It's mayhem on the Harlequin ipresents forum lately. I thought it best to vent my feelings on my blog, rather than the forum. Writers are using this forum to truly vent their concerns, their emotions. But I wonder how many actually read and understood the rules of the competition.
5. This contest is open to entrants who are 18 years of age or older and is void wherever prohibited by law; all applicable laws and regulations apply. Employees and immediate family members of Harlequin Enterprises Ltd and Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, including contracted authors, (This means anyone who is at present contracted by Harlequin is ineligible to enter) their parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and all other agencies, entities and persons connected with the use, marketing or conduct of this Contest are not eligible to enter.
7. Winners will be determined no later than November 30th, 2009, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will be required to sign and return a Publicity Release and Affidavit of Eligibility certifying his/her eligibility (that means if they don't reach the criteria they default) and that the submitted chapter and story outline are his/her own original work, and it has not won a previous prize/award nor has it previously been submitted/reproduced/published, within 10 days of notification. Non-compliance within that time period may result in disqualification and an alternate winner will be selected. Harlequin Enterprises Ltd and Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, their parents, affiliates and subsidiaries are not responsible for errors in the electronic or printed presentation of this Contest. Winners agree that Harlequin Enterprises Limited and Harlequin Mills & Boon Limited, their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of their prize.
It is now in a state as writers are picking on anything they can due to the hurt and shock they are suffering now knowing published authors have won the competition. Some entrants were not aware they would be up against published authors. Didn’t they read any of the questions in the transcript? Did they not read the rules?
Harlequin were looking for aspiring (hopeful) authors. That means they were looking for writers that are aspiring to be published within their company. Anyone not already contracted with them, or having written for them, published and unpublished.
As I see rule five has been broken and we will not know the outcome until the editors are back at work on their Monday morning. I can imagine the shock they are going to experience when they find out what has been said on their forum. Harlequin did writers a favour by running this competition and we must respect that fact. The Harlequin editors took time out from their everyday work load to run this competition, not forgetting Amy on the Harlequin board in the Forum, who was always there for everyone.
Perhaps no one will get feedback now. Perhaps they will never run another competition, which would be a shame. We as writers must remember writing is a business. It should be conducted with professionalism at all times.
Also give Harlequin the benefit of the doubt. Would they have checked out the winners before announcement? Would they spend time searching the net? I don’t think so. I believe they are unaware of what has happened, and what is transpiring.
I wish the editors all the best when they return to work. It will be interesting to read their next post. Let’s pray that they don’t do away with future competitions.
Good luck to all who have entered. Hopefully there will be some feeback. :)