages must be double spaced, twelve (12) point, Times New Roman font with one (1) inch margins on either side of page.
  • A 250-500 word personal response describing your Manuscript and its relevance to today’s publishing climate (each a “Personal Response”). 

 

Your entry form, the Manuscript, and your Personal Response constitute the “Initial Entry,” and the Manuscript and Personal Response files together may not exceed 10MB.  Your Initial Entry must be written in English.  Limit one (1) Initial Entry per person/email address.  Before being judged, all Initial Entries will be reviewed for content eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules, including the Guidelines and Restrictions defined below in Section 4.  Simon & Schuster reserves the right to cancel or modify this Contest in the event an insufficient number of Initial Entries are received that meet the minimum judging criteria.  

 

Initial Entries and Final Manuscripts (if selected as a Semi-Finalist) shall be collectively referred to herein as the “Submissions” or each as a “Submission.”  Submissions must comply with the Guidelines and Restrictions defined below in Section 4.  

 

Submissions, including Initial Entries, must be written solely by the entrant and must be entrant’s first novel written by entrant to be considered for publication. Submissions may not have been previously published by any third party or self-published by entrant. 

 

By entering, each entrant warrants and represents the following with respect to his or her Submission: (a) entrant is the sole and exclusive owner of the Submission and no third parties have any rights to it; (b) the Submission is entrant’s own creation and is 100% original; (c) the Submission will not infringe on any rights of any third parties; and (d) the Submission has not been previously published by any third party nor self-published by entrant.

 

All entrants must have a valid email address. No automated entry devices and/or programs permitted.  All entries, including Submissions, become the sole and exclusive property of Simon & Schuster and receipt of entries will not be acknowledged or returned, provided however that entrants will retain all intellectual property rights in their Manuscript, Final Manuscript, and Personal Response. Simon & Schuster is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, stolen, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, postage-due, misdirected, technically corrupted or garbled entries, which will be disqualified, or for problems of any kind whether mechanical, human or electronic.  Only fully completed Initial Entries are eligible.  Proof of submission will not be deemed to be proof of receipt by Simon & Schuster.  

 

2. Start/End Dates.  Contest entry period begins at 12:00:00 AM Eastern Time on June 1, 2021 and ends at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time on June 14, 2021 (“Contest Entry Period”). 

 

3. Eligibility.  Participation open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are at least 18 years of age and have reached the age of majority in their state of residence by the date they enter the Contest, have provided a valid email address, and have agreed to receive author updates, new book releases, recommended reads, and other email updates from Simon & Schuster.  Entrants can opt out of any such email messages through their account settings or through the unsubscribe link in any Simon & Schuster marketing communication at any time.  Void outside of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, and where prohibited, taxed or restricted by law. Employees, officers and directors of Simon & Schuster, and its parent company, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, advertising and promotion agencies, manufacturers or distributors of Contest materials and their immediate families (parents, children, siblings, spouse) or members of the same household (whether related or not) of such employees/officers/directors are not eligible to enter.  You are not authorized to participate in the Contest if you are not located within the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.  All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

 

4. Submission Guidelines and Content Restrictions:  By entering, each entrant agrees that his or her Submission conforms to the Submission Guidelines and Content Restrictions as defined below (collectively, the “Guidelines and Restrictions”) and that Simon & Schuster, in its sole discretion, may remove any Submission and disqualify an entrant from the Contest if it believes, in its sole discretion, that the entrant’s Submission fails to conform to the Guidelines and Restrictions.  

 

Submission Guidelines: 

 

  • The Submission must be in English.
  • The Manuscript and Final Manuscript must be in the adult fiction category. 
  • The pages of the Manuscript, Final Manuscript, and Personal Response in each Submission must be double spaced, twelve (12) point, Times New Roman font with one (1) inch margins on either side of page.

