How to enter
First, read over the week’s contest directions carefully — it’s sad to see a list of 25 entries of words that didn’t begin with a letter between B and G, or whatever the restrictions were in that week’s contest.
Submissions are by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. (If you really cannot use e-mail, you may fax them to 202-334-4312, but e-mail is way, way more convenient for us.) The deadline is midnight (in whichever time zone you’re in) on the date stated in the contest directions, usually two Mondays after the contest is announced, but occasionally on a Tuesday if Monday is a holiday. (If you have an emergency and you can’t make the deadline, go ahead and send your entry the next day; I won’t throw it out.)
You may submit up to 25 entries to a contest — any exceptions will be noted — and they may be in a single e-mail. Please don’t use any special formatting on the entries — columns, charts, pretty shapes and colors, etc.; these invariably end up all messed up on our end. Just plain old text. And while it’s fine to compose your entries on Word or another word-processing program and copy them in, please do not put your entries in an attachment — put them right into the body of your e-mail. Sometimes I’ll print out all the entries en masse, and an attachment won’t print. (There are exceptions for a few contests involving photos or graphics.)
Please put some space between your individual entries; it’s very hard to read a long single-spaced list. On Word, you can set the paragraphs (under Format/ Paragraphing) for double-spacing or even 1.5 lines. Don’t add space between the lines of a single poem, however.
We strongly prefer not to credit two or more people for a single entry. On rare contests that are more collaborative (e.g., one person would think up the joke; the other would make a graphic), we’ll make an exception.
Be sure to include at the top or bottom of your entry:
Your real name (NO PSEUDONYMS, and we won’t withhold a name)
Your postal address
A usable phone number
An e-mail address where we may contact you, if it’s a different address from the one on your e-mail itself.
Be sure to include the correct week number in the subject line of the e-mail: I often sort the e-mails into folders just by looking at the subject lines. If you write “Week 902” on your entry for Week 901, I probably won’t see it until a week too late.
You may suggest “revised titles” — that’s the alternate headline for next week’s results, published at the end of the column — and/or honorable-mention subheads. Please send them on a different e-mail from the contest entries (this is a change in procedure), and indicate this, along with the week number, in the subject line of your e-mail (e.g., “Week 1008 revised titles and HMs”). The “next week’s results” headline appears only online. You may include both kinds in the same e-mail; I’m just trying to avoid scrolling through all the entries for these two little semi-separate contests.