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WiseGEEK Writing Contest Entry Form

Updated Aug 04, 2010

The deadline for new submissions for the wiseGEEK writing contest has passed. Results of the contest will be posted on the main contest page.

wiseGEEK Writing Contest FAQ



Why is wiseGEEK sponsoring this contest?

For nearly four years, wiseGEEK has been constantly working towards our goal: providing clear answers for common questions. Now that we have hit a benchmark 10,000 answers, we decided it was time to invite the community to contribute their wisdom and expertise.

What are the prizes?

In honor of wiseGEEK's 10,000th article, contest prizes total $10,000 US Dollars (USD)! Eleven prizes are available: one (1) first prize award of $7,500 USD, and ten (10) $250 USD prizes to the articles worthy of honorable mention.

What should I write about?

Write about what you know best or what is interesting to you. Your submission should reflect wiseGEEK's question and answer format. Start with any question that isn't already addressed on wiseGEEK and answer it. You can use the search box at wiseGEEK to make sure your question hasn't already been answered. If another contestant writes about the same topic as you do, it won't hurt your chances of winning.

What makes a winning submission?

The winning submissions will be judged according to three primary criteria:

  • Useful: The winning submissions will be exceptionally informative and/or helpful.
  • Interesting: The winning submissions will keep the readers' interest.
  • Accessible: The winning submissions will be easy to understand, clearly written, and concise.

Submissions that are neutral, not excessively formal or informal, and follow the writing style guide are more likely to be successful.

What topics should I avoid?

wiseGEEK is committed to providing answers appropriate for a general audience of web users. Avoid anything that may have mature themes including anything obscene, offensive, or violent. Answers that serve as advertisements or propaganda should also be avoided.

What if someone else answers the same question?

If we receive multiple suggestions on the same question, they will be judged independently. You will not be penalized for answering a question that someone else has also written.

In what language should I write?

All entries must be submitted in American English.

How long should my submission be?

All entries should be at least 400 words long. On the other hand, if you need more than 1,000 words to fully answer your question, you have probably chosen a topic that is too broad. As long as it falls within these guidelines, the length of your work will not factor into the judging.

When is the deadline for submission?

All entries must be received by 10:00 pm PDT on 31 May 2007.

Who can enter the contest?

Individuals age 18 or over are eligible to submit an entry for the wiseGEEK Writing Contest, with the exception of individuals who are or who have been affiliated with wiseGEEK or conjecture corporation. Please see our complete wiseGEEK Writing Contest Terms & Conditions for details.

What will happen to my submission?

All submissions will be screened by a wiseGEEK editor to ensure that the content is appropriate. After being screened, the submission will be posted in a special section of the wiseGEEK website. If you'd like more details, please see the wiseGEEK Writing Contest Terms & Conditions.

Will my name be on my submission?

If you want. Contestants are given the option of including a byline. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can simply leave the byline field blank. Your choice in this will have no impact on your chances of winning.

Here are some samples of what your byline might look like:

  • Written by Full Name
  • Written by F. Name
  • Written by Full N.
  • Written by Pen Name

Here are a few points to consider as you make your decision (these are not significant points, we just don't want there to be any surprises):

  • The name you choose will, of course, be visible on the internet, and an internet search for your name (after a couple of months) will point to the wiseGEEK article(s) that you submitted and have been posted.
  • Abbreviated names or a pseudonyms will NOT be linked to internet searches of your name. For example, if you use "F. Name" as your byline, a search for "Full Name" will not be associated with your submission.
  • Websites such as archive.org permanently archive wiseGEEK content, and your byline will be included. It takes about a year for pages to show up in the archive.

Can I link to my homepage/blog/bio in my submission?

No links are allowed in contest submissions, however you may include a url or web address in the byline of your entry. It will not be an active link to your page, but it will enable anyone who sees your writing and wants to get in touch with you to do so.

Will my submission be checked for plagiarism?

Absolutely. All submissions must be the Contestant's own, original, and unpublished work. Submissions containing plagiarism will be subject to disqualification.

Can I include links or images?

No. All submissions must be text only. HTML coding including links should not be included either.

How will the winners be paid?

Prizes will be processed through PayPal. Winners may be required to submit an affidavit of eligibility in order to receive their prize. Winners will be responsible for any associated taxes and fees, and may be required to fill out applicable US tax forms in accordance with US laws.

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