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The other day I was asking what you would most like to see as prizes in New Zealand online competitions. I got quite a lot of replies and some interesting results as to what people want to win most urgently. Based on the answers coming in I can share this ulimate list of most popular prizes as of now:
  1. an iPad or iPad mini
  2. holidays
  3. vouchers for day-to-day shopping
A lot of the wishes for holiday competitions where actually family holidays in New Zealand or European destinations.

Here is a compilation I did of some of those popular prizes for you
  1. win an Apple iPad or iPad Mini
  2. win a holiday
  3. win grocery shopping vouchers
Thanks to all who shared their view and please keep them coming!

P.S. A special message to Rob in Christchurch who send me more than a dozen messages all about his favourite prize. Some of them really funny but I could only count you once still! Although you did not make it anywhere close the top list with that I made a list with you requested most popular prize:


Tips on how to win words or less competitions to increase your chances or winning. Words or less competitions are very common in New Zealand and often the odds are better than in other contests because of the additional hurdle for participation. Here is my guide to getting you close to winning that prize!

1 - Make the most of your chance

Words or less competitions give you that unique chance to win through skill rather than luck. So if it is a demanding question but on a topic where you know your stuff or just have a very creative moment you can really increase your chance of winning dramatically.

2 - Think about the jury

The winner of a Words Or Less competition is determined by a jury reviewing the various entries. Try to think about what those people in the jury and what they may be looking for in deciding on the winner. Also remember the jury may have a hard work to do with potentially thousands of entries. To make their life easier you want to make it a bit entertaining and not boring like all the other entries that those poor people have to go through.

3 - Be original in your answer

Don't just copy something good that you saw elsewhere. Chances are that the jury will check that and the original text may be found with just a quick search on Google. You need to come up with your own text to make your entry win.

4 - Make your answer a surprise

Again to stand out and make the jury notice your answer you want to write something that is different from what can be expected and what everybody else will submit as their entry. Your surprise answer could make people smile, laugh or be stunned. Either would do the job of making your entry special.

5 - Being funny may do the job

If you can manage to turn your words-or-less answer into a friendly joke go for it! Something funny that makes the jury smile and enjoy your entry definitely will help and increase your chances of winning the contest. Be a bit careful with making to harsh a joke on the product that you want to win as the jury may consist of marketing people promoting just that product. If you go too far they may not choose your entry which is supposed to be published as the winning entry to the public!

6 - Try a rhyme if you can

It is not an absolute must to make your entry a rhyme but if you find a way to do so go even better. It does not even be a perfect rhyme. A rhyme of words which is a bit off may even be funnier.

7 - Put in a personal note

If you have a personal story to share in your answer that can be interesting for the jury. Maybe how you or some family member would benefit so much from winning the prize or some funny incident that happened with friends or family related to what the words-or-less contest is about.

8 - Remember the words limit and mind your spelling

You really need to pay attention to the limit of words allowed in the words-or-less competition. Even if the jury really really loves your entry they would not be allowed to award you the prize if your entry is too long. The terms and conditions are legally binding so once published they really would not be allowed to deviate from them as that would be unfair to other entrants who stuck to the rules.
Not quite as strict as the word limit but also a possible pitfall is your spelling. You really should spellcheck your response using some online tool or wordprocessor. A spello in your answer definitely risks your entry being disqualified from the words or less competitions. The brand organizing the competition typically wants to publish the winning entry and they really do not want to publish something with a spelling mistake which would look embarrassing even for the jury. In particular, be careful with regards to the spelling of the brand and their products themselves. The jury would never let you through with a lapse on those.

9 - Name the product or brand name

Make some friendly reference to the product or brand name of the competition. After all the whole competition is likely to be a marketing activity for the organizer so they want what ever they try to promote to be mentioned.

10 - Do lots of Words-Or-Less entries

As always remember that your chances increase with more entries. Words-or-less competitions are skill games so by right you will not win by luck but by skill. However, if you have more entries you will of course have a higher possilibity of on of your entries being selected by the jury. Some words-or-less competitons actually allow for several entries per participants. This is because the organizer really wants to create some buzz for their competition and the more people write the better. Before you do multiple entries though check the terms and conditions whether this is really the case for the particular competition.
Then you can of course also enter many different words-or-less competitions from different websites. And when doing so you may even be able to 'recycle' some of the creative work you did in a previous competiton. After all the jury will be different so they would not know. And it is your own original work so there really isn't anything wrong with using that several times!

YOU can findthe latest words-or-less competitions here.


Today I have something exciting to share. A special guest feature by Jon McKnight, co-comper and author of A Prize to Die For. I hope you like this introduction to Jon's new book and will enjoy reading his novel as much. I certainly did and I think anybody slightly addicted to competitions must have read it!

