The Travelers’ Tales Solas Awards for Best Travel Writing
1. Overview. The Travelers’ Tales Solas Awards for Best Travel Writing (the "Competition") is sponsored by Travelers’ Tales, a division of Solas House, Inc., 2320 Bowdoin Street, Palo Alto, CA 94306 ("Sponsor" or "Travelers’ Tales") and is intended to honor excellence in travel writing. The 2017 Competition began on September 22, 2015 and ended on September 21, 2016. The current Competition began on September 22, 2016 and ends on September 21, 2017 (the "Entry Period"). Cash prizes will be awarded, as explained below.
2. Who May Enter. Subject to the additional restrictions below, the Competition is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 years or older at the time of entry. Due to certain state law restrictions, residents of Arizona and Vermont may enter the Competition and compete for recognition but are not eligible to win cash prizes. Employees (i.e., persons who receive a salary or fixed wage for services that are not provided on an independent contractor basis) of Sponsor, its affiliated companies and advertising and promotional agencies, and the immediate family members of and any persons domiciled with any such employees, are not eligible to enter or win. For clarification, former employees of Travelers’ Tales, and editors, authors and contributors who have performed services for Travelers’ Tales on an independent contractor basis and/or contributed works to Travelers’ Tales publications (whether for free or in exchange for honoraria or other discrete payments) are not excluded from eligibility and may participate in the Competition. The Competition is void outside the U.S. and where prohibited by law.
3. How To Enter.
Entry Instructions : To enter the Competition, visit the online entry page at http://besttravelwriting.com. You will be required to submit your contact information along with your original travel story, and to check the appropriate box(es) to indicate the category(ies) in which you would like your entry to be considered. You also will be required to submit payment for the required entry fee via credit card or PayPal. Follow all posted instructions for submitting your entry and payment. Entries will not be accepted by any other means. Entries should consist of text only - do not submit photographs, illustrations, or artwork as part of your entry, as these elements will not be considered in evaluating your entry. Sponsor will not verify receipt of entries - your payment confirmation will serve as your only notification that your entry has been received. All entries and payments for the current Competition must be received by 12:00 midnight (24:00) Hawaii-Aleutian Daylight Time September 21, 2017. You may enter as many times and in as many categories as you like. Sponsor will not be responsible for inaccurate entry information, incomplete, lost, or late entries, or entries that do not meet the length and content requirements set forth below, and all such entries will be disqualified. Sponsor also will not be responsible for failure to receive entries or entry fees due to transmission failures or technical failures of any kind, including malfunctioning of any network, hardware or software, whether originating with sender, Sponsor or a third-party service provider. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entries by persons determined to be tampering with or abusing any aspect of the Competition and reserves the right to disqualify any entry that is alleged to defame or invade publicity rights or privacy of any person, living or deceased, or otherwise infringe upon any person’s personal or proprietary rights, or that Sponsor deems obscene, offensive or otherwise inappropriate.
Story Length and Content Requirements : All submitted travel stories must be your original work, must be in English, and must be a minimum of 750 words. Stories must be non-fiction and must reflect a true and accurate account of events you experienced. There is no maximum word limit, but we recommend that you limit your entry to 1000-3000 words. Previously published stories/essays or those that have won previous awards or competitions are permitted, but you must control all rights in the work and the work will be subject to the copyright license set forth in Paragraph 4, below.
Categories and Entry Fees : You may submit your travel story for consideration in one or more of the Competition categories listed at http://besttravelwriting.com. For example, if you’ve written a story that is set in China and involves exploring live animal markets, it might be appropriate for the Food, Bad Trip, and Adventure categories, and you could choose to submit it in all three. The entry fee is $25 for the first two categories you enter and $5 for each additional category thereafter. Your travel story will be judged in the category(ies) you select and designate on your entry form (and for which you pay the required entry fee). The judges reserve the right to move your story to a different category if in their unanimous judgment that category is more appropriate for your entry. All stories submitted in the Competition (across all categories) are automatically considered for the Grand Prize cash awards in the category of Travel Story of the Year, at no additional charge. There is no limit on the number of categories you may enter. Entry fees are non-refundable (except for the limited circumstances described in Paragraph 8, below) and submitted entries are not retractable.
