Saturday, June 02, 2007

Bedtime Classics

In honor of Goodnight Moon's 60th anniversary Johnson & Johnson and HarperCollins are collaborating in a bedtime story writer's contest. If you are not a professional writer but you like to write children's stories I invite you to join me in submitting a manuscript by June 30, 2007. The grand prize is having your story illustrated and published as a "limited edition picture book", a collection of HarperCollins classic storybooks, and a gift set of J&J baby products. Not a book contract, to be sure, but a chance to practice polishing up a manuscript and submitting by a deadline. And a fun challenge to come up with a good story! The rules are here.

I am working on a list of ideas now. I am reading Atwell's Lessons that Change Writers, going through her exercises and working in my writer's notebook every evening. I've got HipWriterMama's 30 Day Challenge to get me moving and now I have a goal of submitted story by the end of the month. Anyone want to join me?

67 comments:

Sharon @ Little Lessons said...

The deadlines and contest winner announce dates have come and gone and I can't find anything on winners. Do you have any other information on this? I know it's not your contest...just wondered if anyone anywhere knew anything.

Cloudscome said...

Sharon I have been wondering that myself. I never heard a word from them and I can't find anything about it posted. I assume they chose someone and just haven't announced it yet. I wonder if we will ever hear?

cwsherwoodedits said...

I keep checking the site, too. I don't understand why it hasn't been updated with the winner. I know there was some controversy about the terms of this contest. Could it be that they're not doing it after all?

Anonymous said...

Actually, I called the company on Tuesday and a nice man checked into it and told me all the winners had been selected but were being contacted. Once that was completed the winners would be posted.

Cloudscome said...

Thank you for letting us know! I am relieved that at least they did pick winners and are contacting them. I hadn't heard about any controversy and I was starting to wonder!

Emily said...

i was looking for winners and came across your blog. anyone heard anything yet?

3dog said...

Wish I could tell you I was a selected winner...but it is just great to find any information on this at all. It's been a black hole since they implied announcing the winners back in October. Thanks fo anonymous for making a call.

Sharon @ Little Lessons said...

It almost makes me wonder if someone should contact the Attorney General's office in the states where HarperCollins and Johnson & Johnson are and see if we were part of a scam put on by the two companies.

It's sad to know that so many people put such hard work into something only to not hear anything at all.

The list of winners (according to contest rules) will only be available on their website until 4/1/08 ... that would be fine IF they would POST the winners!!!

I wonder how long we need to wait before we try to market our stories elsewhere...

But WAIT!!! Maybe they are waiting for CHRISTMAS! Maybe they will surprise the winner on Christmas Day!!! (no likely but, hey, why not dream at Christmas time???)

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm going to try to call the company again. This is really ticking me off!!! I'll get back to everybody.

Anonymous said...

I just called Johnson's contact number for their baby products. Of couse, they always have to put me on hold and find out who knows about this contest. Well, she did talk to someone over there who this time said they still haven't chosen a winner. She then went on to say once the winner was chosen they had to contact them, get them to sign the release, etc. before anything could be posted. This makes me think one of two things. Either the submissions were really bad and they are struggling to even select a winner or they are just extemely slow. I hope they are just slow.

I'll bug them again soon!

Cloudscome said...

That makes me really mad! How dare they get us all excited and then just not get around to choosing a winner! And I can't imagine that they have NO good enough submissions... Look we all submitted, right? We did a good job, didn't we? They better get their *** in gear! Let's ALL bug them. What's the contact info?

Anonymous said...

Ok, here's what I did. I went into www.johnsonbaby.com/contact-us.jsp. Then, under "Safety/Medical Concerns" there is a telephone number. That is the only number I could find. Since it, of course, has nothing to do with the contest, the person who answers the phone has to "check" with another section while I hold. Then she gave me the answer I posted and then said "but we really don't have that information in this department." In other words, she didn't want me to keep calling. BUT, you gotta do what you gotta do. haha. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

YAY!!!! I have not posted here before, but saw this site while looking for Bedtime Classics results. I just got a call today (1/14) that I'm a first place winner!!! A New York firm (sounded like a legal firm when I called back) is sending me papers to sign. Good luck to the rest of you!!