 

 

Content Restrictions: 

 

  • The Submission must not contain material that violates or infringes any rights of any other party, including but not limited to copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity or any other intellectual property rights; 
  • The Submission must not disparage Simon & Schuster or any other person or party;
  • The Submission must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous;
  • The Submission must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; and
  • The Submission must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations of the United States or of any jurisdiction where Submission is created; 
  • The Submission cannot promote illegal drugs or firearms (or the use of any of the foregoing), or any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous, or any particular political agenda or message; and 
  • The Submission must be consistent with the image and values of Simon & Schuster and be consistent with and satisfy the purpose of the Contest. 

 

Each entrant acknowledges that other entrants may have used ideas and/or concepts in their Submission that may be similar in idea or concept to what is included in entrant’s Submission. Each entrant understands and agrees that he/she shall not have any claim against any other entrant or Simon & Schuster arising out any such similarity or be entitled to any compensation because of any such similarity.  

Simon & Schuster’s decisions are final and binding in all matters relating to this Contest, including, but not limited to, interpretation and application of these Official Rules.  By entering the Contest, entrants fully and unconditionally agree to be bound by these rules and the decisions of the judges, which will be final and binding in all matters relating to the Contest.

 

5. Independently Developed Submissions.  Each entrant understands and agrees that Simon & Schuster’s use of independently developed material similar to or identical with the Submission or containing features or elements similar to or identical with those contained in the Submission will not obligate Simon & Schuster to negotiate with entrant, nor will it entitle entrant to any compensation of any kind.  Each entrant agrees and acknowledges that nothing herein shall preclude Simon & Schuster from using any material in or similar to the Submission without obligation to entrant, including, but not limited to, if Simon & Schuster has or has determined that it has an independent legal right to use such other material, including without limitation, because such features or elements were not new or novel, or were not originated by entrant, or were or may hereafter be independently created by or submitted to Simon & Schuster. 

 

6. Initial Entry Judging Panel/Judging Criteria.  On or about June 15, 2021, Initial Entries will be judged by Simon & Schuster based on the following equally-weighted judging criteria (“Judging Criteria”): (i) originality, (ii) relevance to today’s publishing climate, and (iii) quality of the writing. The top ten (10) Initial Entries receiving the highest score based on the Judging Criteria will be designated as the potential Semi-Finalists (collectively, the “Semi-Final Entries”), subject to verification, including ensuring compliance with these Official Rules, as determined by Simon & Schuster in its sole and absolute discretion.  In the event of a tie, the highest score in the originality category will determine the Semi-Finalist. The Semi-Finalists will be notified on or about September 7, 2021 of their Semi-Finalist status and will have seven (7) days from notification to submit their final Manuscript (each a “Final Manuscript”).  In the event an insufficient number of Initial Entries are received that comply with these Official Rules or meet the minimum judging criteria, Simon & Schuster reserves the right to select less than ten (10) Semi-Finalists.  

 

Final Manuscripts:  All Final Manuscripts must be received by Simon & Schuster by 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time on September 14, 2021 at the following email address: Bookslikeus@simonandschuster.com.  

 

Pages of Final Manuscript must be double spaced, twelve (12) point, Times New Roman font with one (1) inch margins on either side of page.  

Final Manuscripts must be between 50,000 to 80,000 words.  

 

Failure of a Semi-Finalist to submit the Final Manuscript by the stated deadline will result in disqualification and an alternate Semi-Finalist may be selected if time permits, at Simon & Schuster’s discretion.  Final Manuscripts must be written solely by the entrant and must be entrant’s first novel written by entrant to be considered for publication. Final Manuscripts must comply with the Guidelines and Restrictions defined in Section 4, as determined by Simon & Schuster in its sole and absolute discretion.  In the event an insufficient number of Final Manuscripts are received that comply with these Official Rules or meet the minimum judging criteria, Simon & Schuster reserves the right to judge less than ten (10) Semi-Finalists.  

