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Void outside the 50 United States and District of Columbia, and where prohibited. Do not proceed to enter if you are not at least 21 years of age and a legal resident of, and located within, one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia at the time of entry. By participating, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are binding and final in all matters relating to this contest.


CONTEST PERIOD: The Ladies' Home Journal Personal Essay Contest ("Contest") begins at 12:01a.m. Eastern Time ("E.T.") on August 1, 2013 and ends at 11:59 p.m. E.T. on December 6, 2013 ("Entry Period"). E-mail and online entries must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. E.T. on December 6, 2013. Mail entries must be postmarked no later than December 6, 2013 and received no later than December 16, 2013.

SPONSOR: Meredith Corporation, 1716 Locust St., Des Moines, Iowa.

ENTRY: During the Entry Period, there are three (3) ways to enter. Please choose one.

1. Online Form: Write an essay (first-person, non-fiction narrative) on your interpretation of the topic "The Best Decision I Ever Made." The essay should be a maximum of 2,000 words, typed, and double-spaced. The essay should be typed in a .doc, .docx or .PDF format, and should include your name, address, daytime telephone number and e-mail address at the top. To submit your essay, visit lhj.com/essaycontest and follow the direction provided to complete the online entry form and upload your essay..

2. E-mail Entry: Write an essay (first-person, non-fiction narrative) on your interpretation of the topic "The Best Decision I Ever Made." The essay should be a maximum of 2,000 words, typed, and double-spaced. Send an email with the subject line "Personal Essay Contest" and the essay attached (in .doc, .docx or .PDF format) to lhjessaycontest@meredith.com. Include your name, address, daytime telephone number and e-mail address within the body of the e-mail and at the top of your essay.

3. Mail Entry: Write an essay (first-person, non-fiction narrative) on your interpretation of the topic "The Best Decision I Ever Made." The essay should be a maximum of 2,000 words, typed, double-spaced on 8-1/2" x 11" paper. Include your name, address, daytime telephone number and e-mail address at the top of your essay, and send in an envelope affixed with proper postage to: Personal Essay Contest, Ladies' Home Journal, 805 Third Avenue, 26th Fl., New York, NY, 10022.

Entries must (i) be original (written by entrant), (ii) be in English, (iii) not be previously published and may not have won any prize or award, (iv) be in keeping with the Sponsor's image and (v) not be offensive or inappropriate, as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion, nor can it defame or invade publicity rights or privacy of any person, living or deceased, or otherwise infringe upon any person's personal or property rights or any other third party rights. Entries that are handwritten, fictional, or exceeding the required length will be void. Entries may not contain brand names or trademarks. All entries are final upon submission. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject and/or disqualify any entries, subjects, or related materials that Sponsor deems to be obscene, defamatory, profane, offensive, lewd, pornographic, false, misleading, deceptive, or otherwise inconsistent with its editorial standards, audience expectations, or reputational interests or that Sponsor believes may violate any applicable law or regulation or the rights of any third party. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to verify any element of any entry or related materials, request additional information and to disqualify any entrant whose participation may subject the Contest, Sponsor, or Sponsor's advertisers, clients, or customers to controversy, negative publicity, scorn, or ridicule.

By submitting your entry, you agree that your entry conforms to these Official Rules and that Sponsor, in its sole discretion, may disqualify your entry for any reason, including if it determines, in its sole discretion, that your 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 permission for the entry to be posted at http://www.lhj.com or other Sponsor websites. Entrant agrees that Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for any unauthorized use of entries by third parties. Released Parties do not guarantee the posting of any entry and reserve the right to remove any posted entry at any time whatsoever and/or 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.

By submitting an entry, entrant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsor may obtain many entries in connection with this Contest and/or other contests staged and/or promoted by the Sponsor, and that such entries may be similar or identical in theme, idea, format or other respects to other entries submitted in connection with this Contest and/or other contests sponsored by the Sponsor or submitted for other reasons or other materials developed by the Sponsor. Entrant waives any and all claims entrant may have had, may have, and/or may have in the future, that any entry and/or other works accepted, reviewed and/or used by the entrant may be similar to his/her entry, or that any compensation is due to entrant in connection with such entry or other works used by Sponsor.

LIMIT: One (1) entry per person and per email address throughout the Entry Period, regardless of method of entry. Any attempt by an entrant, or any other person, to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations, logins, or any other methods may result in disqualification and all associated entries may be voided by Sponsor, in its sole discretion. You may only use one (1) email address to enter this Contest.

ELIGIBILITY: Legal residents of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia, 21 years of age or older at time of entry are eligible to enter, except employees of Sponsor and any other organizations affiliated with the sponsorship, fulfillment, administration, prize support, advertisement or promotion of the Contest and/or their respective agents, affiliates, subsidiaries and their immediate family members (regardless of where they reside) or household members, whether or not related. "Immediate family members" shall mean parents, step-parents, children, step-children, siblings, step-siblings, or spouses. "Household members" shall mean people who share the same residence at least three months a year.