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS. I am so happy to her that at least one of us won. Good job. Hopefully we will be able to read your story in the near future.

Cloudscome said...

Yes Congratulations Annon.! i am so glad to hear they are finally getting around to choosing winners. Can you tell us anything more? Is there a page announcing the winners yet?

Anonymous said...

I dont have any other useful info. The papers they send me have to be returned within 7 days, so I'm hoping that if they get all the winners notified and confirmed quickly, maybe they'll announce it on the website by the end of January...

NYwriter said...

Hi "Bedtime Classics" writers! Just to let all of you know, I have called Johnson & Johnson SEVEN times since October 15,2007. The last time I called was Tuesday, January 22, 2008; at which time "Alan" told me that they had NOT picked the winners, they were holding off till the middle of February, 2008. I would also like to mention, I spoke with Cecilia, Susan Cook--Manager & Ayesha several times over the last few months. I called J&J's phone numbers ranging from 1800-762-1964, to 908-874-1000, and 1800-536-3967. Every time I called, they never had any information as to what I was asking about until I gave them the bedtimeclassics.com website. Also, the PO Box listed on the website for people who entered in their writings was out in Melville, NY; there is no Johnson & Johnson location out there nor Division out in Long Island, NY. Furthermore, when I called Harper Collins Publications, they had no idea about a writing contest. Perhaps, it is time to expose these 2 Companies on "Shame On You!". It is so unprofessional for J & J and Harper Collins to list a date on their website to announce the contest wnners. They are in actual default of their agreement with all of us--the writers. Shame on J & J & Harper Collins!

BabyGuru said...

This Comment is for Anonymous, who states he/she received a phone call & legal documents from a NY Law Firm. When you called them back, what was the name of the Law Firm, so that we can at least call them & ask them for the other winners. Winners are usually notified all together, at least within the same day or week. Thanks for your help! Congrats!

Anonymous said...

I googled "who won johnson's bedtime classics contest" and a website came up for "Playthings" (www.playthings.com/article/CA6431998.html). Someone posted a comment indicating that she had won the contest as well. Maybe she has more information. This may be the same person who commented on this site, but you never know.

Cloudscome said...

I called the j&j number posted above (1-800-762-1964) and was also told that they haven't picked the winners yet. The woman said it was another department and she really didn't know anything about it except that other people have been calling her and she has been told by supervisors to say that. She said they are telling people to just keep checking the web site daily and winners will be announced. I don't know what to think at this point! I hope everyone keeps calling them and asking for information until they release it.

Anonymous said...

This is "anon" that wrote about winning (and it WAS me on that other website stating that I was notified...) I HOPE I haven't been duped! I received the letter, signed it and returned it. It did not ask for any information other than to verify my mailing address and sign the form. It was from some firm in Melville, NY, but no way am I giving out their name. Sorry, but I won't be responsible for any frustrated calls going their way. The letter stated that the signature was due 1/22, and the prize should arrive within 60 days.
I haven't heard anything else since returning the letter. Hope that helps a bit.

Anonymous said...

Anon, I doubt you were duped. I'm sure that until they get all the signed paperwork back from each of the winners, they will not release any names. Again, congratulations. And, I agree, you should not give out the name of the firm.

babyguru said...

I just called J and J once again at 11:24am, spoke with Ms. Susan. She said she did not know anything about the bedtime classics writing competition, she placed me on hold for 5 minutes till she could get help with my call. She put me on the phone with another Susan, a Supervisor for all the calls. She advised me that she was fowarding the information to another department to see if they can get something posted on the website in regards to the writing competition.
I recommend us doing a search on google for all law firms in Melville, NY that specialize in Publishing. My husband's partners are looking into it for me today, when I find out more information, I will share it with all of you.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Anon. is being truthful with us. I find it hard to believe that a winner has been selected, and the only person on the web who knows about it is Anon. My thought is Anon. has not heard anything from them, just like us. Am I alone in this thought?

