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WHAT IS THE NATIONAL WRITING CHALLENGE?

Literacy Inc.’s National Writing Challenge is designed to encourage students between the ages of 13 and 19 to practice and develop their writing skills. According to the National Endowment for the Arts Executive Summary, To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence, 81% of employers rate job entrants as deficient in written communication. Our Writing Challenge is designed to encourage students to write by merging excitement with writing through concrete, valuable incentives. The prizes in the Writing Challenge include:

  • $1000 in cash for first place
  • $250 book store gift certificate for second place
  • $200 book store gift certificate for third place
  • $150 book store gift certificate for fourth place
  • $100 book store gift certificate to fifth place

The 2008 National Writing Challenge begins August 10, 2009 and ends August 01, 2010. The guidelines for the Writing Challenge are below:

GUIDELINES:

  1. Must be 900-1000 words
  2. Must be typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font.
  3. Include a cover sheet with the title of your essay, your name, address, phone number, age and date of birth.
  4. Include your name and the title of your essay on each page.
  5. Write about one of the topics listed as PROMPTS below.
  6. Once completed, mail your entry to Literacy Inc. National Writing Challenge, P.O. Box 92180, Lafayette, La. 70509.

PROMPTS: (Choose from one of the two topics listed below) Usually, people are asked who their heroes are and why. Is there someone in your life who would consider you his or her hero? If so, describe at least three reasons why they would consider you a hero, then describe one thing you could change about yourself that might make you an even better hero. If you can’t think of anyone who might consider you a hero, describe three things you could change about yourself that might make you someone’s hero.

Name one problem you see in the world today that you would like to see solved. (I.E. Violence, drugs, poverty, etc.) Describe how that problem affects your life and describe the actions you can personally take to help solve it. Be specific about the steps you would take, who you would get involved to help you with your plan, how you’d get them involved, and how you would fund your plan. Explain why you think your plan would work.

SUGGESTIONS:

  1. Brainstorm with friends or a teacher and have a clear plan before beginning your paper, keeping the word count in mind.
  2. Be sure to stay on topic and answer all parts of the prompt.
  3. Check for grammar and spelling errors.
  4. The topic of your paper should be clear enough so that anyone reading it will understand the subject without knowing the prompt.
  5. Remember that this is a competition, so your best writing should be displayed. Vary your sentence structure, use a thesaurus and dictionary, keep your thoughts well organized and write them clearly so the reader can easily picture your ideas. Be creative!

RULES, REGULATIONS, AND JUDGING

Official "Literacy Inc. National Writing Challenge Rules NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, QUEBEC AND WHERE PROHIBITED.

ELIGIBILITY. The Literacy Inc. National Writing Challenge is open to legal residents of the U.S. who are between the ages of 13 and 19. Employees and contractors of Sponsor and all others associated with the development and execution of this Challenge and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate. All federal, state, provincial and local laws and regulations apply.

SPONSOR. Sponsor is Literacy Inc, P.O. Box 92180, Lafayette, Louisiana 70509 ("Sponsor").

TERM. The Challenge begins at 12:01 a.m. on August 10, 2009 Central Standard Time (CST) and ends August 01, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. CST ("Term").

AGREEMENT TO OFFICIAL RULES. Participation in the Challenge constitutes entrant's full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and all decisions of Sponsor.

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY. LIMIT ONE ENTRY PER PERSON

By entering the Literacy Inc National Writing Challenge, entrant represents, acknowledges and warrants that the submitted Essays are original works created solely by the entrant. Entrant understands that, upon entry, his or her Essays will become the property of the Sponsor. No facsimiles, mechanical reproductions, alterations or forged entries will be accepted.

LIMIT ONE PRIZE PER PERSON. Gift certificates may be redeemed at participating retail locations in the United States, or for purchases made at their websites. Winner is solely responsible for any and all applicable taxes and costs associated with prize receipt and redemption not specifically included in the prize description. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, shipping, handling, taxes, customs duties (if applicable), and any other incidental expenses related to redemption will be the responsibility of the winner. Except where prohibited by law, potential winners are required to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility and Publicity/Liability Release and return these documents to the Sponsor during the required time. Prizes won by minors will only be awarded if a parent or legal guardian signs and returns all required documents. If a potential Grand Prize winner (1) does not wish to claim the applicable prize; (2) is ineligible; or (3) if the potential Grand Prize winner did not complete and return required the Affidavit of Eligibility and Publicity/Liability Release at the time of prize notification, the potential winner will be deemed to have forfeited the prize and Sponsor will select as the alternate winner the entrant with the next-highest score based on the judging criteria. No prize transfer, assignment or substitution by winners is permitted. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute any prize, in which case a prize of equal or greater value will be awarded. Sponsor reserves the right to increase the pool of prizes. Winner is solely responsible for any and all applicable taxes and costs associated with prize receipt and redemption not specifically included in the prize description. Odds of winning depend on the skill of the entrant and the number of eligible entries received.

