CSAR announces 2024 annual blog contest

In Public by Colorado Search and Rescue Association (CSAR)

It’s time for our annual blog contest!   This year, we would like to suggest that our membership think of the blog contest as a fundraising tool for your team.  Articles submitted to the contest will be published on the CSAR blog and your team can link to them from any platform you choose; your website, your social channels, your local media outlets, etc.  CSAR may also request your permission to submit winning articles to various external publications, giving you more public exposure for fundraising purposes. For example, we are currently soliciting articles for a column called Get Wild in the Summit Daily News.  We may seek other similar opportunities in the future.  

Submissions may be made to annadebattiste@coloradosar.org and this year’s deadline is March 3, 2024.  Please read the guidelines carefully before submitting. 

Submission categories:

  • Favorite rescue story/ most memorable rescue story
    • 1st place $100
    • 2nd place $30
    • 3rd place $20
  • Articles meant for public education (teach the public something)
    • 1st place $100
    • 2nd place $30
    • 3rd place $20
  • Articles meant for member technical education (teach the members something)
    • 1st place $100
    • 2nd place $30
    • 3rd place $20
  • Articles from members of the public or non-SAR agencies
    • 1st place $100
    • 2nd place $30
    • 3rd place $20
  • The winners will be chosen by a judge panel including CSAR’s Public Information and Education Committee (PIE) Program and Education Program managers.  They will solicit appropriate subject matter expert input from board members and committee members depending on the topic, especially for technical articles. 
  • If only one article is submitted in any category and that article meets the criteria for submission, that submission will automatically win first prize and be published to the blog. 
  • All articles and story submissions may be edited as necessary and posted to the blog at the discretion of the reviewers.
  • The winning articles will be announced on the blog, on social media and by email to the membership email group. 

General Entry Criteria

  • There are no length restrictions on entries, but your article or story should be an appropriate length to maintain audience interest. A good range to shoot for would be between 1000 and 2000 words, but longer articles will be considered.
  • Photos and illustrations are encouraged to maintain interest and help visually convey aspects of the written entry. 
  • Any active member of any CSAR member team may submit for the rescue story, public education article, or technical article.
  • The article or essay must be original work by the submitting team member, and must not have been previously published in a commercial publication without written permission from that publication that it is authorized to use for this contest. 
  • CSAR reserves the right to copyedit all entries for the purpose of publication on the CSAR blog. CSAR reserves the right to publish all entries on the CSAR blog, regardless of whether they win an award.
  • Contest entrants may request editing assistance from CSAR’s PIE program manager prior to entering the competition if the article is submitted before February 15th. 

Specific Category Judging Criteria

Favorite rescue story/ most memorable rescue story:

Judging criteria include the story’s ability to make the reader “see” the incident response in vivid detail, the ability of the rescue itself to spark audience interest, and/or the usefulness of lessons learned for other SAR members.

While the event itself can have happened at any point in Colorado’s EMS history, the story/article should have been written relatively recently.  

Articles meant for public education (teach the public something)

Articles will be judged on their ability to introduce new topics, or bring a fresh perspective on old topics, in backcountry recreational safety; and/or to explain technical subjects in clear, layperson terminology.

Articles meant for member technical education (teach the members something)

An appropriate subject matter expert from a CSAR committee will judge the technical accuracy and general usefulness of the information presented.  For example, an article written about new radio technology will be judged by the radio committee chair. 

Articles from members of the public or non-SAR agencies

This category is for anything related to backcountry search and rescue written by someone who is not a member of a CSAR member team. It might include, but is not limited to, stories from rescue subjects about their experience of being rescued; technical or educational articles about BSAR from other EMS organizations; or stories about mutual aid response from other EMS organizations.  Anything is fair game as long as it relates to backcountry search and rescue.

Questions?  Email annadebattiste@coloradosar.org