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Official Rules

We want to make sure that America's Next Great Cartoonist provides a fair and equitable forum for aspiring cartoonists to submit their work, and that we are able to feature for our readers the best showcase of new talent possible.  We have therefore updated our rules and FAQ as of May 13 in response to feedback from the public, and especially from the cartoonist community.  We are now offering $1,000 to the winner (in addition to the previously announced prizes), and we are expressly limiting our license in the cartoons submitted to us to eliminate any doubt that contestants are able to pursue other opportunities.  More details are below.

America's Next Great Cartoonist Contest ("Contest") is sponsored by WP Company LLC ("Sponsor"), 1150 15th Street, NW, 7th Floor, Washington DC 20071. The Contest consists of (i) an entry period (as described in Paragraph  2), (ii) an initial judging period (as described in Paragraph 3), and (iii) a challenge round ("Challenge", as described in Paragraph 4) and two public voting periods. Read these rules carefully before entering.

1.    Eligibility. Contest open only to individuals who are legal residents of, and eligible to work in, the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia from the time of entry through May 1, 2011. At the time of entry, each entrant must be 18 years of age or older. An entrant who is 18 years of age or older but a minor under applicable state law must have permission from his/her parent or legal guardian in order to participate. Entrants may not have written or contributed to a comic strip/cartoon in a major national publication in print or online. Sponsor shall determine, in its sole discretion, what constitutes a "major national publication" and "written or contributed". Sponsor will not accept cartoons that are drawn by computerized "art generators." Black-and- white and color strips are required for different phases of the contest. Comic teams (artist/writer combination) of up to two people may enter as a single entry. No animated comics are permitted.

Directors, officers, employees and independent contractors of Sponsor and its affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, and advertising and promotion agencies involved in this Contest (as well as each member of their immediate family and of their household) are not eligible. Void outside of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, and where prohibited by law. All federal, state and local laws apply.

2.    How to Enter. No purchase necessary. To enter, fully complete and submit the online entry form available on the Contest entry page located at Submissions will be accepted beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on May 10, 2010 and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on June 4, 2010 ("Contest Entry Period"). Each entrant must follow the presented instructions and provide a short bio (as requested on the entry form), his/her full name, e-mail address, daytime phone number, age, and other required information, along with 6 black-and-white single- or multi-panel comic strips (written/drawn solely by such entrant(s). All of the above materials are, collectively, an entrant's "Entry". As part of the entry process, each entrant must, among other things, also affirm, under perjury of law, that he/she has read these rules, meets all Contest eligibility requirements and is submitting solely his/her own work, which has not been published previously and which was created solely for participating in this Contest.

Information provided must be true, accurate, current and complete. Limit one (1) entry per person. Subsequent entries by an individual will be disqualified.

Entries (and "Challenge Submissions" as defined in Paragraph 3 below) that are late, unintelligible, incomplete, unreadable, damaged, destroyed, delayed, tampered with, forged, misdirected or otherwise not in compliance with these Official Rules will be disqualified. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any entrant who submits an Entry (or a Challenge Submission) which Sponsor believes may be defamatory, obscene, profane, offensive, harassing, inappropriate or that may infringe upon or violate another party's rights. In its sole discretion, Sponsor reserves the right to modify any material submitted prior to posting or otherwise disseminating such materials. Submitted materials will not be returned.

All Entries (and all Challenge Submissions) generated by a script, macro or other automated/repetitive electronic means (except as permitted in these Official Rules) will be disqualified and ineligible for the Contest. All requested Entry information (and all Challenge Submissions) must be provided in English to enter and be eligible to win.

By entering the Contest, each entrant grants Sponsor a license to display, copy and otherwise redistribute his/her Entry; provided, however, that with respect to cartoons submitted by entrants who are not selected as Challenge Participants, such license shall be limited to use and publication in sponsor's products and/or in connection with the contest (for example, in a gallery of submitted entries on or its mobile website), and such license shall expire thirty (30) days after the conclusion of the contest (except with respect to material already published by Sponsor, which will remain on or its mobile website in perpetuity).

