Gee Whiz, People

My apartment complex is having a writing contest this month. In 25o words or less, you must describe “what healthy living means to you in your neighborhood” and submit it with a picture. The entries will be posted on the internet and put up to public vote. After votes are tallied, the top 4 entrants will receive an iPad.

I deleted the newsletter when I got it, but the Fairy GodBoyfriend said, “You should enter this contest. Go win an iPad.”

I’d probably win, right? I have a great picture of a double rainbow over the apartment complex I bet they’d love to have. I could probably come up with something fairly fun and romantic in 250 words…and then have my 3000 Facebook friends vote on them and win. Right?

So I went online. The deadline is March 22nd — cool. And then, because I’m a writer, I went and read the complete rules. (You know, all those rules no one ever reads?) In the fine print, I found this section:

J. By emailing the Submission, each entrant agrees, for zero compensation, to grant to Sponsor all intellectual property rights in the Submission and each of its constituent parts, which rights include, without limitation, the Sponsor’s perpetual worldwide fully-transferable and irrevocable right to publish, modify (and make derivative works of), make available to the public, distribute, display, perform and reproduce the Submission through any and all media or formats, whether now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose, including without limitation, for administering and conducting the Contest or for the marketing, advertising and promotion of Archstone and its products and services. In addition, each entrant warrants that any so called “moral rights” in the Submission have been waived and entrant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsor may use any ideas from any Submission or other submitted materials, whether or not entrant has been awarded a prize in connection with any such Submission or other materials.

WOW. I mean, gee whiz, people. I get what you mean by putting this here, but no author in his or her right mind would EVER sign a contract with this wording. Assuming that said author hasn’t been roofied, he or she will probably see this run the other way…thus perpetuating that “healthy lifestyle” they’re dying to hear all about.

I’m torn now as to whether or not I want to enter. What do you guys think?

[Edited to add: The full contest rules can be found here:]