 

7. Semi-Finalist Judging Panel/Judging Criteria.  On or about September 15, 2021, the ten (10) Semi-Finalist Entries will be judged by Simon & Schuster based on the following equally-weighted judging criteria (“Judging Criteria”): (i) originality, (ii) relevance to today’s publishing climate, and (iii) quality of the writing. The top three (3) Semi-Finalist Entries receiving the highest score based on the Judging Criteria will be designated as the potential Finalists (collectively, the “Finalist Entries”), subject to verification, including ensuring compliance with these Official Rules, as determined by Simon & Schuster in its sole and absolute discretion.  In the event of a tie, the highest score in the originality category will determine the Finalist.  The Finalists will be notified on or about November 2, 2021 of their potential Finalist status. 

 

8. Finalist Judging Panel/Judging Criteria.  On or about November 2, 2021, the three (3) Finalist Entries will be judged by Simon & Schuster based on the following equally-weighted judging criteria (“Judging Criteria”): (i) originality, (ii) relevance to today’s publishing climate, and (iii) quality of the writing.  In the event of a tie, the highest score in the originality category will determine the Grand Prize Winner. The Finalist Entry receiving the highest score based on the Judging Criteria will be designated as the potential Grand Prize Winner, subject to verification, including ensuring compliance with these Official Rules, as determined by Simon & Schuster in its sole and absolute discretion. Grand Prize Winner will be notified on or about December 14, 2021 of his or her potential Grand Prize-winning status.    

 

Simon & Schuster reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to conduct background checks on potential Finalists and Grand Prize Winner.  Potential Finalists and Grand Prize Winner must provide authorization and/or complete any forms reasonably required to facilitate such background check. Failure to comply with such search may result in disqualification of a potential Finalist or Grand Prize Winner (as applicable) and may result in selection of an alternate (time permitting).  Simon & Schuster also reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to disqualify a potential Finalist or Grand Prize Winner based on the results of such background check, if Simon & Schuster determines, in its sole and absolute discretion that awarding this opportunity to such potential Finalist or Grand Prize Winner might reflect negatively on the Contest or Simon & Schuster.  Factors that may result in disqualification of a Finalist or Grand Prize Winner, include, without limitation, conviction of a felony or misdemeanor, or any other criminal or civil offense as determined in the sole and absolute discretion of Simon & Schuster.

 

9. Grand Prize.  One (1) Grand Prize Winner will have the opportunity to receive a standard book publishing contract with Simon & Schuster for publication of the Grand Prize Winner’s Final Manuscript in ebook, print and/or other format, as determined by Simon & Schuster in its sole and absolute discretion.  For clarity, Grand Prize Winner will only receive the opportunity to receive a standard book publishing contract with Simon & Schuster for Grand Prize Winner’s Final Manuscript, and such decision shall be determined by Sponsor in its sole and absolute discretion.  If Sponsor elects to enter into a standard book publishing contract with Grand Prize Winner, Grand Prize Winner will be required to execute a standard publishing contract with Simon & Schuster to have his or her Final Manuscript published (the “Book Contract”).  After execution of the Book Contract, Grand Prize Winner will receive a fifty thousand dollar ($50,000) advance. The approximate retail value (“ARV”) of the Book Contract is a book advance of no less than $50,000.  

 

Prize is non-transferable.  No substitutions or cash redemptions, except in the case of unavailability of any prize or part of prize, Simon & Schuster reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value.  All taxes and unspecified expenses are the responsibility of Grand Prize Winner.   Limit one (1) prize per person.  Grand Prize Winner will not be entitled to prize if Grand Prize Winner has won any other book-related contests sponsored by Simon & Schuster in the month preceding the end date of the Contest Entry Period.  ANY AND ALL FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL TAXES ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNER.

 

10. Notification and Verification.  The potential Semi-Finalists/Finalists/Grand Prize Winner must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules.  Becoming a Semi-Finalist, Finalist and/or Grand Prize Winner is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. The potential Semi-Finalists/Finalists/Grand Prize Winner will be notified by email or telephone and may be required to sign and return to Simon & Schuster or their designee, within a timeframe to be specified, an Affidavit or Declaration of Eligibility, and Liability/Publicity release (except where prohibited) (collectively, “Affidavits/Releases”). The Grand Prize Winner will also be required to sign and return to Simon & Schuster an assignment of rights in and to the Manuscript and an IRS W-9 form .  If a potential Semi-Finalist, Finalist or the Grand Prize Winner cannot be contacted within the designated time frame, fails to sign and return the Affidavits/Releases, Book Contract and W-9 form within the required time, or if the prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, if potential Grand Prize Winner rejects his/her prize or in the event of noncompliance with these Official Rules, such status and/or prize will be forfeited. Upon prize forfeiture, no compensation will be given.  