3.    Initial Judging and Selection of "Challenge Participants". On or about June 5, 2010, a panel of Washington Post editors and outside judges will judge all eligible entries received on the basis of originality, humor and storyline. Based on those criteria, the ten (10) entrants who receive the highest scores during this Initial Round of judging will be declared "Challenge Participants" (and promptly notified thereafter) subject to receipt by Sponsor of a signed Affidavit of Eligibility and Release Form from such entrant ("Challenge Participant Release") and any other documentation that Sponsor, in its sole discretion may request.

Pursuant to the Challenge Participant Release, each Challenge Participant will agree to the following, among other things:

(i) Grant Sponsor a license in the work produced by the Challenge Participant for the challenge portion of the contest ("Challenge Submissions") to reproduce, distribute and otherwise use such challenge submissions, including (without limitation) distribution through the Washington Post Writers Group. This license shall be exclusive during the contest and thirty (30) days thereafter, and non-exclusive after that period. This subparagraph (i) shall be referred to as the "Ownership Provision".

(ii) Challenge Participant represents and warrants that: (a) Challenge Participant's agreement to prepare and deliver Challenge Submissions does not violate any agreement or obligation between him/her and a third party; (b) Challenge Participant is responsible for his/her Challenge Submissions; (c) all of his/her Challenge Submissions are original, created solely by the Challenge Participant for the purpose of the Contest, and have not been previously published for any purpose; (d) the Challenge Submissions do not violate or infringe the rights of privacy, publicity, or any other rights, including but not limited to copyrights or trademarks, of any third party, nor do the Challenge Submissions contain libelous or defamatory material; (e) the Challenge Submissions are true and accurate (to the extent applicable); (f) Challenge Participant will perform the work in a professional manner; and (g) the Challenge Participant is not a candidate for public office and will not be a candidate for any such office in 2010. This subparagraph (ii) shall be referred to as the "Warranty Provision".

(iii) Challenge Participant will not: (a) participate in any publicity, interviews and/or similar matters in connection with the Contest without Sponsor's prior written approval; (b) use, submit or otherwise disseminate any of the Challenge Submissions to any third party until 30 days after the conclusion of the contest; and (c) engage in any activities that are inconsistent with the professional and ethical standards of Sponsor. This subparagraph (iii) shall be referred to as the "Miscellaneous Provision". 

Sponsor shall have no liability for any notification related to or involving an entrant's status as a selected Challenge Participant that is lost, intercepted or not received by a potential Challenge Participant for any reason. On or about the date of such notification, a Challenge Participant Release will be sent to the e-mail address that each selected Challenge Participant provided as part of his/her Entry. Each selected Challenge Participant must fully complete, execute and return the Challenge Participant Release by one of the following means: (i) via overnight mail to: America's Next Great Cartoonist Contest, The Washington Post, Style Department, c/o Sarah Marston, 1150 15th Street NW, Washington DC 20071; (ii) via facsimile as directed by Sponsor; or (iii) via e-mail (with the document sent as a PDF) as directed by Sponsor. Regardless of delivery means selected, all fully completed and executed Challenge Participant Releases must be received by Sponsor within 24 hours of being notified by the Post. The odds of being selected as a Challenge Participant will depend on the nature, quality and number of eligible entries received.

Subject to the requirements herein, each selected Challenge Participant will advance to the Challenge stage of the Contest as described in Paragraph 4. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to select fewer or greater than ten (10) Challenge Participants based on the number of eligible or qualified entries, or in the event that any of the ten (10) originally selected Challenge Participants fails to sign and return a Challenge Participant Release as directed by Sponsor, or as otherwise determined by Sponsor. Notwithstanding the above, Sponsor may select alternate Challenge Participants in accordance with these Official Rules, if a previously selected Challenge Participant is disqualified. All judging to determine the Challenge Participants will be in the Sponsor's sole discretion and the Sponsor's decisions are final and binding in all matters relating to the selection of Challenge Participants. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entrant that is unreachable after a reasonable effort or that it believes has not complied with the Official Rules or has engaged in any fraudulent, unfair or deceptive activity. Except as provided herein, each entrant is solely responsible for all costs and expenses involving his/her participation in the Contest. All Challenge Participants will have their work reviewed by The Washington Post Writers Group in connection with the opportunity for a development contract, although the Writers Group does not guarantee any such contract for any or all Challenge Participants.