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I have no idea why no one else has posted having heard anything. I was wondering if my credibility would be questioned, which is understandable - the internet is the LAST place to go to confirm facts! I just know what I know: my story seems to have won a first place prize. If I get any more info, I'll post it. (If my goal was to play a hoax, I'd have claimed that I won the grand prize! :P )

Anonymous said...

Anon, LOL. You are too funny!!

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I am posting because it's the first time I have come across this site. I am relieved to find other people as frustrated as me in attempting to find out the contest results. I also appreciate all the time people have invested in trying to get information on everyone's behalf. From reading all the posts, it appears that no one can get a straight answer or even a good contact number. If this contest wasn't legit, that means the company has, in its possession, many children story ideas that can be published without the author's consent or knowledge? Am I being too parinoid? I do hope "anon" can share good news soon. If someone does contact you again, please let them know how poorly they have conducted this contest. They could at least post updates on the site so we can feel reassurred that we weren't duped.

Cloudscome said...

This is really getting to be interesting! I think it makes sense that the winners might have been notified individually but no announcement went out yet. They have to get papers signed and returned by all the winners before the rest of us hear anything. I have resigned myself to not being a winner. AND I am just glad to hear that someone else won! Congratulations again to all winners. I am going to keep checking to hear the big announcement. I'd love to see the stories myself.

Anonymous said...

I think it's just appalling the way this contest has been conducted. I can't imagine why it would be so difficult to announce the winners, other writing contests do it every day. As far as notifying the winners first by mail, that is a silly excuse. If the winner(s) don't respond then a runner up is chosen.

It has been almost 5 MONTHS! There is no excuse to make people wait so long. If I had a baby I would not use Johnson's products nor will I ever buy any books from the publusher that is affiliated with them. This is ridiculous and inexcusable.

WriterGalore said...

I totally agree with the last comment made by Anonymous. Johnson & Johnson should be ashamed
of themselves....I always thought of them as a reputable company, but I think differently about them now. I am going to spread the word about this blog to over 400 people on my e-mail list...and tell everyone to abstain from purchasing their products.

Sharon @ Little Lessons said...

Just got an email response from my inquiry ...

"Our promotional programs are designed to encourage purchase of our products and to promote goodwill. We apologize that there has been a delay in verifying the winners of the contest. We hope to post them shortly."

Don't know if that means if you haven't been contacted, you didn't win ... or if they haven't tried to contact everyone yet.

I just want to know when I can shop my story somewhere else :-(

Anonymous said...

I have entered dozens of contests and with few exceptions I have been notified via the email address I was asked to provide within a few weeks of the given date. There was one contest that took weeks beyond the date given but the site sent numerous emails explaining the delay.

I still say there is no excuse and something tells me that J and J and HC get some kind of financial benefit from the numerous clicks on their site from contestants checking for results. There must be some benefit that we (read, non-corporate folks) don't understand, and frankly it pisses me off.

Anonymous said...

... and let me tell you something else, the least they could do is update the site and let people know they're still working on it.

Anonymous said...

Well, for me, this was the first time I have ever entered a contest. I was so excited waiting for October 15, then November 15, then December 15 ... Ok, so now I'm not excited anymore. Just disappointed. Not that I didn't win, but that there has been no information at all.

3dog said...

Yes, what would be so difficult in changing the message on the original site to say: "Winners are
currently being contacted, results will be available
soon. Our apologies for the delay."

Anonymous said...