JUDGING. The Challenge will be judged, and a winner determined, based on entrants' performance in the following categories:

  1. Format- All format requirements listed in the guidelines are met (i.e. word count, title page, typed, double- spaced, etc.). 20%
  2. Organization- The essay is well-organized and easy to follow. 20%
  3. Topic- All parts of the prompt are answered clearly and completely. 20%
  4. Grammar/ Spelling/Sentence Structure- There are no grammar/spelling mistakes and sentence structure is varied. 20%
  5. Idea Development- The ideas presented are fresh and unique. They are logical and display unusual insight. 20%

In the event of a tie, the Judges will select the winner based upon the entrant with the highest percentage points in (4) and (5). All decisions of Judges are final.

WINNER NOTIFICATION. Winner(s) will be chosen on or about August 01, 2010 and notified by e-mail or telephone by August 06, 2010. If prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, the prize will be forfeited.

LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY. Sponsor is not responsible for any non-intentional, incorrect or inaccurate information associated with the Challenge or for any technical or human error that may occur in the administration of the National Writing Challenge. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect or delay in the operation or transmission of any entry, or the destruction, unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. Sponsor is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer networks, servers or computer network providers, computer equipment, software, hardware, e-mail or any combination thereof, including injury or damage to entrants or to any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating or downloading materials in this Challenge. If, for any reason, the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Challenge is corrupted, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole and exclusive discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Challenge. Sponsor is not responsible for any injury to person or property in relation to this Challenge. ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS CHALLENGE IS A VIOLATION OF STATE AND FEDERAL CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SPONSOR MAY SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY ENTRANT OR OTHER PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS FEES, COURT COSTS AND EXPENSES).

BY RECEIPT OF ANY PRIZE, WINNER(S) AGREE TO RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS SPONSOR FROM AND AGAINST ANY CLAIM OR CAUSE OF ACTION ARISING OUT OF PARTICIPATION IN THE CHALLENGE OR RECEIPT OR USE OF ANY PRIZE. All material submitted by the entrant is the sole property of Sponsor and such material will not be returned.

CONDITIONS. Certain restrictions may apply. Entries void if the Sponsor determines that the Essay is not the entrant's own original work, of if the Essay is counterfeit, produced in error or obtained through fraud or theft.

Entrants also agree (a) to be bound by these Official Rules; (b) that the decisions of the Sponsor is final on all matters relating to the Challenge; (c) if he/she wins, that Sponsor may use the winning photographs and each winner's name, photograph, likeness and/or voice in any publicity or advertising relating to the Challenge or future promotions without compensation or approval (except in Tennessee and where prohibited by law). All federal, state and local taxes, fees and surcharges on prizes are the sole responsibility of the prize winners. In the event that the selected winner(s) of any prize are/is ineligible or refuses the prize, the prize will be forfeited and Sponsor, in her sole discretion, may choose whether to award the prize to another winner. In case of unavailability of prize, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute the prize with one of equal or greater value.

RIGHT TO CANCEL OR SUSPEND NATIONAL WRITING CHALLENGE. If for any reason the National Writing Challenge is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsor that corrupt or affect the administration of this Challenge, Sponsor reserves the right, in his or her sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the entry process and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Challenge. If Sponsor elects to cancel or terminate the Challenge, Sponsor will not retain any rights in the submitted essays.

WINNERS LIST & OFFICIAL RULES. Entrants are responsible for complying with these Official Rules. Winners' names and the Official Rules will be available online at www.theleblancchallenge.com shortly after 2008-2009 Challenge. For names of winners send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The LeBlanc Challenge: P.O. Box 92180, Lafayette, Louisiana 70509 (Residents of Vermont need not include postage).