should we need to include our date of birth to enter the Stylist and Faber writing competition?

I came across this condition under the rules and conditions of entry for the 2012  FABER/STYLIST CRIME  FICTION COMPETITION:

a) Each entrant should submit the first 6,000 words of a crime novel or thriller, an outline (no more than 300 words) to show how the  story will unfold but that doesn’t reveal the ending and a 250 word biography of their central character. They should include their name,  contact details and date of birth.

The rules already stipulate you must be over 18. So, does anyone know why Faber & Faber and Stylist need to know the date of birth for any writer over 18 years old as a condition of entering their competition?  Want to hazard a guess?  Do you think this a fair condition of entry? If you are someone who enters writing competitions, or any competitions, have you seen an age stipulation as an entry condition before?

Be great to have your thoughts on this 🙂

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10 Responses to should we need to include our date of birth to enter the Stylist and Faber writing competition?

  1. It may be to separate entrants with the same name, as it constitutes part of our identity. For example, library cataloguing displays the author’s date of birth.

    I wouldn’t like to have to fill it in though! To me, that information is filed securely under ‘none of your business’. I’m also very protective of my DOB — I don’t put my birthday in online profiles etc etc, exactly because of the identity theft issues.

    And I’ve entered a few competitions but none that ask for DOB. Hope you figure out what you’re going to do. 🙂

    • Marianne Wheelaghan says:

      Hi Belinda, great to hear from you and thanks for comment! It could well be to separate entrants who have the same name (hadn’t thought about that) but i’m sure there are other ways to do that which don’t require the entrant to divulge such sensitive info. I’ve never had to give my DOB for a comp before either, and we certainly do not ask for that info for our competition. It seems suspect, especially as part of the condition of winning is to have lots of pics of you in Style magazine, which is a mag aimed at young people. Hm?? It’s a sad inditement of the publishing world, if it is an ageist thing 🙁 But onwards 🙂
      I’ve not entered the competition, (don’t think I am eligible). The DOB thing would put me off, though, as well as the prize: to hand over world rights of your book for a ” non-returnable” advance of £5000. Seems a high prize to pay for the world rights of your book. But maybe I’m missing something??

      • The ‘non-returnable’ bit should mean you don’t have to pay it back if they don’t publish the book (although they don’t actually make that clear). But I have a couple of questions about it:

        1. If they don’t publish, is your book forever tied to them? The prize is a publishing contract but they don’t give any details of the conditions of the publishing contract. Since entry may be seen as a binding agreement to comply with unspecified conditions, this alone would be sufficient grounds to make me extremely wary.

        2. Are they going to choose a winner without reading the whole book? 6000 words, an outline, a character profile, and an interview is not enough to show if someone can write a cohesive, saleable book, and it doesn’t seem to say that short-listed entrants will have to submit the full text before the winner is chosen.

        I don’t know the mag. Perhaps they are primarily looking for a celebrity to create… more of a fun thing like X Factor for writers, or whatever. 🙂 Not my cup of tea.

        • Marianne Wheelaghan says:

          Ah, okay, I get the non-refundable bit now. That makes sense. But I’m with you on the other stuff. It’s all a little bit too vague. Given the effort it takes to write a book, a few more details are really essential before you hand over your rights to it. I know writers who have rushed into publishing contracts (never mind competitions) before checking the fine print and found themselves out of pocket and out of print. I think, if there’s no fine print to check, you can’t make an informed decision about what to do. I’d rather pass. 🙂

  2. Fluffy says:

    At least you don’t have to send a photo. I’ve seen two novel writing competitions in recent months that required a photo. Are they beauty contests or writing ones? I’ve never bought a book based on what the author looked like and certainly not because of their age. Age shouldn’t be a barrier, far from it, my writing’s got better with age.

    • Marianne Wheelaghan says:

      Hi there, so sorry to take so long to reply to your message, am struggling to use the internet here in France and some comments seemed to have managed to get themselves hidden – grrr! A big belated thanks for commenting. Wow!! A photo. That’s a double whammy – not only must you be able to write, but also be young and “good looking” (whatever that may mean!)! Thanks again and good luck with your writing – what kind of novels/stories do you write?

  3. Fluffy says:

    Bonnes vacances Marianne! It looks heavenly and the hollyhocks remind me of a June trip to Ile De Re in France a couple of years ago.

    I write crime fiction and have entered the Stylist competition. The app form only asked for age, so I didn’t put my date of birth.

    You asked for writing quotes, seeing as you’re in France, here’s my favourite by Flaubert: ‘Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.’ Love that.

    • Marianne Wheelaghan says:

      Hi Gail! Thanks for holiday wishes and quote – another very good one, and Flaubert very appropriate being in France 😉
      Good luck with the competition, it does sound like a very good opportunity! let us know how you get on! Thanks again!

      • Marianne Wheelaghan says:

        opps, forgot to say, we are 50ks from Il De Re. It’s a lovely place. We will probably go and have a cycle there if and when the sun decides to stay out ;o)

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