This is getting to be ridiculous! I cannot believe that we were supposed to be notified on Oct. 15 2007 and now it is Feb. 8, 2008...almost 4 months of waiting. I say we all get together & file a class action suit against Johnson & Johnson as well as Harpers Collins. This contest is basically null & void because they did not honor THEIR COMMITMENT to us (the writers). They are in actual default of their agreement terms, so therefore we now have rights to sue them. I want to be able to take my children's story and submit it to other contests and posssibly even publishers, but the way their contract is written, we cannot do this until the announced winners has taken place.

Anonymous said...

This is from the "legal" link on the bedtimeclassics website:

"The owners of this site will use reasonable efforts to include up-to-date and accurate information in this Internet site, but make no representations, warranties, or assurances as to the accuracy, currency or completeness of the information provided."

Are they using reasonable effort? It doesn't seem so. But the 2nd half of that statement seems to keep them in the clear.
They also state on the website that winners will be announced after October 15th. Today still counts as being after October 15th.

It's frustrating, and I'm not in any way schooled in the ways of law, but I don't think there's a case here.

Anonymous said...

Right ... after October 15 could be June 24, 2024. Rotten b*stards. (smile)

Anonymous said...

I went back to www.bedtimeclassics.com to check out the Contest Rules and under "Conditions" in the last sentence it states as follows:

"For the names of the Grand and First Prize winners, visit www.bedtimeclassics.com after October 15, 2007. All requests must be received by no later than 4/01/08."

"All requests must be received by no later than 4/01/08"! What the heck does that mean. It appears that if the winners are not listed, we are to send our requests for the names no later than 4/01/08. And just where do we send such requests. Interesting. So it appears they are in the clear about even listing the names on the website just from that last sentence about reuqesting the names no later than 4/01/08.


Maybe one of us should call them again and direct them here so they can see the anger they are creating!

Maria said...

When I first called Johnson & Johnson, they did tell me that they were going to post the results in October. When I called twice in November for the results, they stated the results would be posted very soon. When I called in December 3 times, they stated they have not choosen the winners yet, but they would post the results by January, 2008. When I called them in January on 2 different days, I spoke to about 3 different people at Johnson & Johnson, no one seemed to know anything...I had to guide them the website regarding bedime classics writing contest, advise them about this blog, and let them know, they need to contact some administrative personel to inform them that there are many frustrated contestants from their Bedtime Classics Writing Contest.
I do not believe that Susan Cook
at J&J did anything. She assured me that she would reach out to the appropriate people at J& J and get something up in the website to alleviate our concerns.

Furthermore, I called J&J a few days ago, they stated they HAVE NOT PICKED THE WINNERS, but hope to during this month and hopefully post soon after.

It is Feb. 10, 2008, there have been NO updates. Johnson & Johnson's Company is such a let down to me and to all of us. We should all band together and not use J&J products.

Question to all of you blogging on this site. Has anyone called Harpers Collins? They are a partner in crime on this writing contest too.

midwestmom said...

This is "anon" who has been notified as a winner - I figured out I could post with my own ID.

I kept debating on whether or not I should try contacting the firm that notified me. Perhaps they're the ones that are responsible for updating the website. In the back of my head was a small, fearful voice saying "Keep quiet until the prize arrives!" and "Can they revoke a prize if their methods are questioned?" and "Will that pile of laundry EVER go away?!"

Anyway, I decided that the greater good trumps my (hopefully irrational) fears. I sent an email to the firm and informed them of the frustrations and asked if they could pass along any info on when the website will be updated.

I will pass along any info that comes my way.

Anonymous said...

Maria, good question about whether anyone contacted Harpers Collins. Although Johnson & Johnson is "hosting" the contest, I'm sure Harpers Collins, being book publishers, have the final word on who will win. However, J & J should be concerned enough about bad press that they would update their website just to keep everybody happy.

Does anyone have any information from Harpers Collins?

midwestmom said...

I got a response from the firm I contacted (asking for info on when the website would be updated...)

"Thank you very much for your email and for the heads up. We are actually not involved in this portion of the promotion, however, we can inquire for an update. I will do some research and see what I can find out and will let you know."

