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We’re thrilled to announce LiveJournal’s very first writing contest! With all the avid readers and writers here on LJ, we’re wondering why we didn’t do this sooner.

What’s the topic?
This non-fiction writing contest is focused around National Women’s History Month, celebrated in the United States each March to highlight the significant contributions of women to events in history. The topic should center on how women’s issues and/or women’s history have affected you personally.

What are the requirements?
We are accepting the first 1000 separate submissions fulfilling the criteria below. All submissions are subject to the contest requirements, in addition to the terms and conditions identified below:

  • Your submission must be written in English.

  • Your submission must be emailed to lj_contests@sixapart.com with “LiveJournal Non-Fiction Essay Competition” in the subject line. Please submit your entry as an attachment in .txt, .doc, or .rtf format.

  • Your submission must be your own original content, based on a true story, about how women’s issues and/or women’s history has affected you personally.

  • You submission must not have been previously published in any media formats, online (this includes your journal within LiveJournal.com) or in print.

  • Your submission must not be defamatory, offensive or obscene, and does not violate or infringe on the trademark, copyright, publicity, privacy or other rights of any third party

  • Your submission must be no longer than 1500 words.

What are the criteria for judging?
Judges will choose the submissions with the highest composite scores based on these factors:

  • Content 30%

  • Originality 30%

  • Style 20%

  • Grammar 10%

  • Spelling 10%

Who are the judges?
Our panel of judges includes 3-5 people from the LiveJournal staff.

More important, what are the prizes?
What? You want something besides the massive amount of fame you'll receive for winning? Of course you do!

There‘ll be two winners: one “Grand Prize” winner selected by us, and one “LJ Community Grand Prize” winner selected by the members of the LiveJournal community from a list of finalists that we’ll choose.

Each Grand Prize winner will receive a five hundred dollar ($500) cash prize from LiveJournal and the right to choose one out of the following four charitable organizations, to which LiveJournal will donate five hundred dollars ($500):

LiveJournal will also provide the winner with an official Award Certificate, which they can proudly display above their desk or mention on their resume or college applications. Bragging rights are included, of course.

How do I enter?
Your submissions should be sent via email to lj_contests@sixapart.com with “LiveJournal Non-Fiction Essay Competition” in the subject line. Submissions will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, on Saturday, April 7th, 2007. We’ll accept up to a thousand (1000) submissions; we can’t guarantee that we’d be able to judge any more than that.

Approximately two weeks following the deadline for submissions, we’ll post the judges’ top ten selections to the lj_contests community. Every user on LiveJournal will be able to vote for their favorite submission, and voting will close on 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, on Saturday, May 5th, 2007. The submission with the most votes will win the LJ Community Grand Prize. After the polls have been tallied, we'll announce our other Grand Prize winner and hand out the prizes!

No purchase necessary. Purchases made to LiveJournal (of a paid account, v-gifts to the judges or otherwise) will not increase your chance of winning.

What will happen to my entry?
LiveJournal reserves the right to use each entry in whole or in part however we see fit, including but not limited to quoting winning submissions in press releases, reprinting entries within LiveJournal, etc. Read the Official Promotion Rules & Regulations (the “Official Rules”) for the full details.

Eligible Contestants

(Our lawyers make us say this.)

The contest is open to individuals who are legal residents of the United States or its territories (excluding Arizona, Puerto Rico and any other jurisdiction that may require a translation of these Official Rules), who have an active e-mail account and Internet access, who are registered LiveJournal.com users, who are eighteen (18) or older as of 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, on Saturday, April 7th, 2007, and who, under applicable law, can form legally binding contracts (hereinafter legal participating individuals shall be referred to as "Participant").

Becoming a registered LiveJournal.com user is free. The Promotion is not available to any individual who has been suspended or terminated from using Sponsor's or its affiliates’ websites.

Employees of Sponsor, past employees of Sponsor, immediate family members of Sponsor’s employees, or members of the household of any such employees, or any employees of Sponsor's various affiliates, partners, their parents or subsidiaries, or employees of Sponsor’s advertising, promotion, fulfillment or other coordinating agencies, or individuals providing services to Sponsor through an outsourcer or temporary employment agency during the Promotion, are not eligible to participate in this Promotion.

By entering this Promotion, Participant agrees to these Official Promotion Rules & Regulations (the “Official Rules”) and the decisions of Sponsor, which are final and binding in all respects. This Promotion and any participation therein are void where restricted by federal, state, or local law.

