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Author:  Will Heath [ Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Rules



The contest objective is for participants to write an original article about bonsai in a professional and educational manner. The goal of this contest is educational and is meant to bring out the author in all who participate, as well as to encourage the creation of much needed articles for the bonsai community not only during the contest, but indeed after the contest as well. It is our hope that the participants of this contest will continue to write and publish articles afterward and in doing so, add to the knowledge base.

You need not be a member of The Art of Bonsai Project or The Knowledge of Bonsai Forum to enter. This contest, like all of the content on AoB and KoB, is free, viewable, and open to all who are interested. Those that wish to participate in discussions on the contest or other topics on the forum will be required to join in order to comment.

The American Bonsai Society Journal has graciously agreed to consider publication for all winning entries as well as for other quality articles submitted.

Please read all rules before submitting your entry and refer back to them before submitting your article in order to prevent misunderstandings or needless disqualification. Most of all; enjoy yourselves and have fun.


Any subject matter will be allowed as long as it focuses on bonsai and/or related subjects.

We do require that all submissions be non-fiction, although design or artistic theory is welcomed.


Articles must be submitted in English, however we would welcome versions in other languages in addition to the English version.

Co-written articles will be accepted providing that all contributors are listed as authors, any prizes awarded will go to the author who is listed first.

An editor other than the author may be used providing the editor is named; any prizes awarded will go to the author.

All pictures and/or illustrations must clearly give credit to the photographer or artist directly underneath the picture. Any photographs or illustrations used that the author does not have direct copyright to must be used with the full expressed permission of the photographer or illustrator. See "PHOTOGRAPHS / ILLUSTRATIONS" below for guidelines on size and quality.

Minimum length is 800 words; there is no maximum length.

Articles must be original and cannot have been previously published on-line or in print. Articles must also never have been or currently entered in another article contest. Once the contest is over, the author may publish or enter the article anywhere they so desire.

Spelling, punctuation, and grammar are important. We will not edit or correct any submissions before the judging so please be careful as a few errors could mean the difference between winning and losing.

All articles must have the proper credits, citations, references, and sources listed. Please see the following article as an example ... terati.php


Participants may enter as often as they wish as long as each article conforms to our subject matter guidelines.

Submissions must be made by email to no later than midnight (EST) June 30, 2008. Entries that are late will be disqualified. We will post each entry on either AoB or KoB, depending on the subject matter, within 24 hours to assure that all submissions have been received. If you do see your submission posted within 24 hours of the time you sent it, contact Will immediately at the email address above.

Submissions must be submitted attached to an email in MS Word format, double-spaced with pictures and/or illustrations embedded. Submissions must also have any illustrations and/ or photographs attached full sized, to the email.

Upon receipt of submissions, we will post them in the entry threads located at AoB or at KoB in the order they were received. Articles will be posted at AoB or at KoB depending on the subject matter, those dealing with artistic principles, history, or art theory will be posted in the submission thread at AoB, those dealing with collecting, cultivation, or styling will be posted in the submission thread at KoB.

We will use the layout as it is in the MS Word document so please edit and format your work carefully. We will not edit or re-format any submission before the judging takes place, however AoB, KoB, and the ABS Journal reserves the right to re-edit and reformat for publication reasons after the judging has taken place.

Each submission must be accompanied by text as described below. Submissions without the required text will be disqualified.

All entries must be accompanied with the following text:

I have read and understood the rules of the contest and agree to abide by them. I have full copyright to all text and/or photographs I am submitting and I grant the Art of Bonsai Project, the Knowledge of Bonsai Forum, and the ABS Journal full permission to use any or all of the text and/or photographs submitted by myself in such manners as described in the rules and in future publications of any type as related to showcasing, promoting, featuring the contest. I also grant the right to publish the submissions in the article forums of the Art of Bonsai Project, the Knowledge of Bonsai Forum, and/or in the ABS Journal as described in the rules and as prizes. I understand that any other usage of the text and/or photographs will require addition permission from myself and that, other than permissions given here, I retain full copyright to submitted materials as described.

All submissions must also include the following:

Full legal name of entrant
Country entrant currently resides in
All acknowledgments and credits for work or photographs
Category that the article is intended for (AoB, KoB, and the judges reserve the right to reclassify categories based on article content).