Anonymous said...

midwestmom, that was very kind of you to contact them and get back to us. Thank you. ;)

Anonymous said...

I posted a comment for the first time on 1/31/08 and afterward I searched for a contact person to e-mail from J & J and Harper. Couldn't find a site on J & J to vent my frustrations but did find a site on Harper & Collins and complained on behalf of all of us and demanded some answers. I forwarded this blog so they can read all the complaints. I have received no response as of 2/13/08.

Cloudscome said...

midwestmon, thanks for getting back to us and letting us know of your efforts to find more info from your contacts.

I think we ought to concentrate on finding someone at HarperCollins who knows what is going on. Does anyone have a phone number or email for someone at the publishers?

Cloudscome said...

I went to the HarperCollins website and logged in.

You can sign up to get review copies of books in their "First Look" program so I am registered with them. There is a contact page here.


I sent them an email asking about the contest and linking here. There is a phone number too which I will try later today: 212.261.6500. Lets give them buzz or two.

Sarahthewriter said...

I have a great idea....why don't we all put our children stories together in 1 combined Children's book....and call it "Bedtime Classics"....of course there needs to be editing and formatting etc.
of all the stories & illustrator.
It also depends on how many children stories were actually submitted to this contest and is there overlap in some stories with others.
I believe we are ALL WINNERS in this contest. It is disappointing to me that J&J as well as Harpers Collins would not give us some sort of update. We need to think positive and do our best...that is all that we can do.
So let me know...if anyone is interested in banning together to create our own "Children's Classic" Book. I think Publishers Weekly and News Stations would get a kick out of this storybook.
Perhaps one of the news station will investigate why J&J never kept their promise to us...it says look at website after Oct. 15, 2007...which means to me that the results would be posted sometime around that month.....but not leaving it another 4 months with no update. This is very unprofessional and unethical. Basically, they are not thinking about the contestants/writers, which is so sad. I hope J& J are reading our posts on this website.

PS I just called J&J at the phone number listed on their website. I spoke with Gwen, she had no information about the contest. I asked her to connect me with supervisor. The supervisor's name is Susan Cook, and of sourse, she was "unavailable" to speak with me,
since she was out to lunch.
Trust me when I say...I gave Gwen a piece of "our inquiring minds".
I advised her about the writing contest and advised her that someone in J&J should be able to post something on their website.
As far as I am concerned, J&J is totally irresponsible regarding this contest.
I am calling the Better Business Bureau today on them. I want some satisfaction in knowing that J&J will need to be held accountable for this chaos that they have created.

Sarah said...

Just formalized a complaint to the BBB. This is the website: www.bbb.org

Better Business BureauBetter Business BureauStart With TrustComplaint Form
Before you begin filing your complaint with BBB, please note:
BBB's goal is to successfully resolve complaints involving buyers and sellers in a fair and timely fashion. This includes complaints involving consumer-to-business and business-to-business transactions that involve the advertisement and/or sale of a product or service. Information concerning the nature and resolution of complaints filed with BBB is used in developing BBB Reliability ReportsTM on companies. BBB accepts complaints whether or not the business is a BBB Accredited Business.

BBB generally does not handle complaints which are more effectively handled by other government or private agencies or the legal system, such as complaints involving employment practices, discrimination, or matters in litigation. Click here for more detailed BBB Complaint Acceptance Guidelines.

BBB strongly encourages consumers to first attempt to resolve complaints directly with the company, however BBB will not reject a complaint if a consumer has not taken this step. All complaints are processed by local BBBs, most often the BBB where the company is located. Historically, over 70% of complaints filed through BBB are resolved. In some cases, BBB mediation or arbitration may be offered to assist in resolution.

Your complaint will be forwarded to the company within two business days. The company will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made. You will be notified of the company's response when we receive it (or notified that we received no response). Complaints are usually closed within 30 calendar days.