4. Publication Rights / Copyright License. The copyright in your submitted story(ies) will remain with you, the author. You’re free to grant to any other party the same rights that you will be granting to us in connection with your submission (as detailed in this Paragraph 4), and are free to publish, distribute and sell your submitted story(ies) wherever and whenever you want, without jeopardizing your eligibility for this Competition. However, by submitting an entry in the Competition, you are granting Travelers’ Tales the rights set forth in this Paragraph 4. By submitting an entry in the Competition, you grant Travelers’ Tales (and persons authorized by Travelers’ Tales) the right to use your work for commercial purposes as it sees fit in connection with the Competition and otherwise, including the right to publish your work in print, online (on Travelers’ Tales websites and other websites) and in other media, to broadcast audio versions of your work (via streaming media, podcast, radio and/or wireless transmissions), and to edit, modify and adapt your work as may be necessary in connection with any such uses, without additional notice to you. Once you have submitted an entry, this grant of rights cannot be revoked. The decision whether to publish or make other use(s) of your story(ies) will be made by the Travelers’ Tales editors in their sole discretion. If your entry is selected for publication in a Travelers’ Tales book, you will receive an honorarium of $100. However, Travelers’ Tales cannot similarly guarantee, and will not provide, compensation for other uses of your work (i.e., other than publication in a Travelers’ Tales book) unless and until Travelers’ Tales develops a successful business venture in connection with any such use(s), in which case Travelers’ Tales may, in its sole discretion, offer an honorarium to authors whose works have been used.
5. Winner Selection. The editors of Travelers’ Tales will judge all eligible entries and evaluate: (1) the originality and creativity of the story, (2) the clarity and organization of the composition, and (3) the content of the story and its appropriateness for the designated category. The judges will apply these criteria even-handedly across all entries within a category to determine the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners for each category, including the Grand Prize category of Travel Story of the Year. In the event of a tie, tied entries will be re-judged on the same criteria listed above. To preserve the integrity of the Competition, and of the Gold, Silver, Bronze and Grand Prize awards, the judges reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to award Honorable Mention distinction as a substitute for the Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards in any category (including the Grand Prize category of Travel Story of the Year) if none of the entries received in that category are of sufficient quality, based on the criteria above, to qualify for Gold, Silver, or Bronze distinction in that category. If the judges determine that the entries in any category are not of sufficient quality to qualify for Gold, Silver, or Bronze distinction, the judges instead will select three Honorable Mention recipients, based on the criteria set forth above, from among all eligible entries received in that category. Decisions of judges and Sponsor will be final and binding in all respects. Neither judges nor Sponsor will offer critiques of stories or respond to correspondence regarding entries. Judges scores will remain confidential, and under no circumstances will Sponsor or the judges make available to any entrant or to the public any notes, score sheets or other materials used by the judges in making their determinations.
6. Prizes. Cash prizes will be awarded only for the Grand Prize category of Travel Story of the Year. The Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in the Grand Prize category of Travel Story of the Year will receive the following cash prizes - Gold: $1,000; Silver: $750; Bronze: $500. No other cash prizes will be awarded. The Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in all other categories will receive a certificate of merit. As described in Paragraph 5, above, the judges may, in their sole discretion, elect to award Honorable Mention distinction as a substitute for the Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards in any category, including the Grand Prize category, if none of the entries received in that category are of sufficient quality for Gold, Silver, Bronze or, as applicable, Grand Prize distinction. If Honorable Mention recipients are selected in the Grand Prize category in lieu of awarding Gold, Silver, or Bronze distinction in that category, the Grand Prize money will be split evenly among the three Honorable Mention recipients (i.e., each recipient will receive $750). All other Honorable Mention recipients, and all winners, including Honorable Mention recipients, will be recognized on the besttravelwriting.com website.
