Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge: Terms and Conditions



Kobo Inc., 135 Liberty St. Suite 101, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA M6K 1A7


Curtis Brown Creative, 5th Floor, Haymarket House, 28-29 Haymarket, LONDON SW1Y 4SP

(the “Sponsors”).

No purchase necessary to participate in the Contest.


Kobo’s Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge (the “Contest”) submission begins on January 16th, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) and ends on February 15th, 2013 at 11:59:59 p.m. EST (the “Contest Period”).  Sponsors’ servers are the official time keeping device for this Contest.  The time that an Entry is received by Sponsors will be the time at which it is received by Sponsors’ mail server or web server (as applicable) as determined in accordance with the applicable server’s clock.


The Contest is open only to legal residents of the forty eight (48) contiguous United States, District of Columbia, Canada (excluding Quebec) and the United Kingdom who have reached the age of majority in their respective jurisdiction at the time of entry (each entrant, an “Entrant”).  Void in Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and where prohibited by law.  Employees of Sponsors or any of their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, representatives, agents, or any other company or individual involved with the design, production, execution or distribution of the Contest and their immediate family (spouse, parents and step-parents, siblings and step-siblings, and children and step-children) and household members (people who share the same residence at least three (3) months out of the year) of each such employee are not eligible. Participation constitutes Entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and Sponsors’ decisions, which, subject to applicable law, are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

Each Entrant must be in the process of writing a novel and able to submit an excerpt of the novel which is 3,000 words in length.



To enter:

–          Submit a short fiction piece of 100 words or less (“Entry”) here. Kobo will select 20 finalists from all of the Entries submitted and Jeffrey Archer will narrow it down further to three semi-finalists.

–          If your Entry is selected, you will be asked to submit a 3,000-word excerpt of the novel-in-Progress (“Additional Entry”). This Additional Entry will then be evaluated to determine the Contest winner.

All Entries must be received before 11:59 pm, EST February 15th, 2013.  You can make only one submission. If applicable, all Additional Entries must be received before 11:59 pm, EST April 22nd, 2013.


If the identity of an Entrant is disputed, the Entrant will be deemed to be the name on the entry form. An Entrant may be required to provide proof that he/she is the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the winning Entry.

Entries are subject to verification and may be disqualified if they are late, misdirected, incomplete, illegible, irregular, submitted through illicit means, not original to the Entrant, or if they contain any false statements or do not conform to or satisfy any condition of these Official Rules.  No mechanically reproduced, illegible, or incomplete Entries will be accepted.  The use of any device to automate the entry process is prohibited; entries must be manually key-stroked.  The Sponsors reserve the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any individual who is found to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest.


Of all the Entries submitted during the Contest Period, Kobo will select twenty (20) Entries that will proceed to the next level of analysis. These 20 Entries will be collected in a free anthology that will be available as an eBook on the Kobo site, and will be associated with the Entrant’s name and photograph. You agree that Kobo may reproduce, use, exhibit, display your Entry or Additional Entry in any media now known or later developed for the purposes of this Contest.

Of the 20 Entries selected by Kobo, three (3) finalists will be selected by Jeffrey Archer and names will be announced at the London Book Fair on April 15th, 2013. Entrants will be notified via email from if they have been selected as one of the three finalists (each a “Finalist”). Finalists will then be requested to submit a 3,000-word excerpt of their novel-in-progress, to be submitted by April 22nd, 2013 before 11:59pm EST.


One (1) Finalist will be selected by Curtis Brown Creative on or about April 29th, 2013 at approximately 5:00 pm EST (the “Winner”). Winner will be notified via email from

The Winner must complete and submit a Declaration and Release form (“Form”) to receive his or her prize. Winners who complete this Form and answer the skill-testing question correctly will be contacted and notified of the prize details on or before May 10th, 2013 to the email address or phone number listed on the Form. Winner must respond within two (2) business days of notification to the contact number provided in the notification. If the Winner does not respond in accordance with the Official Rules or the Winner does not comply with the Official Rules, he/she will be disqualified and will not receive a prize. Should the Winner be unable participate, the prize will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner.


Entrant agrees that Sponsors will have a perpetual and irrevocable license and right to reproduce, use, exhibit, display, adapt, broadcast and distribute and create derivative works of the Entry in any media now known or later developed, throughout the world. Submission of the Entry is a waiver of any right to inspect or approve the use of the Entry, as well as a waiver of any “moral rights” or right to royalties or other compensation arising from or related to the use of the Entry.

By submitting the Additional Entry (3,000-word excerpt from your novel-in-progress), you acknowledge and agree that Kobo will share this Additional Entry with Curtis Brown UK for the purposes of adjudicating the Additional Entry. Curtis Brown UK will review your entry to determine the winner of Kobo’s Jeffrey Archer Contest.


One (1) Winner will be awarded a prize consisting of:

–          Enrollment in the Curtis Brown online novel writing course (the “Prize”).

Additional costs associated with the Prize are the sole responsibility of the winner.