4.    Challenge. The ten (10) Challenge Participants will participate in the Challenge portion of the Contest subject to these Official Rules and any additional terms and conditions that Sponsor announces during an individual Challenge round. There will be one (1) Challenge round, testing the skills a cartoonist must possess. The Challenge round is scheduled to take place on or about the following dates: June 23-29, 2010.

For the Challenge round, entry information (e.g., name, etc.) as well as the related Challenge Submission of (and/or other written and/or drawn material submitted, prepared, featuring and/or involving) each of the remaining competing Challenge Participants will be posted online (or other Web page designated by Sponsor) during the relevant voting period.

Challenge Participants should expect to devote about EIGHT HOURS to the Challenge, which may include drawing/writing on deadline. Participants must be available for all rounds in which they are asked to participate or the opportunity to participate further in the Contest may be forfeited. Subject to these Official Rules, Sponsor may modify challenges in any way in its sole discretion.

5.    Voting Rounds and Selection of a Winner. The process by which Challenge Participants will advance to subsequent rounds and, ultimately, how the winner will be selected, will vary for each round as set forth below and as set forth in any additional terms and conditions announced by Sponsor in connection with a given Challenge round. Judging will be via public voting with comments from a panel of judges convened by Sponsor (where such judges may or may not include employees of Sponsor). 

Initial Round:  Judging to be conducted on or about May 10 - June 4 by a panel of Washington Post editors and judges. The ten (10) Challenge Participants chosen by the judges convened by Sponsor will advance.

Voting to be conducted on or about June 16- 22. The five (5) Challenge Participants with the highest number of eligible votes cast by the public will advance.

Voting to be conducted on or about July 7-13. The one (1) remaining Challenge participant with the highest number of eligible votes cast by the public will be selected as the Grand Prize Winner.

The use of computer generated programs or other similar means to submit multiple votes is prohibited and such votes will be discarded/disqualified as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. As determined solely by Sponsor, all votes in excess of this limit or otherwise not in compliance with these Official Rules (or not in compliance with the terms and conditions subsequently announced by Sponsor) will be discarded/disqualified. In addition, Sponsor reserves the right to discard/disqualify votes if it suspects the existence of fraud.

The scores for each voting round will be based solely on the votes for that Challenge round only. For the Initial Round, prior to the start of the public voting period, Sponsor shall judge each of the Challenge Participant's eligible submissions on the basis of originality, humor and storyline.

At the conclusion of the judging and voting for each round, each of the remaining Challenge Participants will be promptly notified of the results of that round at the daytime telephone number and/or e-mail address that he/she provided at the time of entry. The Contest winner also will be notified at the daytime telephone number and/or e-mail address he/she provided at the time of entry and his or her identity also will be announced on on or about July 15, 2010. Selection decisions of Sponsor are final and cannot be appealed. 

Sponsor shall have no liability for any notification or other material sent pursuant to these Official Rules that is lost, intercepted or not received for any reason. In Sponsor's sole discretion, a potential participant may be disqualified and required to forfeit the opportunity to participate further in the Contest (or win a prize, if applicable) and an alternate participant (or alternate winner, if applicable) may be selected in accordance with these Official Rules from among the remaining eligible entries if such person (i) is unreachable or notification is returned as undeliverable; (ii) declines or cannot accept the opportunity to participate further in the Contest (or win a prize, if applicable) for any reason; (iii) provides false or misleading information to Sponsor; or (iv) fails to comply with these Official Rules. 

If a prize is forfeited and/or the winner is disqualified, then (in Sponsor's sole discretion) another participant may be selected as America's Next Great Cartoonist winner subject to these Official Rules. Forfeited prizes may or may not be awarded in Sponsor's sole discretion.

In the event that a Challenge Participant and/or the winner engages in behavior (as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion) that is obnoxious, threatening, or illegal or that is intended to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person, Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify such person from competing further, or winning a prize or receiving any prize with no further compensation to such person. Subject to these Official Rules, Sponsor may modify voting, selection and prize in any way in its sole discretion.

