1. Eligibility: This contest is open to legal U.S. residents 18 years of age or older at time of entry. Employees and immediate family members of, the sponsor, The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., ("Reader's Digest") or their affiliated or subsidiary companies are not eligible to participate. Contest entry opens on August 16, 2011 and ends on November 1, 2011. Voting on submissions closes November 15, 2011. Contest is governed by laws of the USA. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited by law. All times referred to in these official rules are based on Eastern Time. Reader's Digest is the official timekeeper for this contest.
2. How To Enter: Contest entry begins at 12:00 a.m. on August 16, 2011 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on November 1, 2011 (the "Entry Period"). All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on November 1, 2011. To enter visit facebook.com/readersdigest and follow the instructions. All Entries must include your full name, address, city, state, zip and email address as well as an essay (as described below) not to exceed 150 words. Entries submitted in geographic areas in which the entry is not permissible will be disqualified. If entries do not contain all necessary information, entrant will be disqualified. Please be certain to follow all directions. You may enter as many times as you wish with different topics. Please do not submit multiple entries of the same or similar topics or content. In the event that two similar entries are received, only the entry judged to best meet criteria as set by Reader's Digest will be included in the final judging. When you enter you will be offered the option to upload a photograph or a video. Any such uploaded information will be attached to and judged with the rest of your entry, but the fact that you do or do not submit such material will not affect your likelihood of winning. If you are uploading a photo please note that electronic photos must be 300 dpi at a minimum size of 3 x 5 inches (900 x 1,500 pixels). To be safe, use a 3.2 megapixel camera (at minimum) set at its highest quality. Digital photos must meet these resolution requirements, necessary for publication. Instructions regarding how to upload the photo and or video will be provided at facebook.com/readersdigest. Photos or video, which are not viewable for any reason or video where the audio is not clear, will not be used and the rest of your entry will stand alone. All Submissions and any parts thereof must be the original work of entrant and not previously published. Submission must not infringe the copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity. All submissions become the property of Reader's Digest and will not be returned. By entering this contest you are granting Reader's Digest all rights, title and interest in your Submission(s). We, and our licensees, reserve the right to use your submission/story in all print and electronic media worldwide, and to edit them for brevity and clarity. We also reserve the right to disqualify and take down any material we deem to be inappropriate.
3. Winner determination/Judging: One (1) Grand Prize Winner and ten (10) Runners Up, will be selected by a combination of user voting and a skilled panel of judges. In addition, one (1) popular choice winner will be selected purely by popular vote. In your entry, in 150 words or fewer, share a lesson, simple advice, funny moment or other story from your life. You may support your essay with a photo or video. Your entry will then be posted at facebook.com/readersdigest and users will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite(s). At the end of the Voting Period, the 100 entries with the highest vote tallies will be judged by a panel of Reader's Digest Magazine Editors, based on the following criteria: originality 35%, adherence to the contest theme 35%, and persuasiveness 30%. The entry with the highest score from the judges using this criteria will be the Grand Prize winner. The entries with the next ten (10) highest judges' scores will be the ten (10) Runners Up. The entry that has the highest vote tally, but does not qualify as either the Grand Prize winner, or a Runner Up will be named the Popular Choice winner. Decision of the judges is final and binding on all matters relating to this contest. By entering this contest you agree to abide by the decisions of the judges in relation to this contest.
4. Prizes: The Grand Prize winner will receive $25,000 and will be published in Reader's Digest. The Ten (10) runners up and the one (1) popular vote winner will each receive a cash prize of $2,500 and may be published by Reader's Digest as well. Total value of all prizes combined is $52,500. All taxes, if any, are the responsibility of each of the winners. Reader's Digest will not be responsible for any loss, liability or damage arising out of any of the winners' acceptance or use of the prize(s). All prizes are guaranteed to be awarded.
5. Selection of Winners: Winners will be selected on or about December 31, 2011 and notified by regular mail and those with known email addresses may be notified by email as well within 30 days of selection and may be required to execute a Statement of Eligibility and Release and Payment Authorization within 30 days of prize notification attempt or Winner will be disqualified and prize may be awarded to an alternate winner. Return of prize or prize notification as undeliverable will result in disqualification and an alternate winner may be selected. Entry and/or acceptance of prize(s) constitutes permission for the Sponsors and their agencies (if any) to use the winners' name, address (city and state) and/or likeness for advertising and trade purposes without further compensation or authorization, worldwide and in perpetuity, in any and all forms of media, now known and hereafter devised, unless prohibited by law.
6. Voting: All entries will be subject to a vote by users. The 100 entries that garner the most votes will then be judged by the judging panel. In addition, one winner, to be known as the "Popular Choice Winner" will be chosen by popular vote. The "Voting Period" begins on August 16, 2011 at 12:00 a.m. and ends on or about November 15, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. During the Voting Period anyone may view the submissions received and vote for their favorite by going to facebook.com/readersdigest and enter the story pages by clicking "like." Once a person has "liked" Reader's Digest, they can then read the stories and vote for their favorite(s). Each person may vote for as many stories as they wish in any given day, but may only vote once per day for any one story. The use of any automated entry and/or voting device is prohibited and any votes or entries discovered to originate from such a device will not be counted and any person employing such device will be disqualified.
7. Conditions: Sponsor is not liable for any technical malfunctions of any telephone network or lines, computer internet system, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet or at any website, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to participant's or any other person's computer related to or resulting from participation or downloading/uploading any materials in this Contest, or other technical difficulties or failures or other errors of any kind. Sponsor is not responsible or liable for any injury or damage to an entrant's or third person's computer and/or its contents, related to or resulting from Contest. Sponsor reserves the right to terminate or modify the Contest at any time for any reason. In such a circumstance, all winners will be selected based on entries received to date of termination. Entrants agree to indemnify Reader's Digest, their affiliated and subsidiary companies from and against any and all claims and liabilities arising out of or in connection with this Contest. Any dispute regarding submission of online entry will be deemed submitted by the authorized account holder of the email address submitted at the time of entry. "Authorized account holder" is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an email address by an internet access provider, online service provider, or other organizations (e.g. business, educational institute) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the operation of the website or the entry process. Sponsor reserves the right to change or modify the voting period due to technical difficulties.
8. The total number of contestants anticipated nationwide is 50,000.
9. Winner List/Consumer Information: If you wish to receive a list of prize winners, have any questions about the Contest, or you do not want to receive future sweepstakes or skill contest mailings from Reader's Digest, specify your request and write to: Your Life... The Reader's Digest Version (# 656 ), P.O. Box 50005, Prescott, AZ 86301-5005