Where Winner claims the Prize, as between Winner and Sponsors:

(a)    The Prize may not be exchanged for cash, is non-transferable, non-refundable, and must be accepted as awarded, without substitutions.

(b)   No Winner is entitled to the dollar value of any Prize in lieu of the Prize itself and no winner is entitled to the monetary difference between the actual Prize value and the stated approximate Prize value, if any.

(c)    The Prize is awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied, by Sponsors.

(d)   In the event the Prize, or any portion thereof, cannot be awarded as described in the Contest description, Sponsors have the right, but not the obligation, to substitute a prize of equivalent or greater retail value.

(e)   All federal, provincial and municipal taxes and any other costs and expenses associated with acceptance and use of the Prize that are not specified herein are the sole responsibility of the Winner.

(f)     In no event will Kobo be responsible or liable for any damages or losses of any kind, including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or punitive damages arising out of or relating to any entrant’s participation in the Contest, or the acceptance, possession, participation in, use or misuse of any Prize by any entrant.


By entering, each Entrant agrees to: (a) comply with and be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsors which are binding and final in all matters relating to this Contest, (b) release and hold harmless Sponsors, the Prize suppliers and any other organizations responsible for sponsoring, fulfilling, administering, advertising or promoting the Contest, and all of their respective past and present officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability.


Except where prohibited by law, by submitting personal information to the Sponsors, Entrants consent to the Sponsors’ collection, use and disclosure of such personal information for the purposes: (1) of administering and publicizing the Contest; (2) of detecting and protecting the Sponsors, their affiliates, and other third parties against error and fraud and other illegal activity; (3) as otherwise disclosed to the Entrant and for which the Sponsors obtain Entrant’s consent; and (4) as permitted or required by law, all without payment or consideration.  Information collected from Entrants is subject to the Kobo’s Privacy Policy, which is available at


The Sponsors reserve the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Contest, or any part of it, including these Official Rules if any fraud, technical failures or any other factor beyond the Sponsors’ reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Contest, as determined by the Sponsors in their sole discretion.  If for any reason the Sponsors are unable to fully operate the Contest as set out in these Official Rules, the Sponsors, at their discretion, may elect to hold a random drawing from among all eligible entries received up to the date of discontinuance for any or all of the prizes offered herein.  The Sponsors reserve the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner.  Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Sponsors reserve the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.  The Sponsors’ failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.


The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by Entrant, printing errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Contest; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Contest or the processing of entries.  If for any reason an Entrant’s Entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, Entrant’s sole remedy is another Entry in the Contest, if possible.  No more than the stated number of prizes will be awarded.  In the event that production, technical, seeding, programming or any other reasons cause more than stated number of prizes as set forth in these Official Rules to be available and/or claimed, the Sponsors reserve the right to award only the stated number of prizes by a random drawing among all legitimate, unawarded, eligible prize claims.


The Contest is governed by the laws of Ontario and the laws of Canada applicable therein, and is subject to all applicable federal, provincial, state and municipal laws and regulations and is void where prohibited by law.  Participation constitutes Entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and the Sponsors’ decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest.  By entering the Contest, the courts of the Province of Ontario, Canada shall have jurisdiction to entertain any action or other legal proceedings based on any provision of these Official Rules or the running of this Contest.


For a copy of these Official Rules, or for a list of winners (which will have only the winners’ first name, first initial of their last name, city and province/state of residence) send a hand-printed, self-addressed, stamped envelope to Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge c/o Kobo Self-Publishing, Sponsor and administrator: Kobo, Inc., 135 Liberty St. Suite 101, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA M6K 1A7.  Requests must be received by the latest May 10th, 2013.


  • Pingback: Enter the Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge! – Kobo Writing Life

    • The previous post has left me confused about whether the 100 words is meant to be a complete short story or a 100 word outline of the novel-in-progress? Please enlighten me.

      • The 100 words is meant to be a complete and entire short story, Kelly. Not an outline, not a stand-alone scene. The discussion above was merely us musing with Jessica about the power of micro fiction when done well and the fact that this is just a single contest (ie, if you aren’t able to participate in this one, don’t worry, we’ll be running other fun writing contests). Hoping this helps enlighten you. :)

  • Do the 100 words have to be a short story, or can they just be a description of something? I’m confused as to what the word ‘short’ means here: a condensed narrative, or an extract of creative writing.

    • Hi Jessica – yes, the 100 words should be a complete 100 word story. Yes, challenging. But when done right, a very powerful way to impress a reader. Remember Hemingway’s classic micro fiction story? “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” Classic example of an extremely limited number of words that can have a powerful impact. Best of luck to you

  • Oh thanks very much. I see. It’s an exercise in reductivism, which some people are very good at. I do remember that Hemingway short story but felt he was concealing things from me and pleased about it; it may be difficult to avoid the afflicting the reader with a sense of deprivation, using this method, but I shall have a go. How do I enter other competitions that rely more on expansion in language – excess, even? Or is this just the one.

