Official Rules

SustainaFest is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit entity organized under the laws of the State of Maryland.  The 2015 SustainaFest Tiny House Essay Contest is a competition being judged on merit and skill, and is being conducted  in compliance with the laws of the State of Maryland. The entry fee is not tax deductible.

Each Entrant is responsible for complying with all terms and conditions set forth in these Official Rules, as follows:

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Each Entrant is responsible for complying with all terms and conditions set forth in these Official Rules, as follows:

1. ELIGIBILITY: The Contest is open to any individual who is eighteen (18) years of age or older. The judges of the Contest, SustainaFest officers, current and ex-employees, SustainaFest sponsors who supported the construction of this SustainaFest Tiny House and their officers, employees and ex-employees, and the immediate families of all those previously mentioned, are disqualified from participation as an Entrant in this Contest.

2. ESSAY QUESTION: The essay shall answer the following question in 350 words or less: What are your keys to living a sustainable lifestyle and how would owning the SustainaFest Tiny House help you realize your dream of living that lifestyle?

3. ENTRY SUBMISSION: Each entry must be submitted through one of two methods.  Multiple submissions by one individual are permissible so long as each essay is original and accompanied by a separate entry fee. Please save a copy of your essay for your records. Submissions shall occur as follows:

  1. Electronic – Submissions may be entered through the SustainaFest website at www.sustainafest.org/tinyhousecontest. Entrant must make certain acknowledgements, including having read, understood and abided by these Official Rules.  Submissions shall not be considered successfully transmitted and entered into the Contest until full payment via credit card is verified.
  2. United States Mail – Submissions may be entered through the United States Mail by sending all required paperwork to: SustainaFest, 222 Severn Avenue, Suite 48, Annapolis, Maryland 21403.  Mailed entries must include all of the following for each individual entry:  a Certified Check or Money Order for the full entry fee, a printed, signed and completed Entry Form (Name, Mailing Address, Area Code/Telephone, and Email Address), and one self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Each essay shall:

a. be original content written in the English language;

b. be entered electronically in the appropriate location on the SustainaFest website; or

c. if printed and mailed, be typed, double-spaced, or legibly hand-written on a single sheet of white 8.5” x 11” paper.

Mailed essays shall not contain the Entrant’s name, address or any other identifying information on the essay sheet. Identifying information shall only be provided on the accompanying Entry Form.

5. COPYRIGHT AND PUBLICATION: Each essay entry constitutes an assignment to SustainaFest of all copyrights arising under both statute and common law and all other rights derivative therefrom. By entering the Contest, Entrants grant further permission for SustainaFest to publish all or part of the submitted essay and to use the Entrant’s name and photograph and to publicize the winning entries and the names of the authors of any essay, all without royalty or other consideration.

6. ENTRY FEE: Each submission must be accompanied by an entry fee of One Hundred ($100) US Dollars. Electronic entries shall also include a $5.00 processing fee. Such entries will not be complete until credit card information has been submitted and the transaction approved. Mailed entries shall be accompanied by a Cashier’s Check or Money Order payable to SustainaFest. All entries shall be deemed received upon credit card transaction approval or physical arrival by United States Mail whether or not the essay adheres to these Official Rules.  All entry fees shall be held in a separate escrow account until SustainaFest has made a determination that the Contest has been successfully executed, as described herein. No refunds shall be made by reason of non-compliance or for any other reason whatsoever, except as provided herein. The entry fee is not tax deductible.

7. REFUNDS: If refunds are required, SustainaFest shall return all fees as follows:  electronic payments shall be refunded to the Entrant’s credit card minus the $5.00 processing fee; mailed checks/money orders shall be returned via the self-addressed, stamped envelope provided by the Entrant. SustainaFest shall only refund entry fees under one of two circumstances: a.    Minimum Number of Entries Not Met – If SustainaFest does not receive its desired minimum number of individual entries (determined at its own discretion) during the Contest Entry Period; or b.     A Verified ‘Buy It Now” Offer is Made and Accepted – SustainaFest receives and accepts a qualifying and verified offer (determined at its own discretion) to purchase the Tiny House during the Contest.

8. JUDGING AND JUDGES: Each essay which meets the Technical Requirements set forth herein shall be judged on merit and skill on the basis of creativity, originality and thought. Each properly submitted, qualifying essay shall be judged by one of a team of Educators selected by SustainaFest.  The top essays selected by the Educators will then be judged by a team of Celebrity Judges (to be identified on the SustainaFest website) who will together choose a Winner, a First Runner-Up and a Second Runner-Up. Entrants are prohibited from contacting Educators and Celebrity Judges by any means whatsoever and so doing shall result in immediate disqualification.

9. CONTEST ENTRY PERIOD/DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: The Contest shall open no later than April 13, 2015 and the deadline for all submissions is 5:00pm EST on June 1, 2015.  The ability to enter submissions electronically shall be promptly discontinued at the deadline.  Mailed entries must be postmarked no later than May 27, 2015 and must arrive at SustainaFest’s physical address by the deadline. Responsibility for lost, late or misdirected entries rests with the Entrant. Any entry posted after the above deadline shall be refused.

10. ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNER AND RUNNERS-UP: The Winner, along with the First and Second Runners-Up, shall be contacted by telephone and announced publicly on or before June 15, 2015.

11. DEADLINE EXTENSIONS: SustainaFest reserves the sole right to extend any Contest period or deadline set forth herein for up to thirty (30) days.

12. DESCRIPTION OF PRIZE: SustainaFest will present the Winner with the Certificate of Title, unencumbered by any liens, to the SustainaFest Tiny House along with all accessories affixed thereto.  The Winner agrees to accept the prize “As Is”. The prize has an estimated value of $76,000 US, based upon materials and labor expended in the construction of the Tiny House.  However, SustainaFest makes no representation that this value or any value is in fact a Fair Market Value for the house. First and Second Runners-Up shall receive SustainaFest merchandise, as determined by SustainaFest.

13. PRIZE TRANSFER: The transfer of the prize shall occur within thirty (30) days after the notification of the Winner. At SustainaFest’s sole discretion, an extension of an additional thirty (30) days may be granted.

14. REFUSAL TO ACCEPT PRIZE: If the Winner refuses in writing to accept the prize, then it shall be awarded to the First Runner-Up. Likewise, should the First Runner-Up refuse in writing to accept the prize then it will be awarded to the Second Runner-Up.

15. RESPONSIBILITY FOR TAXES/FEES/SHIPPING: The party accepting the prize shall be solely and completely responsible for any and all taxes or fees of any kind imposed upon or arising out of a successful participation in this Contest. In addition, the party accepting the prize is solely and completely responsible for any and all shipping, transportation and any other fees associated with delivery of the prize.

16. INTERNATIONAL, FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL REGULATION: This Contest is subject to the provisions of all applicable International, Federal, State and Local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.

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