Rules In Essay Writing Contest


Reconnecting The Circle National High School Essay Contest (“Contest“) is open to all legal residents of the United States, who are currently enrolled full-time and in good standing in a tribal, BIA, public or state-accredited private or parochial school, including charter and home school, in grades 9–12. (“You”, which shall also apply to your parent or legal guardian if you are under the age of 18). If You are under exclusive contract with either an agency or writing guild, then You are not eligible to enter or win this Contest. Employees (and their immediate families and household members, whether or not related) of Reconnecting The Circle, Inc. (“RTC”, “We”, “Our” or “Us”) and their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, franchisees and advertising or promotion agencies (collectively, “Sponsors”) are not eligible to enter or win this Contest. The Contest is void wherever taxed, prohibited, or restricted by law. The Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and shall be governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. If You are under the age of eighteen (18) at the time of entry, then You must have the permission of at least one (1) of Your parents or legal guardians to enter. By entering the Contest, You: (i) agree to accept and be bound by all terms of these Official Rules and Regulations (“Official Rules“), and (ii) agree that Virginia courts have jurisdiction over any dispute or litigation arising from or relating to the Contest and that venue for any such litigation shall be in the court of the Commonwealth of Virginia located in Fairfax, Virginia and the courts of the United States of America for the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria Division).


From approximately Thursday, November 1, 2012 through Friday, February 22, 2013 (“Promotional Period“), We will conduct a national essay contest focusing on a selected topic. To enter, You must go to the Contest page of the Reconnecting The Circle website, located at (“Website“), during the Promotional Period to view contest rules and guidelines. All entries must be submitted via the Essay Contest 2012 submission area of the Reconnecting The Circle website. Essays must be no less than seven hundred and fifty (750) words and no more than twelve hundred (1,200) words in length (“Essay“), which answers the question posed by the topic on the Official Entry Form (“Topic”). Essay titles must be original. Footnotes and bibliographies are required for any reference materials used.

Note: Word count excludes title, entrant name, bibliography, and footnotes.

Essays will be judged against the following criteria: Ideas and Content, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, Conventions, and Citing Sources. We are referencing the Official Scoring Guide from Oregon Department of Education, Writing 2011-2012.

We will not accept any other materials in connection with the Contest. All entries must be submitted in the name of an individual person and prizes will only be awarded to the person whose name is on each winning entry, regardless of other circumstances. Essays must be Your original, previously unpublished work and all entries (including Essays) are our property, will not be acknowledged or returned. We may use them in any manner or media in perpetuity without compensation. Essays must be written in English and Essays on any topic other than the chosen Topic shall be disqualified. Any plagiarism or failure to properly identify non-original material by You will result in Your disqualification. Essays containing quotations or copyrighted materials which are not properly identified will also be disqualified. All words in the Essay except the title, bibliography, and footnotes shall be counted towards the twelve hundred (1,200) word limit. Essays that We or the judges deem, in their sole discretion, to be inappropriate or obscene will be void. Limit one (1) entry per person. Multiple entries from any person or duplicate entries will be deemed void.

We are not responsible for misdirected, inaccurate, incomplete, lost, late, delayed, undelivered, damaged or illegible entries, and all such entries will be void. We are not responsible for technical, hardware, or software failures of any kind, or other errors or problems which may occur in connection with or relating to the Contest, whether computer, network, technical, mechanical, typographical, printing, human or otherwise, including, without limitation, errors or problems which may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, the processing or judging of entries, the announcement of the prizes, in any Contest-related materials or that may limit prize fulfillment or Your ability to enter the Contest. We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to cancel, modify or prematurely conclude the Contest should any computer virus, malfunction, fraud, tampering, unauthorized intervention or other cause beyond their control corrupt the administration, security or proper operation of the Contest. If the Contest is cancelled, We may, in our sole discretion, judge all eligible entries received up to time of such action using the judging procedures outlined below to determine either the Semi-Finalists and/or Winners. False or deceptive entries or acts will render You ineligible and We reserve the right to disqualify You (and void Your entry) if You attempt to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by tampering with any Website mechanism, acts in a disruptive manner, or violates these Official Rules. Any attempt by an individual to deliberately damage or undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be in violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, We reserve the right to seek remedies and damages (including attorneys’ fees) from any such person(s) to the fullest extent of the law, including criminal prosecution.