Participant must have access and rights to use equipment and software that meets the technical requirements necessary to register for an account at LiveJournal.com (the “Promotion Site”).


( 138 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 9th, 2007 03:40 am (UTC)
I think this is a great idea! However, I wish those younger than 18 weren't excluded. Perhaps you could have had two levels: adult and adolescent.

Ah, well.
Mar. 9th, 2007 03:48 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, it's for legal purposes; we'd have to get release forms from a parent/guardian, and that opens up a can of worms we just can't support. I'm very, very sorry.
Mar. 9th, 2007 04:25 am (UTC)
Can you enter more than once?
Mar. 9th, 2007 04:29 am (UTC)
Nope, one submission per person!
Mar. 9th, 2007 10:09 am (UTC)
Hmm. I won't be entering this one, since I've had virtually no experiences that has to do with the topic that I can think of. But I think this was a great idea, and I hope you guys continue essay/writing contests in the future! ^_^
Mar. 9th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
The topic is great and all, but I thought it would have been more appropriate to have the very first essay to be about blogging.
Mar. 9th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
We wanted to tie the theme into what was specifically going on this month!
(no subject) - albatoudilandau - Mar. 9th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_rita - Mar. 10th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 11th, 2007 12:40 pm (UTC)
I'm not bothered by the competition in the slightest, but non US users pay the same subscription fees as US lj users. Any lj run event or competition should be open anyone sixapart would be happy to take a payment from!
(no subject) - casu_consulto - Apr. 1st, 2007 05:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 9th, 2007 09:52 pm (UTC)
Not sure if this was asked already... I'm sorry if it was, but I don't have time to check all the comments in this thread. 8D; Short attention span. Sorry.

Anyway... If LJ gets full rights, the essay can't be published elsewhere later, right? It seems pretty obvious, but I wanted to be sure. :]
Mar. 9th, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
Yes, that's correct! I don't see us ever being hardasses about, say, you reposting your entry to your LJ after the contest closes, but the rules do state that you're transferring full rights.
(no subject) - hoyah - Mar. 9th, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rahaeli - Mar. 9th, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hoyah - Mar. 9th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rahaeli - Mar. 13th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 9th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
You know what would be fabulous? If LJ could have a showcase for outstanding submissions that don't meet the legal criteria for winning a monetary prize, but really deserve to be seen anyway.

Everyone deserves a chance to shine, including non-USAians, Support volunteers, and 17-year-olds!
Mar. 9th, 2007 10:15 pm (UTC)
Yes, I had the same thought upthread earlier today -- I'm checking with the lawyer to see if that would violate anything or not. :) Good idea!
(no subject) - writemethesea - Mar. 10th, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - building_god - Mar. 11th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 9th, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC)
Can brits living in Spain join in?
Mar. 10th, 2007 02:51 am (UTC)
i saw this on the home page and got really excited about having a writing contest. after reading however i saw that you had to be eighteen or older, and i totally understand why, i was just kind of bummed. is there any way in the future there could be an open-age contest?
Mar. 10th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
I was all pumped to do this but then I realized that I'm Canadian. And sixteen.

Way to discriminate.
Mar. 11th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)
It's not discrimination, it's legal matters. Honestly.
(no subject) - britlovessims - Mar. 14th, 2007 07:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hearthand - Mar. 14th, 2007 10:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 10th, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC)
Okay, not to be rude - but people need to take a step back from all the complaining (I can't join because of X, Y or Z - oh, woe is me!) and see that this is for a good cause. There *have* to be guidelines (like age and location) for legal reasons, spelling and grammar have to be factored in (opening it to those submissions that are not necessarily academic theses balances this) and that no one is intending to discriminate against you because you are Canadian or twelve or what-have-you.

So those of you who aren't too jaded and bitter to see this for what it is, write on!
Mar. 11th, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, I quite understand that it's legal restrictions which are causing the problems. The point I'd make is that this competitions page is promoted on the front page of LiveJournal, with no notes to let people know it's restricted to certain ages and countries. I'm in Australia, we have laws which alter from state to state about how various forms of fundraising can be done, and I have every sympathy for the LiveJournal legal team for any frustration which is caused.

However, I would have enjoyed participating in this particular competition. It's an interesting topic, it's one which catches my attention, and it's nice to see a competition for writers which accepts that not everyone wants to write fiction. Not to mention the Internet facet of the whole thing. If I were eligible to participate, and I'd won (okay, big if there, but what the hey) it would have been good to know that the money being offered was going to a good cause. It's frustrating to me as a writer and as a person who is competitive to find that I'm barred from entering by reason of not living in the United States.

