Story Contest Criteria And Rules

The Texas Forest Trail Region (Forest Trail) is a nonprofit organization that exists to promote East Texas through heritage tourism, historic preservation, educational services & advertising & marketing. Stories submitted are intended for use in the Forest Trail’s publications, advertising, and general marketing purposes.

CRITERIA & RULES – By entry the writer accepts these criteria, rules and conditions.

1. Participation: The contest is open to all U.S. residents at least 18 years of age, except staff and board members of Forest Trail and the immediate families of such staff and board members.
2. Eligibility of Stories: All stories must be the original work of the Entrant. Use of a story copied from other sources/people is not allowed and will be disqualified. Entry must be submitted by a single individual; no joint/group entries. Entries that have been previously published or have won another contest are ineligible.
3. Location of Stories: Stories must be about and within the 35-county Forest Trail Region. Counties Include: Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Franklin, Gregg, Hardin, Harrison, Henderson, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Marion, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Panola, Polk, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Walker, and Wood.
4. Number of Entries: An individual Entrant may enter a maximum of three (3) stories in the contest.
5. Entry Fee: There are no entry fees for participating in the contest.
6. Entry Deadline: All entries must be submitted online between 11:59 pm on April 1, 2020 through 11:59 pm on May 31, 2020 (Central Standard Time). A direct link to the submission site will be posted on the Forest Trail website at
7. Content: Stories that are deemed obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented, hateful, threatening, or otherwise violate any laws are strictly prohibited. Entries determined to be inappropriate or unsuitable by the Texas Forest Trail will be disqualified.
8. Authenticity: The entry must depict the subject or location as it appears in real life; entry cannot create a story of fiction.
9. Disqualification: An entry that does not follow the rules will automatically be disqualified.
10. Release Of Liability: The Forest Trail and/or its employees involved in the contest will not be held liable for missing, mislabeled, or non-displayed stories.
11. Copyrights: Entrants will retain all rights and ownership to any entry and are not restricted in the future use of their story. Forest Trail and its agents may credit images with the Entrant’s name at its discretion.
12. Display & Future Rights Use Rights: By submitting an entry to the contest, the Entrant grants the Forest Trail Region a nonexclusive, royalty free license, in perpetuity, to display, reproduce, distribute, publish, and create derivative works of the entry, in any medium, without compensation,.
13. Story Evaluation – All stories will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit, and support for the mission of Forest Trail. Story eligibility, submission eligibility, and winner eligibility will be determined by the Forest Trail in its absolute discretion.
14. Judges: Judges are Forest Trail staff, board or partner members, sponsors and volunteers. Judges will determine the five finalists which will then be presented to the general public for voting. All decisions are final. The general public will select “Fan Favorite” by popular vote via following the story contest submission deadline.
15. Announcement of Results: Winners will be posted after July, 2020 on Forest Trail social media and all websites owned and operated by the Texas Forest Trail Region Inc.