“It Happened to Me” Contest Official Rules

“It Happened to Me” Contest

Official Rules


The “It Happened to Me” Contest ("Contest") starts on January 1, 2013 at12:00 am Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) and ends at 11:59 pm EST on January 31, 2013 ("Contest Period").

ELIGIBILITY: Contest is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia, 18 years of age or older.  Employees of SAY Media, Inc. ("Sponsor"), its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates and advertising and promotion agencies, and members of their immediate family (spouse and parent, children and siblings and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and persons living in the same household, whether or not related, of such employees, are not eligible to enter or win. Void where prohibited by law. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws. By participating, each entrant agrees to abide by these Official Rules and decisions of Sponsor and judges, which shall be final and binding in all respects relating to this Contest.

HOW TO ENTER:  During the Contest Period, submit a story to the “It Happened to Me” section of www.xojane.com by emailing it to IHTMContest@xojane.com (Your story, together with any images you submit to accompany your story, will be referred to collectively as the "Entry").  


  • Entry must be true, accurate and verifiable.  

  • Entry should be submitted as a Word document or a Text Edit.doc and should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words.  

  • Any images you wish to include should be named something relevant, and you should indicate within your Entry where the images should be placed by using brackets with the file name and caption.

  • As part of your Entry, if you wish to link to any text on a different website, you must copy and paste the full URL into brackets directly after the text to which you would like to link.  You must bold the text to which you would like to link.

  • Any photo you include of yourself should look like you.  

Sponsor reserves the right to allow for minor deviations from the guidelines and restrictions set forth herein, based on clear intent to comply with these Official Rules, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion.  Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means or by any means which subvert the entry process are void.  Limit three (3) Entries per person/email address.  Each Entry must be substantially different from any other Entry submitted by the same entrant.  Entries received from any person or email address in excess of the limitation will be void. All Entries become the sole property of the Sponsor and will not be returned.  


REQUIREMENTS OF ENTRIES:  Entry may not contain, as determined by the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, any content that:

  • is derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, professional or age group; profane or pornographic; contains nudity;

  • promotes any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous;

  • is obscene, vulgar; endorses any form of hate or hate group;

  • appears to duplicate any other submitted Entries;  

  • defames, misrepresents or contains disparaging remarks about Sponsor, its products or services, other people or companies;

  • contains trademarks, logos, or trade dress (such as distinctive packaging or building exteriors/interiors) owned by others, without permission, to the extent permission is necessary;

  • contains copyrighted materials owned by others (including music, photographs, sculptures, paintings, and other works of art or images published on or in websites, television, movies or other media), without permission, to the extent permission is necessary;

  • contains materials embodying the names, likenesses, voices, or other indicia identifying any person (living or dead), such as license plate numbers, personal names, e-mail addresses or street addresses, including, without limitation, celebrities and/or other public or private figures, living or dead, without permission, to the extent permission is necessary;

  • communicates messages or images inconsistent with Sponsor; and/or

  • violates any law.

Entry must be the original work of the entrant, may not have been previously published, may not have won previous awards, and must not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity.  If the Entry contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant, and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the Entry, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the use and exhibition of the Entry by Sponsor in the manner set forth in these Official Rules, including, without limitation, name and likeness permissions from any person who is mentioned in, appears in or is identifiable in the Entry. Sponsor reserves the right to request proof of these permissions in a form acceptable to Sponsor from any entrant at any time. Failure to provide such proof may, if requested, render Entry null and void.  By submitting an Entry, entrant warrants and represents that he/she and any persons who are mentioned in, appearing or identifiable in the Entry consent to the submission and use of the Entry in the Contest and to its use as otherwise set forth herein.

By submitting an Entry, entrant represents and warrants that the Entry conforms to these Official Rules and understands that Sponsor, in its sole discretion, may disqualify the Entry for any reason, including if it determines, in its sole discretion, that the Entry fails to conform to these Official Rules in any way or otherwise contains unacceptable content as determined by Sponsor, in its sole discretion.