JUDGING: On or about February 1, 2013, a qualified panel of judges selected by Sponsor, in its sole discretion, will judge all the eligible entries received during the Entry Period based on the following criteria: originality (25%), adherence to Contest theme (25%), use of language (25%), and overall creativity (25%). The one (1) entry with the highest total score will be deemed the potential winner. In the event of a tie, the potential winner will be the entry among the tied entries with the highest score in overall creativity. Potential winner will be notified by phone and/or email and will be required to complete and return an Affidavit of Eligibility, IRS W9 form, and a Release of Liability/Publicity (unless prohibited by law) and any other documents required by Sponsor within ten (10) days of date of notification. If such documents are not returned within the specified time period, prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, Sponsor is unable to contact potential winner within a reasonable amount of time or potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, prize will be forfeited and, at Sponsor's sole discretion, a runner-up may be notified. Decisions of judges are final and binding in all respects.

PRIZE (1): Prize includes a check for $3,000 and the opportunity for the winner's essay to be published in a future issue of Ladies' Home Journal magazine; Approximate Retail Value ("ARV"): $3000.00. Publication of winning essay is at the sole discretion of the Sponsor and is not guaranteed. The opportunity for winner's essay to be published has no retail value, and if this prize component is not available and/or cannot be awarded for any reason, the remaining elements of the prize shall constitute full satisfaction of Sponsor's prize obligation to winner and no additional compensation will be awarded. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prize (or portion thereof) with one of comparable or greater value. Sponsor will determine all elements of prize in its sole discretion. Prize may not be assigned, transferred, changed, or substituted, except at the sole discretion of Sponsor. All applicable income, federal, state and local taxes, if any, and all other costs or expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being provided are the sole responsibility of the winner. The awarding of the prize is contingent upon full compliance with these Official Rules. All prize details are at sole discretion of Sponsor.

PRIVACY: When you enter the Contest, we collect personally identifying information about you, including your name, complete mailing address, and email address. Your information will not be sold or rented to third parties. Entrants must fully complete and submit all non-optional data requested on the entry to be eligible. Incomplete entries are void. Entrants may be given the option to receive commercial e-mails from Sponsor; however, such emails are optional. Eligibility to participate in the Contest is not dependent upon entrant's consent to receive e-mails and such consent will not affect entrant's chances of winning. For more information about how Sponsor uses the information you provide, see Sponsor's privacy policy at http://www.meredith.com/privacy.html. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO SHARE YOUR INFORMATION, PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST.

LICENSE FOR USE OF ENTRIES: By submitting an entry, each entrant grants, and represents and warrants that the entrant has the rights and authority necessary to grant, Sponsor an irrevocable, non-exclusive, fully sublicensable license and right to exploit, edit, modify, and distribute the entry and all elements of such entry, including, without limitation, the essay and the likenesses of any persons or locations embodied therein, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity without compensation, permission or notification to entrant or any third party.

ARBITRATION: Except where prohibited by law, as a condition of participating in this Contest, entrant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or the prize awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and exclusively by final and binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association and held at a AAA regional office in New York, NY; (2) the Federal Arbitration Act shall govern the interpretation, enforcement and all proceedings at such arbitration; and (3) judgment upon such arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. Under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages including attorney's fees or any other damages, other than for entrant's actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with participating in this Contest), and entrant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.

RELEASES: By participating in this Contest, entrants agree to release Sponsor, and any other organizations affiliated with the sponsorship, fulfillment, administration, prize support, advertisement or promotion of the Contest and each of their respective parents, agents, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, and prize suppliers, and each of their respective officers, directors, agents, representatives and employees, as well as each of their respective successors, representatives and assigns (collectively, the "Released Parties") from any and all actions, claims, injury, loss or damage arising in any manner, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from participation in this Contest and/or acceptance, use or misuse of the prize.

MISCELLANEOUS: Released Parties are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, damaged, inaccurate, stolen, undelivered, garbled, postage-due or misdirected entries, emails or essays; 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 of entries, emails or essays, 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 entrants' or to any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading materials from or use of the website. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process, the operation of the web site or otherwise in violation of these Official Rules. Sponsor further reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate or modify this Contest if the Contest is compromised by virus, technical corruption, non-authorized human intervention, or any other causes which, in the sole discretion of the Sponsor, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, proper play or integrity of the Contest. In the event of cancellation or termination, Sponsor reserves the right to determine the potential winner from among all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to date of cancellation or termination using the judging criteria specified above. In the event of a dispute regarding online or email entry, entry will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail account associated with the entry and he/she must comply with these Official Rules. The "authorized account holder" is the natural person who is assigned the e-mail address by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), on-line service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS CONTEST IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS, AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR WILL DISQUALIFY ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS' FEES) AND OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

Except where prohibited by law, entry constitutes permission to use each entrant's name, hometown (city and state), voice, biographical information, likeness, photograph and any statements regarding this Contest in all media now known or hereafter discovered, for any purpose, including without limitation, in connection with, and to promote, market or advertise, the Contest, in whole or in part, without review, approval, credit or attribution, notification or payment from or to entrant or any person or entity, worldwide, in perpetuity, or on a winner's list, if applicable. Contest is subject to all applicable U. S. federal, state and local laws and regulations.

WINNER'S NAME: For winner's name, available after April 1, 2014, send a separate, self-addressed, stamped envelope to Winner's Name/Personal Essay Contest, Ladies' Home Journal, 805 Third Avenue, 26th Fl., New York, NY 10022.