Edit: 1/5/12 The contest is closed. Please vote on our submitted entries here: REFUGE: Safecastle 2011 Freedom Awards Finalist Judging - Please Help Us Decide Edit: 9/26/11 The contest has been altered in that the prize slate has been downsized. This is partly due to the lack of participation as well as the continued downturn in the economy. There are still some great prizes to be given away and I appreciate the submissions we've had so far. OK, JC Refuge of Safecastle has just kicked off a Survival writing and video contest. Anyone from Survivalmonkey who wants to enter a non-fiction or video entry on Survival can post in this forum. Please create a new thread for your entry. Survivalmonkey.com is one of 14 survival sites / blogs who are participating and we will select one of each (written and video) to submit to the contest. I'm not exactly sure how we'll judge these but the contest runs for this entire year (2011) so we'll come up with a way. I cannot participate but am confident that Survivalmonkey can win this contest based on the creativity, survival knowledge and talent I see around here on a regular basis. I'll add more thoughts to this thread as I have them in the coming weeks. Below is the official kick off announcement: REFUGE: Go For It! -- Prizes Worth $12,000 in the 2011 Safecastle Freedom Awards -- a "New Media" Survivalist Contest Go For It! -- Prizes Worth $12,000 in the 2011 Safecastle Freedom Awards -- a "New Media" Survivalist Contest "What we aim to do is find and recognize the best, original, web-based content of the year, related to survivalism and preparedness." This is essentially a contest of skill. Eligible entries will include new non-fiction articles written and originally posted online at a recognized, participating blog or forum and new survival/preparedness videos originally posted this year and "sponsored" by or posted at a participating blog or forum (see below for participating websites). Every one of our finalists will be a winner and will receive an engraved "Safecastle Freedom Award" as pictured here, signifying the noteworthy achievement of contributing materially to our country's preparedness. The creators of the articles and videos judged to be the very best of the best will be awarded the prizes described further below. Competition Guidelines are few, but what there are, are there for good reason: 1. Keep it clean and family-friendly. 2. Modern attention spans are short. That means, in this new media, we are looking for articles that are concise. 1500 words in a non-fiction article is the maximum length please. For the short-form video, 6 minutes is the limit. Note that shorter just may be better. 3. Submit your own original article or video to ONLY ONE of the participating blogs or forums for entry into this contest. Note your intention to enter this contest with that submission to the participating website so that there are no mistakes. If it becomes apparent that an entry was submitted to multiple websites as an original sole entry, it will be disqualified from the contest. 4. Do not plagiarize anyone else's work. The author is solely responsible for the content of his or her article or video. Plagiarization results in the forfeiture of any prizes that may be awarded as well as any potential legal ramifications. 5. Article and video submissions must be posted originally at a participating blog or forum. For videos such as those first posted to YouTube, they must appear on the sponsoring blog or forum within one week of that YouTube posting to qualify as an original creative eligible for prize consideration in this contest--and not appear somewhere else first. 6. Original article authors and video creators can enter as many different stories and videos as they wish--but again--see #3 above. To be clear--you MAY submit one creation at one participating website and another creation at another participating website--but not the same original piece at more than one site. 7. Authors and video producers retain ownership rights to their work, but they also agree that those articles and videos may be subsequently posted at Safecastle's blog, Refuge and/or on Safecastle's store site, www.prepared.pro without further renumeration. Contest prizes are awarded only to residents of the continental U.S. where there are no legal constraints to such a contest awards program. Prize winners are responsible for paying any taxes that may be due as a result of their prize awards. 9. Each participating website will be fully responsible for selecting their own article and video finalists (one of each if they have suitable submissions) by Dec. 31, 2011. Then in January of 2012, a panel of expert judges assembled by Safecastle LLC will manage a playoff judging system to determine the prize winners from among the many finalists. 10. Owners, employees, and their family members of Safecastle and the participating blogs and forums are NOT eligible for participation, recognition, or prizes in this contest. 11. Contest winning decisions are final and cannot be challenged or altered, except at the sole discretion of Safecastle LLC. The PRIZES are very nice! ... 1. Grand prize, for overall best in show (video or article): a brand new, fully geared-up Joey-XP Teardrop Trailer, list price of $7065. 2. First prizes for the best video and best article: winner's choice of an EcoloBlue 30 atmospheric water generator , list price, $1500. OR a portable solar back-up system by POWERENZ -- the LFP10. list price, $1550. 3. Second prizes in the article and video categories will be awarded a Katadyn Pocket , value $320. Third prize in each of the two categories will be Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrators, value $275. 4. All finalists will receive a Safecastle Freedom award. 5. Sponsoring blog/forum owners for the grand and first-prize winners will receive Safecastle gift certificates worth $250 each. (Survivalmonkey has decided to pass this $250 on to the winning entry selected here or split it between two if we also get a video entry.) More on the Judging Participating forums and blogs will solicit original entries from their readers. It is up to those websites to use whatever method works best to determine their chosen contest finalists (one for each category--article and video). Entries must have been first posted to those websites during 2011. In January of 2012, the various finalist entries will be submitted to Safecastle LLC. The final prize winners will be determined by selected playoff system managed by a panel of judges chosen by Safecastle. Prizes will be awarded no later than February 2012. Please stay tuned to this forum for more info and updates.