Attached photographs and/or illustrations must be at least 300 dpi and 800 pixels in width, entries not meeting these standards, put in place for professional print publishing reasons, will be disqualified. Photographs and/or illustrations must be clear, in focus, and without a distracting background. Photographs and/or illustrations can be submitted in tif, jpg, or png format. There is no size limit or dpi limits to the photographs and/or illustrations embedded in the MS Word document, only on those attached to the submission email.

We must stress that this is a professional article contest and as such, the quality of the photographs and/or illustrations is of the utmost importance. Due to the possibility of future publishing in the ABS Journal, all photographs and/or illustrations not of high quality will be rejected.

The entrant must have full copyrights to all photographs and/or illustrations submitted.


Due to popular demand and a consensus of the staff of AoB and KoB, this contest will be blind. By blind we mean that entrants names will be withheld until after the contest is judged.

A Word document will be created containing a table that will contain the names of the entrants as well as a code that will be used in the submission forums to identify the articles. This document will remain hidden from the judges and the public until after the judging is completed at which time the names will be put with the original entries and the Word document will be made available to the public.

Individuals who have demonstrated the abilities to write, edit, and publish bonsai related articles will judge this contest. These judges will be announced at a later date.

Each entry will be scored and given points on a scale from 0 to 10 by the judges. The judges may, at their discretion, post comments on each article they score to elaborate on the reasoning behind their scoring.

In the case of tied scores, the staff at AoB and KoB will each score the tied entries and these scores will be added to the scores of the tied entrants. The resulting totals will determine the winner. Any of the staff of AoB or KoB that has entered the contest themselves will not be allowed to participate in this tie breaker process.

Once scored, the points of each entry will be tallied and the winners will be posted according to the following guidelines.

All decisions by the judges are final.


The dynamic prize list can be seen here We wish to thank the many sponsors who have donated prizes to this contest, please take a moment to pay them a visit or drop them a note of thanks, without these patrons of bonsai, the art would be less, not to mention the contests. For this contest we have specifically requested that only gift certificates be donated, in this way we save the sponsors the hassle and expense of shipping for a world wide contest and assure that the winners receive prizes that they actually can use and appreciate.

AoB will be the sole distributor of the prizes and will notify the sponsors of the winners. We ask that the entrants do not contact the sponsors regarding prize distribution; they will only refer you back to us.
Prizes will be announced and awarded to the winner of each category.

The ABS Journal is the sole decision maker as to which articles will be published in the magazine. Articles chosen for publication may or may not be the articles which received the highest score in the contest.

Categories are as follows:

  • Best Overall Article.
  • Best Article dealing with artistic principles, history, or art theory.
  • Best Article dealing with collecting, cultivation, or styling.


As with all content at the Art of Bonsai project and the Knowledge of Bonsai Forum, all copyrights remain with the author or photographer. For this contest we ask only for permission to use the text and photographs submitted for the contest threads and other contest related threads as well as for possible publication in our forums. We also ask for full permission to be given to publish the text and photographs submitted in any manner relating to the contest as approved by the Art of Bonsai Project or the Knowledge of Bonsai Forum, notably publication in print media such as the ABS Journal. Any other use will require permission to be granted by the author or photographer.

By entering this contest you agree to the terms of use and give full permission for use of all text and photographs for publication by the Art of Bonsai project, the Knowledge of Bonsai Forum, and the ABS Journal. By entering this contest, you agree to accept the rules and amended rules for the contest as posted and also agree to accept the decisions of the AoB and KoB staff, editors, and judges concerning cases not clearly covered in the rules. By entering this contest you also agree to accept the decisions of the judges, whatever they may be and release AoB, KoB, the ABS Journal, their staff, editors, and the judges of this contest from any liability or damages regarding or resulting from this contest.

All decisions of the judges are final. Contest void where prohibited by law.


Entries submitted without the required text and information as described in the rules above will be automatically rejected. An email will be sent to the entrant explaining what was missing and an opportunity to resubmit will be given. Failure to resubmit with the required text and/or information will be cause for disqualification.

Sub-standard photographs and/or illustrations will be automatically rejected. An email will be sent to the entrant explaining what was wrong and an opportunity to resubmit will be given. Failure to resubmit with quality photographs and/or illustrations will be cause for disqualification.

Plagiarism as well as the lack of proper citations, references and sources will be cause for automatic disqualification. Please see the following article as an example of proper layout and credits. ... terati.php

Contest Rules by Will Heath
Copyright 2008 to present. All Rights Reserved.

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