What was the most difficult thing you had to give up in order to balance your schedule? Maybe you stopped watching a favorite TV show or dropped out of your book club. Whatever that sacrifice was, tell us your story for a chance to blog on RealSimple.com.
Enter Real Simple’s second annual Simply Stated Blogger Contest, and you could:
- Join the ranks of Real Simple’s editors as a blogger on Simply Stated for one month
- Receive a prize of $1,000
To enter, e-mail your 300-word post (preferably in a MS Word document) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contest begins at 12:01 A.M. EST on March 15, 2012 and runs through 11:59 P.M. EST on May 31, 2012. Open to legal residents of the United States age 19 or older at time of entry. Void where prohibited by law. (Entries will not be returned.)
Click here for complete contest rules, and see below for frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How should I format my entry?
A. Posts should be submitted in English at a maximum of 300 words. Essays exceeding this length may not be considered. If submitted by e-mail, we prefer that you send the post in a Microsoft Word document; however, we will also consider posts that are pasted into the body of the e-mail itself.
Also be sure to include your name, address, and phone numbers (home and cell) in the body of the e-mail and on any attachments.
Q. How do I submit my entry?
A. E-mail your submission of no more than 300 words to email@example.com.
Each e-mail submission will receive a return message verifying that the essay was received. Please be aware that due to the volume of submissions, we cannot send verification that we have received your specific submission. Additionally, please note that the finalists will be notified on or around the week of June 25, 2012. If you are not contacted, you are free to submit your piece elsewhere.
Q. What happens if I go over the word limit?
A. Your submission may be excluded from consideration or may be edited. And although there is no word minimum, we strongly encourage all contest participants to submit at least 150 words to maximize their chances of winning.
Q. Can I choose to remain anonymous?
A. Unfortunately, we cannot consider anonymous entries for this contest.
Q. My piece has been previously published. Will you consider it?
A. No. All entries must be original pieces of work and not be previously published.
Q. Should I send in photos or other memorabilia that relate to my submission?
A. Please don’t. The posts are judged on the following criteria: originality (25 percent), votes by realsimple.com readers (25 percent), use of language (25 percent), and appropriateness to contest theme (25 percent).
Q. Is there anything else you can tell me about how to stand out from the crowd?
A. Certainly. Here are a few pointers from the Real Simple editors who judge the contest.
- Stick to the theme of the contest. Sounds obvious, right? But every year we get many entries that diverge—sometimes wildly—from the stated topic.
- But don’t feel the need to parrot back the exact wording of the contest theme in your essay. For example, if the theme is “What was the most important day in your life?” try not to begin the piece with “The most important day of my life was…”
- Check your spelling. Double-duh, or so you’d think. But as many as one in five entries has multiple misspellings.
- Avoid clichés. (And please don’t try to work the phrase 'real simple' into your post. It almost never works.)
Q. What happens once the finalists are chosen?
A. After we have narrowed down the submissions, up to 10 finalists will be chosen and posted on Simply Stated, on July 2, 2012. RealSimple.com readers will then have the chance to vote for their favorite of the finalists. Voting will remain open through July 31, 2012.
Q. When will the winner be blogging on RealSimple.com?
A. The winning blogger will be featured on RealSimple.com during the months of August and September 2012.
Need some inspiration? Read the posts by last year's winner Elisabeth Sharp McKetta on Simply Stated.