Final point: to those of us who don't live in the US, this is just another example of a rather prevalent kind thinking which shows up in a lot of internet locations. The primary assumption is that the Internet stops at the US border, and that nobody who is anybody worthwhile lives outside the United States. There's also a strong subcurrent of "if you don't like it, you'll have to move here" in this - which annoys me in particular because I happen to like the country I was born in, and I wouldn't move to the US if someone bought me an all-expenses-paid-for-twenty-years Hollywood mansion.
(no subject) - elentiriel - Mar. 11th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 11th, 2007 02:02 am (UTC)
I understand the under 18 limitation. USA residents only? Why?

I assume it's to do with there being prize money up for grabs and the legalities of that. Is it? If not. WHY!?

That's a giant crapstick.
Mar. 11th, 2007 03:38 am (UTC)
"...excluding Arizona, Puerto Rico and any other jurisdiction that may require a translation of these Official Rules..."

You might want to suggest to your legal department that implying that a US state is a jurisdiction that may require a translation might not go down to well in certain quarters...

Mar. 12th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)
Jurisdiction refers to legal boundaries. Each state has its own laws. Just as a New York Cop can't bust you for a ticket on a Pennsylvania highway, it's not in their jurisdiction. Obliviously, Arizona has some that conflict with LiveJournal's Contest Rules.

I'm sure the lawyers know what they're talking about
(no subject) - lttledvl - Mar. 12th, 2007 01:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - trampledamage - Mar. 12th, 2007 02:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 11th, 2007 01:03 pm (UTC)
As a lot of people have already said, it's a bit of a pity that LJ users from outside the US of A (and even some areas inside the US of A) can't participate in this competition. Is this likely to hold for all such competitions? Alternatively, is there a way you could maybe turn the next competition around to cover a country outside the US?

Failing that, you might want to alter the community name, so that people who aren't from the US understand we're effectively not eligible to participate. I realise this sounds bitter (and it probably is) but this is something which annoys me about living outside the US and participating on the Internet - there are a lot of institutions, opportunities and similar such items which presume very strongly that the Internet stops at the US border. This isn't the case, and it's rather annoying to find it in an area which I use to keep in touch with friends in the UK, in Europe, New Zealand, on the other side of Australia from where I am, Canada, and various other places around the world - not just the United States.
Mar. 11th, 2007 02:47 pm (UTC)
Great idea. It's a pity that you'll only be receiving submissions from american women though =(

Hey girls if you want to write a fresh essay, instead of regurgitating gloria stienem and simone de beuvoir or talking about the Wife of Bath as a liberated woman, write about how feminism has already fully articulated itself and that the movement itself is dead. Analogies to Punk Rock and Jazz music are appropriate here. Demonstrations of career apportunities in educated white collar jobs and sample sexing of these professions is also encouraged.

Other possible topics include

1) LIberation of Women on the Harleguin bookshelf: published women, writing for women.

2) Does the term "Womyn" undo the work of the feminist movement by creating an Other? Discuss
Mar. 11th, 2007 02:48 pm (UTC)
apologies for spelling. i could barely read the grey on white text >
(no subject) - clearedtruth - Mar. 30th, 2007 04:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wuthitz - Mar. 31st, 2007 11:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clearedtruth - Mar. 31st, 2007 02:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wuthitz - Mar. 31st, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clearedtruth - Mar. 31st, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wuthitz - Apr. 1st, 2007 10:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clearedtruth - Apr. 2nd, 2007 03:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wuthitz - Apr. 2nd, 2007 01:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
pt 1. - clearedtruth - Apr. 2nd, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pt 1. - wuthitz - Apr. 3rd, 2007 12:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: pt 1. (pt 2!) - wuthitz - Apr. 3rd, 2007 12:31 am (UTC) - Expand
pt2. - clearedtruth - Apr. 2nd, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pt2. - wuthitz - Apr. 3rd, 2007 12:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: pt2. - wuthitz - Apr. 3rd, 2007 01:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clearedtruth - Apr. 2nd, 2007 03:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wuthitz - Apr. 2nd, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - clearedtruth - Apr. 2nd, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wuthitz - Apr. 3rd, 2007 12:58 am (UTC) - Expand
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( 138 comments — Leave a comment )


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