 

In the event that a potential Semi-Finalist is disqualified for any reason, Simon & Schuster may either select an alternate Semi-Finalist if time permits, as determined in its sole and absolute discretion, or may proceed with the Finalist selection process with less than the number of Semi-Finalists stated in these Official Rules. 

In the event that a potential Finalist is disqualified for any reason, Simon & Schuster may either select an alternate Finalist if time permits, as determined in its sole and absolute discretion, or may proceed with the Grand Prize Winner selection process with less than the number of Finalists stated in these Official Rules. 

 

In the event that the potential Grand Prize Winner is disqualified for any reason, Simon & Schuster may award the applicable prize to an alternate winner based on the Finalist who had the next highest score according to the Judging Criteria.

 

11. Conditions.  Simon & Schuster shall not be liable or responsible in the event Submission is not used for any reason.  Participation in Contest and/or acceptance of prize constitutes Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and Grand Prize Winner’s permission for Simon & Schuster to use his/her name, address (city and state), likeness, photograph, picture, portrait, voice, biographical information, Submission and/or any statements made by winner regarding the Contest or Simon & Schuster for advertising and promotional purposes without notice or additional compensation, except where prohibited by law. By participating, entrants, Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and Grand Prize Winner agree to indemnify, release and hold harmless Simon & Schuster, its Contest and other promotional partners and their  advertising and promotion agencies and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors (collectively, “Released Entities”), from any and all liability, for loss, harm, damage, injury, cost or expense whatsoever including without limitation, property damage, personal injury and/or death which may occur in connection with, preparation for, travel to, or participation in Contest, or possession, acceptance and/or use or misuse of prize or participation in any Contest-related activity and for any claims based on publicity rights, defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement, trademark infringement or any other intellectual property-related cause of action.  Entrants who do not comply with these Official Rules, or attempt to interfere with this Contest in any way shall be disqualified. Simon & Schuster is not responsible if Contest cannot take place or if any prize cannot be awarded due to travel cancellations, delays or interruptions due to acts of God, pandemics, epidemics, acts of war, natural disasters, weather or acts of terrorism.

 

12. Additional Terms.  Any attempted form of entry other than as set forth in Section 1 above is prohibited; no automatic, programmed; robotic or similar means of entry are permitted. The Released Entities are not responsible for technical, hardware, software, telephone or other communications malfunctions, errors or failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, web site, Internet, or ISP availability, unauthorized human intervention, traffic congestion, incomplete or inaccurate capture of entry information (regardless of cause) or failed, incomplete, garbled, jumbled or delayed computer transmissions which may limit one’s ability to enter the Contest, including any injury or damage to participant’s or any other person’s computer relating to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading any materials in this Contest.  Simon & Schuster reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify, extend or suspend this Contest should (in its sole discretion) virus, bugs, non-authorized human intervention, fraud, pandemics, epidemics or other causes beyond its control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness or proper conduct of the Contest. In such case, Simon & Schuster will select the winner from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by Simon & Schuster. Simon & Schuster reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it finds, in its sole discretion, to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or any Contest-related web site.  Simon & Schuster may prohibit an entrant from participating in the Contest or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines that said entrant is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, hacking, deception, or other unfair playing practices (including the use of automated quick entry programs) or intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other entrants or Simon & Schuster representatives.

 

CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SIMON & SCHUSTER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

 

In the event of a dispute as to any Submission, the authorized account holder of the email address used to register will be deemed to be the entrant and must comply with these Official Rules.  The "authorized account holder" is the natural person assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address. Each entrant may be required to show proof of being an authorized account holder.

