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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”).


(Deleted comment)
Mar. 7th, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
Well, first off, it's very, very hard to offend any of us. Certainly not just by stating an opinion. That's standard language for any contest set of rules, and it's a cover-your-ass sort of thing; you're not being oppressed, I promise. :) (Seriously. I'm primary judge on this one, and I literally cannot remember the last time I was offended on the internets.) It's intended to convey a statement of audience appropriateness; hardcore smut, for instance, is best submitted elsewhere. (And then tell me where it is, so I can go read it.)

Likewise, the spelling and grammar requirements are also standard for a writing contest such as this; we are, I assure you, perfectly familiar with variations of SAE and the grammatical dictates thereof (I'm a linguist and writer by avocation), and no, it's not intended to denigrate people with learning disabilities or educational disadvantage, though those people are strongly encouraged to use an editor (as are, of course, all entrants). I've read a lot of slush in my life; it's actually very easy to tell the difference between someone who's genuinely operating at a severe disadvantage, and someone who just can't be arsed to care enough to run something through spellcheck or get a second pair of eyes before submitting.
Mar. 10th, 2007 04:30 am (UTC)
As an "leftish" libertarian atheist I should find your comment offensive. But I don't, because I'm better than folks who are paranoid and reactionary... oh oops, sorry dear. ;)
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 10th, 2007 07:54 pm (UTC)
omg you're awesome. I saw that you replied in my inbox, and expected something harsh, but it's dots. :) yayyy
Mar. 10th, 2007 04:39 am (UTC)
I'm also ADHD (ADD + hyperactivity), and it is NOT a learning/writing disability. In fact, I write more beautifully and coherently than most non-ADD people.

The only restriction that might impede an ADD-er is a strict deadline (which is why un-timed tests are optional for ADDers in some school systems [not because they read slow [lol, on the contrary], or need more time to think [ADD minds wizz along at a lightning pace], but because the mind tends to wander if the subject being focused on is not engaging enough to the ADDer]). In this case, writing on this topic might cause the ADDer to refocus on a peripheral topic and not easily remember to get back to the essay at hand, and thus miss a deadline that is not distant enough.

Contests are for exceptional and competitive people; I see no reason to make contests unbearably simple in order to make others feel good. It makes those who need a challenge think everything comes easy, and it provides no stimulation for the gifted. Political correctness hurts everyone, and helps no one.