Up to one hundred (100) semi-finalists (“Semi-Finalists“) will be selected by a panel of reviewers selected by Us in Our sole discretion around in March 2013, from all eligible entries received by the dates specified above, based equally upon the following criteria: Ideas and Content, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, Conventions, and Citing Sources.The decisions of the judges will be final and binding on all participants. The odds of being a Semi-Finalist will depend on the total number of eligible entries received during the Promotional Period. We reserve the right to choose fewer than one hundred (100) Semi-Finalists if, in Our sole discretion, We do not receive a sufficient number of eligible and/or qualified entries. On or around April 15, 2013, Semi-Finalist entries will then be judged by a panel of experts to determine the top ten (10) Semi-Finalist entries to be named as the winners (“Winners“), based upon the same criteria listed above. Semi-Finalists may consist of up to five (5) Native American winners and five (5) non-Native American winners. We reserve the right to choose fewer than ten (10) winners if, in Our sole discretion, We do not receive a sufficient number of eligible or qualified Semi-Finalist entries. In the event of a tie in either round of judging, an additional “tie-breaker” judge will determine the Semi-Finalist(s) and/or Winner(s) from among all such tied entries using the judging criteria above. Our decisions and the judges’ decisions will be final and binding on all matters.


We will notify Potential Winners by the contact information provided on the Contestant’s Official Entry Form, which will be provided on the website during the Promotional Period. Winners must also meet all eligibility requirements, including the execution and return of all necessary Contest releases. In the event any potential Winner is a minor, at the discretion of RTC the prize may be awarded in the name of the minor’s parent or legal guardian, who will be responsible for fulfilling all requirements imposed on Winners set forth herein. Potential Winners may each be required to provide proof of identity, address, and birth date, as well as execute and return an affidavit of eligibility, tax acknowledgment form, liability release, and, except where prohibited by law, publicity release within three (3) days of date of issuance either via facsimile or US registered mail in order to claim the prize. If any potential Winner fails to provide such information or if: (i) any prize notification is returned as undeliverable, (ii) a potential Winner declines his or her prize, or (iii) a potential Winner is determined to be ineligible for reason, such potential Winner will be disqualified and, at Our sole discretion, a runner-up will be notified.

Award winners will be asked to submit a digital photo of themselves with the following specifications: high resolution of at least 1200 pixels and/or 300dpi (dots per inch) in .JPG, .GIF or .PNG format.


Up to ten (10) Winners will each receive (i) a $2,500.00 scholarship and (ii) the opportunity to have their winning essay listed on the Website. TOTAL APPROXIMATE RETAIL VALUE OF ALL PRIZES (10 PRIZES): Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00).

No substitutions, partial acceptance, transfer of prizes or cash redemptions permitted by Winners. We reserve the right to substitute a prize of comparable or greater value in the event a described prize, or any portion thereof, is unavailable for any reason whatsoever. Winners are responsible for the reporting and payment of all federal, state and local taxes incurred by acceptance and use of the prize (or any portion thereof). All prize details are at Our discretion.


By entering this Contest, You: (i) agree to be bound by Our decisions and the judges’ decisions, which are final and binding in all matters; (ii) grant Us and Our designees the right, unless prohibited by law, to use Your name, city and state of residence, voice, pictures, and likenesses, without compensation, notification, or permission, for the purpose of advertising and publicity in any and all media, now or after known, throughout the world in perpetuity; and (iii) acknowledge and agree that We will own and administer 100% of the copyright in all Essays submitted, with the perpetual right to use such Essays. We will own the entries submitted (including the Essay and all rights embodied therein), and Our designees may exploit, edit, modify, and distribute the entries and all elements of such entries, including, without limitation, the names and likenesses of any persons or locations embodied therein, in any and all media, now or hereafter known throughout the world in perpetuity without limitation at no additional notification or permission to You or any third party. In addition, You forever waive and relinquish all so-called “moral rights” (“droit moral“) now or hereafter recognized, including but not limited to those set forth in the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990. We expressly disclaim any responsibility and You agree to release, indemnify, and hold Us harmless for liability, damages, or claims for injury or loss to any person or property (including death) relating to, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, participation in this Contest, the acceptance and/or subsequent use or misuse of any of the prizes awarded (including any travel or activity release thereto), claims based on publicity rights, defamation or invasion of privacy. We are not responsible for any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from the downloading of any material from the Website, regardless of whether the material was prepared by Us or a third party, and regardless of whether the material is connected to the Website by a hypertext link. We further assume no liability either for the cancellation, modification, or premature conclusion of the Contest for any reason or through the acts or defaults of any company or person providing any prize. All such losses or expenses must be borne by the affected participants, entrants, and/or Winners.

® 2006-2012 Reconnecting The Circle, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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