 

13.  Limitation of Liability; Disclaimer of Warranties.  IN NO EVENT WILL THE RELEASED ENTITIES BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR LOSSES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF ENTRANT’S ACCESS TO AND/OR USE OF THE CONTEST SITE, OR DOWNLOADING FROM AND/OR PRINTING MATERIAL DOWNLOADED FROM ANY WEBSITES ASSOCIATED WITH THE CONTEST. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, THIS CONTEST AND ALL PRIZES ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. SOME JURISDICTIONS MAY NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES SO SOME OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. CHECK YOUR LOCAL LAWS FOR ANY RESTRICTIONS OR LIMITATIONS REGARDING THESE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS.

 

14. Disputes; Governing Law.  The parties waive all rights to trial in any action or proceeding instituted in connection with these Official Rules, including, without limitation, the Contest. 

 

Except for disputes relating to the infringement of your or Simon & Schuster’s intellectual property (such as trademarks, trade dress, copyright and patents) or where Simon & Schuster is seeking a preliminary injunction (“Excluded Disputes”), you agree that all disputes between you and Simon & Schuster (whether or not such dispute involves a third party) with regard to these Official Rules, including, without limitation, the Contest, will be resolved by binding, individual arbitration and you hereby expressly waive trial by jury. As an alternative, you may bring your claim in your local “small claims” court, if permitted by that small claims court’s rules. Neither you nor Simon & Schuster will participate in a class action or class-wide arbitration for any claims covered by these Official Rules. This dispute resolution provision will be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act and, where consistent, New York law.  

 

Any such arbitration shall be administered by the JAMS Mediation, Arbitration and ADR Services (“JAMS”) in accordance with its then governing rules and procedures applicable to consumer arbitrations, including the JAMS Streamlined/Comprehensive Arbitration Rules and Procedures and the JAMS Consumer Arbitration Minimum Standards (the “JAMS Rules”). Contact information for JAMS, as well as copies of the JAMS Rules and applicable forms, are available at http://www.jamsadr.com. You and we agree that, under JAMS Rule 6(e), any arbitration between us shall be consolidated with any other arbitration(s) submitted to JAMS if and only if the arbitrations involve: (a) the same legal causes of action; (b) common issues of fact and law; and (c) the same counsel. However, class arbitrations are not permitted. Payment of the fees will be determined by the JAMS Rules and fee schedule in place at the time. 

 

Judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrators may be entered in any court having competent jurisdiction. Any provision of applicable law notwithstanding, the arbitrators will not have authority to award punitive or exemplary damages. You agree that any action at law or in equity relating to the arbitration provision of these Official Rules or the Excluded Disputes will be filed only in the state or federal courts located in New York, NY and you hereby consent and submit to the personal jurisdiction of such courts for the purposes of litigating any such action.

THESE OFFICIAL RULES AND THE INTERPRETATION OF ITS TERMS SHALL BE GOVERNED BY AND CONSTRUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK WITHOUT REGARD TO ITS CONFLICTS OF LAWS RULES. For any matters which are not subject to arbitration as set forth in these Official Rules and/or in connection with the entering of any judgment on an arbitration award in connection with these Official Rules and/or the Contest, the parties irrevocably submit and consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the state and federal courts located in or closest to the County of New York in the State of New York. The parties agree not to raise the defense of forum non conveniens. 

 

15. Use of Data.  Simon & Schuster will be collecting personal data about entrants online, in accordance with its privacy policy.  Please review the Simon & Schuster’s privacy policy at https://www.simonandschuster.com/c/privacy-policy.  By participating in the Contest, entrants hereby agree to Simon & Schuster’s collection and usage of their personal information and acknowledge that they have read and accepted Simon & Schuster’s privacy policy.  

 

16. Name of Winner.  To obtain the name of the Grand Prize Winner, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope by January 21, 2022 to: “Winner’s List Simon & Schuster’s First Novel Contest”, ATTENTION Amanda Armstrong-Frank, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10020.