By submitting an Entry, entrant hereby grants to Sponsor a license (which license will be exclusive for six (6) months following the conclusion of the Contest, and thereafter will be non-exclusive) to reproduce, distribute, display, perform, create derivative works based upon, or otherwise exploit the Entry in any manner or media now known or hereafter devised throughout the world in perpetuity.  Sponsor may post some, none or all of the entries.  If your Entry is selected as the winner or for posting, then you shall be required to sign a Contributor Agreement pursuant to which you shall agree (among other things) to grant to Sponsor all right, title and interest in and to your Entry, to represent and warrant that the Entry will not infringe upon or violate the rights of any third party, and to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Sponsor for any breach of your representations, warranties or agreements. Sponsor shall be under no obligation to publish or otherwise use in any manner the winning Entry. Entrant agrees that Released Parties (as defined below) (i) are not responsible for any unauthorized use of Entries by third parties and (ii) do not guarantee the posting of any Entry and may take down any entry at any time for any reason. Entrants agree that they will not use the Entry for any other purpose, including, without limitation, posting the Entry to any online social networks, without the express consent of Sponsor in each instance.

GRAND PRIZE JUDGING:  All eligible Entries received by Sponsor will be judged by a panel of qualified judges on the following criteria, with each criterion being weighted equally: Impact of Story, Quality of Writing, Emotional Integrity of Story and Self-awareness of Writer (“Judging Criteria”), to determine the potential winner.  In the event of a tie, an additional, “tie-breaking” judge will determine the Grand Prize winner based on the Judging Criteria.  Sponsor reserves the right not award the prize if, in its sole discretion, it does not receive a sufficient number of eligible and qualified Entries.  All decisions of the Sponsor and judges are final and binding.  Sponsor will not reveal the judging scores for any Entry.

WINNER NOTIFICATION: Potential winner will be notified by telephone, mail and/or email and may be required to execute a Contributor Agreement and an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability and Publicity Release (unless prohibited by law), which must be returned within five (5) days of date appearing on prize notification. Return of prize or prize notification as undeliverable, failure to sign and return requested documentation within the specified time period, the failure of the potential winner’s Entry to comply in all respects with the Contributor Agreement, the inability of Sponsor to contact a potential winner within a reasonable time period or noncompliance with these Official Rules by any potential winner will result in disqualification and, at Sponsor’s sole discretion, the prize may be awarded to a runner-up.  If any winner is an eligible minor, all required documentation must be executed by such minor’s parent or legal guardian.  In addition, Sponsor may, at its discretion, award the prize to such parent or legal guardian.

PRIZE: $1,000 check.  All federal, state and local taxes are the sole responsibility of the winners. Winner may not substitute, assign or transfer prize, but Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute prize with one of comparable or greater value.  All prize details are at Sponsor’s sole discretion.

RELEASE OF LIABILITY:  By participating, each entrant agrees to release, indemnify, discharge and hold harmless Sponsor, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and representatives of the forgoing (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from entrant’s participation in the Contest or any Contest-related activity, the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize and/or Sponsor’s use of the rights granted herein.

PUBLICITY GRANT: By participating, each entrant agrees to the use by Sponsor and its designees of his/her name, biographical information, image and/or likeness for advertising, publicity, promotional and other purposes, in any and all media now or hereafter known, worldwide in perpetuity, without compensation (unless prohibited by law) or additional consents from  entrant or any third party and without prior notice, approval or inspection, and to execute specific consent to such use if asked to do so.  

GENERAL CONDITIONS Released Parties are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, damaged, inaccurate, stolen, delayed, misdirected, undelivered, or garbled Entries, email or mail; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, the processing or judging of Entries, the announcement of the prize or in any Contest-related materials.  Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest.  Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to any person's computer related to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading materials from or use of the Website.  Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the Contest or Website, who act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner or who are in violation of these Official Rules, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and all associated Entries will be void. Should any portion of the Contest be, in Sponsor’s sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Sponsor, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play, or submission of Entries, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Contest and, if terminated, at its discretion, select the potential winner from all eligible, non-suspect Entries received prior to action taken using the judging procedure outlined above or as otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by Sponsor. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND OTHER REMEDIES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

Request for Winner’s NAME: For the winner’s name (available after February 1, 2013), visit www.xojane.com.

Sponsor: SAY Media, Inc., 180 Townsend Street, San Francisco, CA 94107.