Copyright and Non-Exclusive Rights

One of the most important things a writer – and publisher – needs to consider is copyright.

It can be quite a contentious issue. The most obvious recent example being the decision of Woman’s Weekly magazine (and others, I believe) to demand ALL rights from submitting short story writers. It was an issue which writer Simon Whaley covered very well on his Business of Writing website.

Since we started our writing competitions nearly two years ago, they have grown from quite humble beginnings into something much bigger and of which we’re very proud. We receive hundreds of entries all year round, and we delight in reading all eligible stories and publishing the best of them.

This week we had an email from a writer, asking for some clarification on our rules regarding copyright. When we had a good look at them we realised that, in light of how successful our first print anthology was and what our future print plans are, the rules did indeed need a bit of clarifying.

Just to be clear though: Cranked Anvil has always been (and always will be) a writer-oriented publisher. We’ve always been clear about copyright remaining with the author, and we’d NEVER demand all rights from an author; the very thought of that is abhorrent to us!

Nevertheless, on looking at our rules we did feel there was more detail required. That’s why we’ve just completed our most comprehensive redraft of the rules since our competitions began.

But don’t worry: if you’re currently planning to enter one of our competitions – or have already done so – there’s nothing fundamental that has changed!

All we’ve done is be more clear about the non-exclusive rights you agree to if you win a cash prize in one of the competitions, and where we (and you) stand with regards to publishing stories in our print anthologies.

Our current plans are to publish our first Flash Fiction Anthology in November this year, and then our second Short Story Anthology in May 2022. So we’ll be in touch with writers in due course regarding these.

(And when we start to release our podcast episodes of winning entries, we’ll obviously update and expand our rules accordingly.)

You can click these links to read our fully updated rules of our Short Story or Flash Fiction competitions.

We’ve also simplified the instructions about your manuscript; how you should send it, how it should be formatted, what you should name it, etc. It’s something we often receive emails about, and now we’ve hopefully cleared up any doubts that authors may have.

Don’t forget, our competitions are open all year round. The next deadline is just two weeks away – so GET WRITING! You can find all the info you need – including prize money – by clicking these links for our Short Story or Flash Fiction comps.


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