BBB reserves the right not to process complaints containing abusive or foul language.

Anonymous said...

Sarah - for anyone else that wants to submit a complaint - which could make quite an impact - what company name/address did you direct the complaint to?

The BBB is a great tool - I've used it before and seen results from it!

Sarah said...

Hi! I submitted the form to the BBB and used this exact address:

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company
Attention: Information Center
199 Grandview Road
Skillman, NJ 08558-9418
1-800-762-1964

Also, they asked who is the complaint directed to & listed
J&J Consumer Products Company.

In terms of the website address for mounting the complaint,
I listed www.bedtimeclassics.com
so they can do the research and follow up with them directly.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

This would make a great story on the Today Show or local television programming, newspapers, etc. Perhaps the exposure is what is needed here to get the attention of J&J and the publisher that we are unhappy with their follow up and follow through on the competition.

Anonymous said...

WINNERS ANNOUNCED!!!
The website has been updated with the winners - I wish they would have printed the stories, though...

Sharon @ Little Lessons said...

So does this mean that if we are not on the list, we can shop our manuscripts elsewhere???

Cloudscome said...

Yes I think that means your story is yours to do with as you will. I am glad they announced the winners at last. I confess that announcement is a bit of a let down though - I'd like a little more celebration and information please! Like, tell me about the stories! What's great about them? Tell me about the winners and how they were inspired to write those stories. How about a little blurp about how they reacted to winning? Whose child or grandchild is getting their own special classic in print? Give us a little party here people!

Anonymous said...

Midwesternmom, which book is yours? This is very exciting. I can't wait to read everbody's book.

midwestmom said...

I'm so glad they finally listed the winners! I'm "C. Williams" with
"Where Will My Dreaming Take Me To?"
(They left off the "to"...)

I'm hoping they eventually have a link to the grand prize story - I'd like to see what it took to win that!

Anonymous said...

Midwestmom, I hope when you are given the ok, you will share your book with us. I would like to see what it takes to win a 1st prize as well!

midwestmom said...

I can try and check, but I was under the impression that it's now 'their' property - not sure if I can publicly reprint it...

bumpkins said...

I think it is disgusting how J&J and Harpers handled this competition.I am not writer so never sent anything in but I know someone who did .

The best way to get back at them is not to purchase their products. There are many other smaller companies who sell far better products anyway.

I wish all of you writers the very best and I bet all your stories were good.

midwestmom said...

I don't think I'd go as far as boycotting the companies - they used an outside firm to handle the promotion. 'Course, it doesn't make J&J or Harper Collins look good...

And interestingly enough (well, to me), my promised 1st place prize has yet to arrive. The notice letter I received in January stated that I would get the prize within 60 days.

Today was day 62, so I called the contact at the promotions firm, who seemed surprised that I have not seen my prize, and was told that he would look into the matter and get back to me.

Here's hoping it doesn't take as long as the 'judging' did...

Anonymous said...

midwestmom, did you ever get your prize?

midwestmom said...

I last called the advertising firm about 3 weeks ago, asking about the prizes. I was told there was some 'confusion' as to which company was responsible for the prize delivery.

Oh, brother.

I was also told that the issue should be resolved and the prizes sent out that week. Still waiting.

I just left a message with the contact at the ad firm. We'll see what their next response is...

Cloudscome said...

Somehow this doesn't surprise me at all! It makes me angry... but sounds par for the course. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

midwesternmom- I hope by now you have gotten your prize!

midwestmom said...

I DID get my prize! The money and baby products came mid-May and the books came mid-June. My kids are older now, so the baby products went to my sister (who is due with her first any day now!) as well as most of the books. I kept "Where the Wild Things Are" (my very very favorite book that my kids loved to shreds!) and "Goodnight Moon" (which my sister already had 3 copies of!)

Cloudscome said...

YAY!! I am so glad to hear that midwestmom! It's nice to know they really came through for you. Congratulations again!