CHAIN LETTERS: Official Rules

Official Rules

  • Submission: Essays should be submitted using the online form only. 303 Chain Letters 2021: Each contestant MUST provide contact information for a teacher, coach, relative or other adult sponsor, 21 years of age or older, in order to complete the submission process. Please do not email or mail entries. Each participant can submit one entry for consideration (per year). Each entrant is encouraged to submit a profile picture (waist up) accompanying essay. This picture may appear on 303’s landing page but will not be used anywhere else without authorization. No image will appear with first and last name without prior authorization from Adult sponsor (see below) 
  • Deadlines: All entries submitted by midnight MST on August 15th, 2021 will be eligible for Grand Prizes awarded to the top three essays.  Entries received after Midnight MST on that day will not be considered. 
  • Essays submitted by midnight MST July 16th will be entered into a random drawing for bike related items and gift cards awarded on July 17thl
  • Essays submitted by midnight MST Aug. 2nd will be entered into a random drawing for bike related items and gift cards (essays entered prior to July 16th will also be part of this drawing). Awarded on August 3rd.
  • Length: Essays should be no shorter than 750 words or longer than 2000 words. This is a maximum word count; if your response to the prompt can be clearly and powerfully communicated in fewer than 750 words, that is great.
  • Eligibility: The contest is open to youth throughout the state of Colorado. Youth must be entering any grade between 7th and 12th grades or at least 12 and no more than 18 years of age as of Jan 1st 2021, with the following exception.  Nineteen-year-olds who are enrolled in high school or an equivalent program are eligible. Past winners are not eligible to participate.
  • Adult Sponsor: EVERY contestant (regardless of age) must have a teacher, coach, parent, or other adult sponsor 21 years of age or older. The Sponsor must review the contestant’s work prior to submission to ensure that it meets contest guidelines and follow up communications and prizes can be ensured delivery. Essays cannot be submitted without providing the name and email address for a Sponsor. The Sponsor will receive an email when the form is submitted confirming that they have been named as a Contest Sponsor.
  • Language: Essays should be written in English and represent the youth’s original work.  Youth are welcome to write their essay in their native language (if not English) but it must be translated into English for submission.
  • Original Work: A teacher/Sponsor can provide pre-writing activities and appropriate review, editing, and translation support, but the ideas, content, structure and style of the actual essay MUST come from the youth alone.
  • Titling Documents for Submission: To help us organize and manage the significant number of files that are submitted, please use the following guidelines when titling your document prior to submission. Essays that are not saved with this naming format ARE NOT ELIGIBLE.
    • Name the file “LastnameFirstinitial2021Chain”. For example Nancy Smith,  submission would be titled “SmithN2021Chain”
  • Winners: A panel of reviewers selected by 303 Endurance Network will judge entries and awards given to the top three essays. The Essay Contest Advisory Board makes the final decisions and has the authority to offer more or fewer awards in any given year, including the possibility of selecting no winner in a particular age group. Winning essays and those receiving Honorable Mention will be featured on our website, alongside a brief profile and picture of the author.
  • Prizes: A collection of bike accessories, tools (Topeak and Elite) gift cards (Wheat Ridge Cyclery), apparel (Primal) and swag from Bicycle Colorado, 303Endurance, Colorado High School Cycling League, Colorado Cycling, and Team Evergreen. Grand Prize will include the greatest number of items including a 303cycling jersey and Primal Lifestyle sweatshirt. Grand prize winner will be given the option to join the Cyclist Lawyer team of Ambassadors that comes with swag and prizes. 
  • Evaluation Criteria: Each submission is read by at least two reviewers. Essays will be evaluated using the following criteria:
    • Addresses Prompt—The essay effectively takes into account, either literally or metaphorically, the entirety of the prompt. If an essay does not make an earnest attempt to address the Contest’s prompt, it will not be considered for review.
    • Focus—The thesis/main message is clear and supported throughout. The essay does not stray from the main message.
    • Organization & Structure—The essay is organized and well-structured. Author demonstrates command of grammar, spelling and mechanics.
    • Voice/Originality—The essay uses a highly engaging and personal style. The author finds fresh or interesting ways to convey ideas. The author approaches the topic from a unique perspective.
    • Evidence of Personal Reflection—The essay demonstrates that the author has genuinely explored the topic/question and how it relates to his or her own life. The essay reflects a depth in reflection.
  • Use of Essay and contact information: Authors and Sponsors agree by submission to authorize use of essay by 303Endurance in our network of websites, social media and podcast to share as content. Photo will only be used on landing page to help identify essay. Any use outside of landing page will require authorization from author/adult sponsor. Co-Sponsors of the contest will be able to share 303’s content of publicizing the essay, but not the exclusive use of the essay without permission from the author. The photo of the author will be used to identify the essay but not used separately or without permission. By submitting essay, author and sponsor will be added to the 303 Weekly Spin Newsletter and added to the Primal database for apparel specials, both with easy unsubscribe options. No contact information will be sold or used in any other way except to contact prize winners and is not shared with other co-sponsors