Submit Your Best To The WELL's Online Writing Awards!

Win $500 and get published on The WELL!

Published October 15, 1999 4:00PM (EDT)

What is the WELL?

is a unique online gathering place that has been hailed as the most influential online community. The hundreds of WELL discussions range from the technical and specific to the abstract and surreal, from Jazz to Java, from Generation X to Y2K. Throughout its 14-year history, the WELL has been a virtual meeting place for an eclectic mix of writers, computer experts, propononents of counter-culture, and anyone else interested in intelligent conversation. Click here to find out more about the WELL.

The Categories:

Submit your favorite work in any of these four categories:

Online Journalism: Displaying excellence in reporting or editorial comment created for dissemination via the Internet.

Personal Essay: Home pages have heralded the rebirth of the essayist, sure in voice, view and sense of a new kind of audience. Last year our judges said this was the most needed category -- the online essay or thoughtful rant -- so here it is.

Fiction: If the Internet connects us in a global village, who are the village storytellers? We seek the best stories of, by and for the greater online community.

Writing Using Hyperlinks: Writers can do more than make footnotes or pointers to other sites with the use of links. Webbed writing can be almost sculptural. Reading it can be an adventure in a terrain of words. Is it art yet? The WELL Online Writing Awards seek the best tangled webs woven this year.

Grand Prize:

One grand prize of $500 will be awarded.


Each author of the winning compositions in the four categories will receive a year's WELL Membership and will have their
award-winning work published on The WELL!

The Judges:

Kathi Kamen Goldmark is best known in the publishing world for founding and performing with the all-author garage band, The Rock Bottom
Remainders. She is the president of "Don't Quit Your Day Job Records," which recently released Stranger Than Fiction!, a quirky collection of rock, R&B, country classics and original songs sung by authors ranging from Stephen King and Norman Mailer to Maya Angelou and Molly Ivins.

Andrew Brown is a columnist for the London Guardian, and the author, most recently of "The Darwin Wars", a vulgar history of the selfish gene. He worked for ten years on the Independent, and still writes regularly for it, as well as for the Daily Mail and the Daily Express. He also writes for magazines ranging from the New Statesman to the Church Times.

Steve Silberman is a contributing editor of Wired magazine. As the senior culture writer for Wired News and Hotwired, he covered the social dynamics of the online world as the Web emerged as a popular medium. His essays and commentaries have appeared in Time, NetGuide, Nerve, the Whole Earth Review, and many other national publications. He is also the co-author of Skeleton Key: A Dictionary for Deadheads and the co-producer of the Grateful Dead's So Many Roads (1965-1995).

Donald Peter Dulchinos is the author of Pioneer of Inner Space: The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow, Hasheesh Eater. Dulchinos is a telecommunications industry expert in his day job and a part-time author working toward a full time writing career. Buoyed by the success of his first book, he is now working on a manuscript that explores the religious implications of the Internet.

Martha Soukup is an acclaimed science fiction writer. Her most recent book, "The Arbitrary Placement of Walls," contains 17 critically lauded tales, including the Nebula-winning "A Defense of Social Contracts." She was a sysop on GEnie for many years, and hosted HotWired's weekly "Head Space" chat during its run.

Stephanie Vardavas is a sports attorney but her real claim to fame is that in 1975 Brooks Robinson lent her his uniform for Halloween. She was an American Studies major and a disciple of the late A. Bartlett Giamatti. On The WELL she hosts the Business conference and co-hosts the Weird conference. On the Internet she is best known for her site "Secrets of really good chocolate chip cookies," where she shamelessly advocates tripling the vanilla.

How to Enter:

It's easy to enter! Select a category (Journalism, Online Fiction, Hypertext links, or Personal Essay) and submit your entry of 1,500 words or less.

On November 19, 1999, our discerning panel of judges will choose the most outstanding and brilliant piece!

Each submission must have been composed for online readers (not adapted or copied from print or another medium), must be original, must be first distributed on the Internet this year, and cannot exceed 1500 words in length. You must be 18 years or older to enter the contest. Only one entry per author allowed.

Please E-mail your submission to Please put the title of the entry in the subject line. Essays, stories and journalism entries must be included in the body of the email. (Entries for best writing using hyperlinks please simply include an URL for the site.) Please include in the body of the e-mail the author's name, mailing address, phone and e-mail address. Please indicate the category for which you are submitting your entry. No attachments will be accepted. No phone inquiries please. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY NOVEMBER 19, 1999.