6.    Prize. The one (1) Contest winner will be given the opportunity to write a daily comic strip/cartoon for the Style section of Washington Post for approximately four (4) weeks beginning on or about August 8, 2010 and continuing through September 9, 2010.  The winner shall also receive $1,000. Sponsor shall have no obligation to publish any comic strip/cartoon in any form or use it for any specific purpose. However, such comic strip/cartoon could appear online, in print, on a mobile application and/or elsewhere as determined in Sponsor's sole discretion. To receive a prize and be confirmed as the "winner", the winner must sign an independent contractor agreement with Sponsor. As set forth in the independent contractor agreement, winner will be an independent contractor, and not an employee, of Sponsor. Nothing in such agreement will be construed as creating an employer-employee relationship, as a guarantee of future employment or engagement, or as a limitation upon Sponsor's sole discretion to terminate such agreement at any time for any reason with or without cause. Among other things, the independent contractor agreement will also include provisions similar to the Ownership Provision, the Warranty Provision and the Miscellaneous Provision described in Paragraph 3 of these Official Rules, as well as an exclusivity provision. Winner (and winner's receipt of the prize) shall be subject to such independent contractor agreement. 

All costs and expenses are not included and are winner's sole responsibility unless indicated herein as being awarded. No transfer, substitution or cash equivalent of prize permitted by winner. Sponsor may substitute a prize with one of equal or greater retail value if prize is unavailable or cannot be awarded for any reason.

7.    Limitation of Liability and General Conditions. By participating in this Contest, each entrant agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor, which are final and binding in all respects. By entering, each entrant agrees to release, discharge, indemnify, and hold harmless the judges and Sponsor and its affiliates and subsidiaries, and each of their respective employees, officers, shareholders, directors, representatives and agents (collectively, "Releasees") from and against any claims, damages or liability involving or arising out of: (i) late, lost, delayed, misdirected, mutilated, incomplete, unreadable, inaccurate, garbled or unintelligible entries, notices, votes and other materials; (ii) telephone system, technical or computer malfunctions, lost connections, disconnections, transmission or other errors of any kind whether mechanical, human, electronic or otherwise; (iii) data corruption, theft, destruction, unauthorized access to or alteration of entry or other materials; (iv) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by the prize or resulting from acceptance, possession or use or misuse of any prize or from participating in the Contest or any Contest related activity; or (v) any printing, distribution, typographical, administrative, human or technological errors involving or associated with the Contest. Sponsor disclaims any liability for damage to any computer system resulting from participating in, or accessing or downloading information in connection with, the Contest. 

Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify, cancel or suspend this Contest (or any portion of the Contest) should any virus, bug, computer problem or other cause or problem corrupt or inhibit the administration, security or proper operation of the Contest and, in such situation (or in the event of any type of error), to select participants, alternates, and/or winner from among the eligible entries received prior to and/or after the action taken or in such manner as deemed fair and appropriate by Sponsor. In no event will Sponsor be liable for more than the stated prize in these Official Rules. Sponsor may prohibit an entrant from participating in the Contest or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines entrant is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, hacking, deception, or other unfair practices or intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other entrant or The Washington Post's representatives or by voting fraudulently for self. Releases have not made and/or are not responsible for any representation or guaranty, express or implied, in fact or in law, relative to the prize. 

By entering the Contest, each entrant agrees and acknowledges that if he/she is selected as a Challenge Participant, then Sponsor may use his/her name, voice, biographical data, entry information, likeness and city name in any and all media throughout the universe and in perpetuity for promotional and any other purposes without additional compensation and in the sole discretion of Sponsor, except where prohibited by law. By entering the Contest, each entrant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with the Contest, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; (2) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Contest, but in no event will attorneys' fees be awarded or recoverable; and (3) under no circumstances will any entrant be permitted to obtain any award for, and entrant hereby knowingly and expressly waives all rights to seek, punitive, incidental or consequential damages and/or any other damages, other than actual out-of-pocket expenses, and/or any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. The interpretation of these Official Rules shall be governed by the laws of the United States and the District of Columbia exclusively and solely by and within the courts of the District of Columbia with regard to choice of law principles.

8.    Collection of Information. All information collected from entrants and voters in connection with this Contest will be collected and used by Sponsor to conduct this Contest and otherwise in accordance with Sponsor's privacy policy available at and consistent with stated uses disclosed to participants at the time of entry and/or voting.

9.    Winner List. For the name of the prize winner, available after July 15, 2010, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: America's Next Great Cartoonist Contest, The Washington Post, Style Department, 1150 15th Street NW, Washington DC 20071. Requests must be received by September 1, 2010.

Posted by The Washington Post on May 7, 2010 3:52 PM

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