    • Affecting the reader with any sort of sensation (other than boredom) is an admirable goal for a story/writer to achieve. :)

      This is just one of many contests we have run and will continue to run. Under the Contact Information screen within your Kobo Writing Life account, make sure you check the “email updates” box for receiving our emails and you’ll be notified of any new contests and opportunities like this that come up. Or keep an eye on our KWL blog.

  • I would love to enter but am worried about the exact implications of the ‘Ownership of Entry’ rule above – lawyers take so much joy out of the world! haha..

    My question is, by entering do I lose ownership and will giving sponsors the “perpetual and irrevocable license and right to reproduce, use, exhibit, display, adapt, broadcast and distribute and create derivative works of the Entry or Additional Entry in any media now known or later developed, throughout the world[,]” do I lose my rights to publish my story elsewhere, and/or will publishers reject it as others have rights to publish it?

    Thanks in advance if you are able to help. I would love to enter the contest but signing away all rights seems a little steep, especially if I don’t win! :)

    • Hi Chase — good questions! The only rights you’re granting are to the 100-word story entry, but it does mean that by sending us an entry (win or lose), you’re allowing us to use it. This doesn’t prevent you from publishing it elsewhere at all — this is not exclusive; it just means that we can publish it too, if we like. Whether another publisher will refuse to publish it later on based on this is up to them, not us. You can still sell it elsewhere, so long as those you sell it to understand the situation.

      Also, this IN NO WAY applies to the 3000-word excerpt of your novel-in-process or the finished work; those rights are all still completely your own.

  • Glad I asked – I’ve been working on a 100 word story outline.
    Is the short story meant to have some association with the novel or can it be completely unrelated?

  • In the unfortunately likely event of my not being chosen, will I be free to enter my story elsewhere or use it in personal publication?

    • Hi Serena — Kobo will have the right to publish the 100-word story you enter, but it’s not an exclusive thing. You can still sell the story elsewhere if you like, so long as you disclose that Kobo also has the right to publish it.

  • Hi, sorry I think you’ve answered this before but I just need to check; does the 100 words include the title? My thanks

    • Hi, Jez! Nope, the title doesn’t count towards the total word count, although we might get a little suspicious if your title is ridiculously long. Don’t try to cheat the system! :)

  • Pingback: Enter now! The Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge closes tonight! – Kobo Writing Life

  • I sent my entry twice because i sent the first as a .docx file. (Then i read that .doc was different and had to find out the right format to select on my WP). I then sent the entry in again as a .doc file (exactly the same story). I thought because the first was in the wrong file it would not process/register…I hope that i will not be disqualified?!!

  • Can you tell me what to do now? I’m not sure how long one waits before realising that one has definitely not been selected, at which point can give up hope, as one would by now have been informed. You say twenty stories are chosen which then get published in your online anthology, but apparently none of these people are informed by email, so how do they know this has even happened? Only the top three get emailed, and that’s slightly later on.

    This affects me, partly because I want to enter a longer version of that short story in an another competition which doesn’t want anything previously published anywhere. Technically speaking the story would be different, but I’m concerned for legal reasons if I end up in the final twenty or even if you happen to publish my story by chance, and I simply didn’t know about it and broke other rules elsewhere; also I’d like to know about it because it would make me happy. I’m also keen to know that the winning twenty are not me, and as soon as possible.

    When does the anthology come out, so I can rootle around on Kobo to find it? Or do you email everyone to tell them where it is and that it’s online?

    Thank you,


    • Hi Jessica! It’s going to take a teeny bit of time to determine the 20 semi-finalists — we received just under 1000 submissions! As thrilled as we are with that amazing response, that’s a lot of stories for our judges to read and evaluate!

      We’re going to narrow the field down to the 20 semi-finalists by early March and contact those authors soon after (for their short bios and author portraits), so if you don’t hear anything by March 15th, you know for sure you were not among the 20 selected.

      Thanks for entering, and best of luck in the contest and in your future writing!

      • Thank you. Judging one thousand in one month is quite a lot, yes. So the tension collapses on March 15th. What’s an author portrait? I’ve never heard of it. I do a lot of self-portraits as an artist, but I don’t think you mean an actual picture. If only you did. A bio sounds tricky too. What if you were an illegal immigrant, or on the run from the police, or were escaping an abusive husband and living in a shelter and had to have a fake life or you’d die? Actually, I think Jeffrey Archer may have mentioned something of the sort in Kane and Abel. Maybe I should re-read it for clues.

      • An author portrait is just a photo — and if an author is writing under a pseudonym (which is a quite common practice), then we won’t press the issue. We’re not going to send the paparazzi after them with a telephoto lens. We don’t want to get our authors arrested or killed or worse.

        Writing short self-bios is often very tricky. As much as some of us love writing about our characters, the words just dry up when we have to write about ourselves!

  • Ha ha. So it really is a portrait. OK. I thought it was some kind of description of genre. But you should allow paintings and drawings – I did one of an author once, and he wanted to use it for the back cover of his book. The bio… can… wait. But thanks for telling me what both these things are.

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