Official Rules

Letters from the White House

Official Contest Rules


2. TO ENTER AND PLAY: There are two (2) ways to enter: mail a letter submission to WETA, 2775 S. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA 22206, Attn: Reading Rockets, or email a submission to [email protected]

The Letters from the White House contest (the "Contest") will begin January 20, 2009 (Inauguration Day) and all entries must be received by February 16, 2009. Winners will be announced on April 30, 2009 (the 100th day of the new presidential term). One (1) entry per person.

The Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association, Inc. ("WETA") and the National Children's Book and Literacy and Alliance ("NCBLA") will not be responsible for incomplete, illegible, or lost entries or for failure to receive entries due to technical failures of any kind, whether originating with sender or Sponsor. WETA and NCBLA reserve the right to disqualify any entries by persons determined to be tampering with or abusing any aspect of the Contest.

The entry must be an original, unpublished work written by the entrant. Reading Rockets/ reserves the right to make reasonable edits to the work and will not guarantee retention of format from the entrant's original file.

3. ELIGIBILITY: The Contest is open only to residents of the United States that are between 4 and 19 years of age at time of entry. The Contest is not open to employees, volunteers, or interns of WETA, any other public broadcasting entities, NCBLA and each such organization's respective affiliates and subsidiaries, and the immediate family members of, and any persons domiciled with, such employees, volunteers, or interns.

4. PRIZES: The contest has five competition levels: Level I, PreK and K; Level II, grades 1-3; Level III, grades 4-6; Level IV, 7-9; and Level V, grades 10-12. A grand prize winner from each competition level will have their letter or journal entries published on Reading Rockets and; receive a copy of Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, from Candlewick Press; win a stationery set and journal from Peaceable Kingdom Press; and a $100 gift certificate from Better World Books.

The grand prize winner from each competition level will be selected by a panel of judges whose members have lived or worked at the White House. Entries will be judged on creativity, illustrations (in Levels I and II), character development, research and factual accuracy, and grammar and spelling. Invented spelling and captioning by an adult will be accepted for Levels I and II. Entries must be 350 words or less.

5. ODDS: Odds of winning depends on the number of eligible entries received.

6. WINNER NOTIFICATION AND ACCEPTANCE: The winners will be notified within the following three (3) weeks of the Contest end date. The prizes will be mailed to the postal addresses provided by the winners.

Inability to reach a prizewinner by email after reasonable efforts (as determined solely by WETA) may result in disqualification and an alternate winner may be selected. Winners may waive their right to receive a prize. Prizes are nonassignable and nontransferable. No substitutions allowed. Winners are solely responsible for reporting and payment of any taxes on the prizes. Winners may be required to complete an affidavit of eligibility, and a liability and publicity release (except where prohibited by law), which WETA will email to the winners and which winner must print, complete and mail to WETA. Any required affidavit and/or release must be postmarked within five (5) days of it being sent by WETA. Failure to sign and return the affidavit or release within 5 days, or to comply with any term or condition of these Official Rules, may, at the sole discretion of WETA, result in winner's disqualification, the forfeiture of his or her interest in the prize, and the award of the prize to an alternate winner. Except where prohibited, participation in a Contest constitutes entrant's consent to the publication of his or her name and image in any media for any commercial or promotional purpose, without limitation or further compensation. For a notification of the Contest winners (available after selection) send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to WETA, 2775 South Quincy Street, Arlington, VA 22206. Attn: Reading Rockets.

7. PARTICIPATION: Participation in the Contest constitutes an agreement by each entrant to comply with these Official Contest Rules. By entering, participants further agree to be bound by the terms relating to the use of WETA's websites, including its Privacy Policy. In the event the Contest is compromised by causes beyond the reasonable control of WETA which corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper operation of the Contest, WETA reserves the right in its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Contest. Should the Contest be terminated prior to the stated expiration date, WETA reserves the right to award the prizes based on the entries received before the termination date.

8. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: By entering the Contest, entrant agrees that (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with the Contest, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually without resort to any form of class action; (2) any 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 attorney's fees; and (3) under no circumstances will any entrant be permitted to obtain any award for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than damages for actual out-of-pocket expenses.

9. CONSTRUCTION: All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Contest Rules, or the rights and obligations of any entrant and WETA, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of Virginia, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions (whether of Virginia, or any other jurisdiction) that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than Virginia. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these rules shall not affect the invalidity or unenforceability of any other provision. In the event that any such provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, these rules shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or unenforceable provision was not contained therein.

10. GENERAL RELEASE: By entering the Contest, entrants release WETA, NCBLA and each of their respective affiliated companies, directors, officers, employees, representatives, partners and agents from any liability whatsoever for any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Contest or with the acceptance, possession or use of any prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light).

11. SPONSOR: The Contest is co-sponsored by WETA and NCBLA, whose decisions regarding the selection of winners and all other aspects of the Contest shall be final and binding in all respects. WETA will not be responsible for typographical, printing or other inadvertent errors in these Official Contest Rules or in other materials relating to the Contest. If you have any questions regarding the Contest, please contact WETA, 2775 South Quincy St., Arlington, VA 22206, Attn: Reading Rockets.

© Copyright 2009, WETA.

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