On The Premises are running another of their mini contests. You're asked to submit between 30 and 50 words, one of which must be 'zebra'. There are cash prizes. (I got an honourable mention in the last one and Alyson Hilbourne, who often supplies competition links for this blog, came third!)
There aren't any zebras around here – even the crossing down the High Street is devoid of zebras, so I've used my incredible Photoshop skills, combined with my awesome artistic abilities, to create one. (If this picture paints a thousand words, 978 of them are incorrectly spelled, and the punctuation is decidely dodgy.)
Do you ever think that these competitions which cost nothing to enter, are very easy to submit to, and offer money as a reward to the winners, sound somehow too good to be true? That there must be some kind of catch? Sometimes there is – the most common being 'rights grabs' or a hard sell on books containing the winning entries. (With paid for competitions there's a very small risk that the entry fee will be accepted, but no prizes ever awarded.)
Although I'll warn of any potential issues I'm aware of, I simply don't have time to fully research every competition I mention here, so do read all the terms and conditions thoroughly and only enter if you're happy with them. You might also like to carry out an internet search to confirm previous winners really exist, or that no issues have been reported.
I'm naturally a little on the cynical side and probably would have been more wary of these free competitions, had I not won the first time I was persuaded to enter one (in 2002). Since then I've tried lots more and sometimes won cash and other nice things. I've never encountered a problem as a result – the closest I've come to that is ending up on a mailing list, but these days it's easy to take yourself off those.