Hello all! I have a bit of a concern regarding submitting written works without registered copyright to writing contests. One I am particularly interested in entering is for college students, and offers a scholarship prize to authors who are currently working on, or have finished (but not published), a full-length novel. As someone developing her first novel, I was ecstatic--most contests that allow novel-length works, as far as I have seen, require the entire thing to be complete, so this is a nice change of pace. My concern, though, is that since my work is unfinished, it is not registered with the copyright office. I've heard from enough writers and individuals with knowledge of the publishing industry that it's imperative to copyright your work before showing/submitting it anywhere. Problem is my novel is nowhere close to being complete, and the contest deadline is in less than two weeks. Presuming the source of the contest is legit and won't steal my rough draft first chapter (don't know who would do that, but you never know), is it safe to submit to a writing contest without copyrighting the work first? tl;dr Can I submit unregistered copyright work to a contest without fear of plagiarism/anything else? (Forgive me if the question seems ridiculous. I've witnessed plagiarism before, and as a result, I'm extremely paranoid about it happening to me).