7. Winner Notification and Acceptance. Winners of the First Annual Competition were notified on March 1, 2007; winners of the Second Annual Competition were notified on March 1, 2008; winners of the Third Annual Competition were notified on March 1, 2009; winners of the Fourth Annual Competition were notified on March 1, 2010; winners of the Fifth Annual Competition were notified on March 1, 2011; winners of the Sixth Annual Competition were notified on March 1, 2012; winners of the Seventh Annual Competition were notified on March 7, 2013; winners of the Eighth Annual Competition were notified on March 1, 2014; winners of the Ninth Annual Competition were notified on March 1, 2015; winners of the Tenth Annual Competition were notified on March 1, 2016; winners of the Eleventh Annual Competition will be notified on or about March 1, 2017, and winners of the Current Competition will be notified on or about March 1, 2018, at the telephone number, email address and/or U.S. Mail address provided on winner’s entry form. Entrants are solely responsible for notifying Sponsor of any changes to the contact information submitted with entry. Sponsor will use reasonable efforts to contact each winner but is under no obligation to leave voicemail or answering machine messages or to make repeated attempts to contact a winner. Grand Prize Winners may waive their rights to receive prizes. Prizes are nonassignable and nontransferable. No substitution of prizes is permitted. Grand Prize Winners are solely responsible for reporting and payment of any taxes on prizes. As a condition of claiming prize, Grand Prize Winners may be required to complete an affidavit of eligibility (certifying that the entrant’s submission is entrant’s original work, that entrant owns right to the work, and that entrant has complied with the Official Rules of the Competition) and a liability and publicity release (except where prohibited by law), which must be returned within ten (10) days of date of personal delivery or of sender’s postmark. Sponsor’s inability to reach a winner, the return of any prize notification as undeliverable and/or a winner’s failure to timely respond to prize notification, sign and return the required affidavit/release, or comply with any term or condition of these Official Rules may result in disqualification of winner, forfeiture of his or her interest in all prizes and recognition, and selection of a substitute winner from among all remaining eligible entries. Except where prohibited, acceptance of any prize or recognition constitutes each winner’s consent to the publication of his or her name, biographical information and likeness in any media now known or hereafter developed, for any commercial or promotional purpose, without limitation or further compensation.
8. Conditions of Participation. By participating, each entrant (i) agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor and the Competition judges; (ii) releases and holds harmless Sponsor and its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, divisions, and advertising, production and promotion agencies, and their respective employees, officers, directors and agents, from and against any and all liability whatsoever for any claims, costs, liabilities, injuries, losses or damages of any kind, including but not limited to attorneys’ fees and expenses, arising directly or indirectly out of or in connection with the Competition, the acceptance, possession or use of any prize, or any claims based on publicity rights, defamation or invasion of privacy, or the violation of any intellectual property rights. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify persons found tampering with or otherwise abusing any aspect of this Competition as solely determined by Sponsor. In the event the Competition is compromised by a virus, non-authorized human intervention, tampering or other causes beyond the reasonable control of Sponsor which corrupts or impairs the administration, security, fairness or proper operation of the Competition, Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Competition. Should the Competition be terminated prior to the stated expiration date, Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to either declare winners and award prizes based on the entries received before the termination date, or declare no winners and award no prizes in the Competition (in which case all entry fees will be refunded). All federal, state, local and municipal laws and regulations apply.
9. Construction. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these rules will not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any such provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, these rules will be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or unenforceable provision was not contained therein.
10. Sponsor. The Travelers’ Tales Solas Awards for Best Travel Writing is sponsored by Travelers’ Tales, a division of Solas House, Inc. The decisions of Sponsor and the Competition judges regarding the selection of winners and all other aspects of the Competition will be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor will not be responsible for typographical, printing or other inadvertent errors in these Official Rules or in other materials relating to the Competition. For a list of winners (available after March 1, 2007 for the First Annual Competition, after March 1, 2008 for the Second Annual Competition, after March 1, 2009 for the Third Annual Competition, after March 1, 2010 for the Fourth Annual Competition, after March 1, 2011 for the Fifth Annual Competition, after March 1, 2012 for the Sixth Annual Competition, after March 7, 2013 for the Seventh Annual Competition, after March 1, 2014 for the Eighth Annual Competition, after March 1, 2015 for the Ninth Annual Competition, after March 1, 2016 for the Tenth Annual Competition, after March 1, 2017 for the Eleventh Annual Competition, and after March 1, 2018 for the Twelfth Annual Competition) or a copy of these Official Rules, visit http://besttravelwriting.com.