Sponsored by:

"The WELL Online Writing Awards Contest" -- Official Rules

The Contest is brought to you by Salon Internet, Inc. (""), and The WELL. ("the Sponsors").



Contest is offered only within the 50 United States. Contest is open to all persons who are legal residents of the United States and are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Employees, officers, and directors of Sponsors, their parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotion, and fulfillment agencies, and legal advisors, their immediate family members and persons living in their same household are not eligible to participate in the Contest. Void where prohibited. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. No purchase necessary to enter.

How to Enter:

Participants must submit an original essay. Entries must be 1,500 words or fewer. One entry only per author. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. PDT on November 19, 1999. E-mail all submissions to, making sure to put entry title in the subject header. Please indicate the category to which your are submitting your essay. Entries MUST BE included in the body of the e-mail, along with the author's name, mailing address, phone, and e-mail address. No attachments will be accepted.

One entry per author only. Multiple entries, whether electronic or postal, will be discarded. NO PHONE INQUIRIES, PLEASE.

Prize Details:

The Grand Prize winner will receive a $500 cash prize. The total cash value of the Grand Prize is $500. Membership to The Well is $120 cash value per year. Complete prize cash value for this promotion is $980.00.

A winner from each of the four catagories will be selected. All four winners will have their essay and names published on The WELL
after they have signed an affidavit of eligibility for the prize.

All prizes are non-replaceable and cannot be redeemed for cash, bartered or sold. Winners will be required to sign and return a release of liability, affidavit of eligibility and, where lawful, a publicity consent agreement, all within 14 days of notification.

If a selected winners cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim a prize(s) or fails to timely return the complete and executed affidavit and releases as required, the prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be selected.

As part of the contest, the winning compositions will be posted on The WELL's Website. Therefore, entrants must submit pieces (a) to which they
own the copyright, or which (b) can by permission of the copyright owner, be posted on The WELL's Website for a period not to exceed 1 year following the contest.

As a condition of receiving the prize(s), the winner(s), within 7 days of notification, will be required to sign an agreement granting to publication rights to the entries(s), and to use the author's name in connection with the business of, and acknowledging that the prize(s) shall be the author's sole compensation for such rights. The agreement will also contain the author's representation that the work submitted is original to the author and does not infringe on the rights of any third party.

Selection of Winner:

The winners will be selected from all eligible entries by judges. See contest home page for list of judges. The winners will be notified by phone, e-mail or mail. Entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, technical skill and distinct voice, as well as adherence to essay specifications. The winners will have 7 days from notification to accept their prizes. Sponsors are not responsible for and shall not be liable for late, lost, misdirected or unsuccessful efforts to notify winner. By entering, participants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges, which shall be final. Sponsors, agents and representatives of Sponsors, their parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotion, and fulfillment agencies, and legal advisors, are not responsible for and shall not be liable for:

(i) late, lost, delayed, damaged, misdirected, incomplete, illegible, unintelligible or postage-due entries;

(ii) any condition caused by events beyond the control of the Sponsors that may cause the Contest to be disrupted or corrupted;

(iii) any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising in connection with or as a result of the prize, or acceptance, possession, or use of the prize, or from participation in the Contest; or

(iv) any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the Contest. reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to suspend or cancel this Contest at any time. By participating in the Contest, participants agree to release and hold Sponsors and the employees, officers, directors, shareholders, agents, representatives of Sponsors, their parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotion and fulfillment agencies, and legal advisors, harmless from any and all losses, damages, rights, claims and actions of any kind in connection with the Contest or resulting from acceptance, possession or use of any prize, including without limitation, personal injury, death and property damage, and claims based on content of the story, including but not limited to publicity rights, copyright infringement, defamation or invasion of privacy. The winners will be selected and announced once all affidavits of eligibility have been satisfactorily completed and returned.

Winners' List:

For a complete list of winners, please send a note requesting "The WELL's Online Writing Awards" Winners' List and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to "The WELL"s Online Writing Awards Winner's List,, 706 Mission St., 2nd Fl., San Francisco, CA 94103.

Return to Contest Home Page.

By Salon Staff

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