* * *

Next time you Google the answer to a competition, text an entry or fill out an online entry form, think yourself lucky. Because while it may seem hard to believe in New Zealand in the 21st Century, comping wasn't always this easy. Back in the early Nineties, there was no Google, no Facebook and no KiwiCompetitions. If you were a serious comper, you'd subscribe to a printed solutionist magazine that popped through your letterbox once a month with news of comps that had often closed by the time you heard about them. And when you entered, you'd have to hope the postal service delivered your precious entry on time, or even at all. And there were no online confirmations that your entry had been received in those days. But comping was still fun - and on the other side of the globe, author Jon McKnight was busy writing a comic novel, A Prize To Die For, that's set in our world and reveals just how much trouble an obsession can get you into. In this special feature for KiwiCompetitions, he tells how he stumbled upon an idea for a novel that's proving a winner around the world…
A Prize to die For

I DON'T know if it's the same in New Zealand, but over here in the UK we compers are often seen as something of an oddity by the rest of society. Can't see why that is, myself. After all, what's so odd about buying 96 tins of cat food when you don't own a cat, or filling your shopping trolley with babies' nappies when you don't have a baby nor, fortunately, any need for nappies yourself? Is it really so unusual to have a kitchen cupboard full of bandaged cornflake packets and tins without a single label to identify their contents? And surely everyone's entitled to get bored with winning microwaves when the fifth one arrives in a year? Well, perhaps not. But it's rather ironic that many in the outside world dismiss us as losers when, in fact, we're quite the opposite. The sneers disappear pretty quickly when they ask why you do it and you tell them it's because you've just won a car that's worth a year's salary and all it cost you was a bit of brain-wracking and a postage stamp. And by the time you've reeled off the list of your recent wins, the doubters will be asking you how they can take up our hobby themselves. Sounds familiar, I imagine. But back in the Nineties in England, the comping landscape was a very different place. The National Lottery with its weekly multi-million-pound jackpots was still around the corner, the world wide web wasn't known or used very widely around the world, and a prize of £1,000 a month for life would guarantee front-page headlines for the winner. That's the one I most wanted to win, and the comp allowed multiple entries, so I was working on my 50th slogan when I realised the plot for a comic novel had just landed in my lap. I imagined a pet food manufacturer in financial difficulties, trying to solve its problem by announcing a headline-grabbing prize of £1,000 a month for life that would boost sales and brand recognition. Only it intended to fix the comp so that the oldest entrant would win - ideally a 95-year-old whose prize wouldn't cost the firm much if the shock of the win, coupled with any riotous living that the nonagenarian attempted, resulted in even less longevity. But the best-laid plans of mice and bent competition promoters don't always work out, and the prize is accidentally awarded to the best entrant - a mere 30-year-old. We see the Managing Director of the pet food firm tossing and turning in his sleep, mentally calculating how much the young winner could cost him… if he lived! I was going to say you can imagine what happens next - but I rather hope you can't, or you won't need to buy my book. Suffice it to say that the corrupt competitions judge who was meant to have fixed the result tries to make amends by agreeing to ensure that 30-year-old Tim Wembury won't be collecting his monthly prize for long. But that's the least of Tim's problems. In those pre-Aids awareness days, he's steeled himself to buy 36 condoms for a comp but, as luck would have it, finds himself in the only city in Britain where he can't post his entries because of a Royal Mail strike. His habit of entering comps clearly intended for women and giving just his initial and surname so the judges won't realise he's a man is about to cause him a shedload of grief because he buys a sexy Italian bikini as the entry qualifier but doesn't notice the rule about entrants having to wear the item they bought at the glittering prize-giving ceremony. And despite his success as a comper, the one thing Tim most wants to win is the heart of a woman. Enter Dilly, the darling of the pet food company that ran the comp. She really seems to like Tim, but is she just being nice because she's paid to, and will she prove to be a femme fatale, literally?

Author Jon McKnight

Sorry, but you'll have to read the book to find out what happens! The writing style has been compared, generously, to that of the late Tom Sharpe, and A Prize To Die For has been greeted with a succession of five-star reviews on Amazon. Reviewers (who may all be catastrophically wrong, of course, and can't all be my Mum, surely) have described the novel as "a gem of a book", "achingly funny", and "thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining". One reviewer enthused: "Not many books make me laugh out loud and hoot with delight, but this one did."

The novel is set in Plymouth, England, with real locations that visitors to this coastal city can explore. How many of them realise that Smeaton's Tower, the lighthouse on The Hoe, is the location for an attempted murder, or that the huge war memorial nearby contains a secret chamber? Although it's aimed at a general audience, A Prize To Die For will have an extra resonance for compers as it's one of the very few (I know of only one other, and that's out of print) to be set in our comping world. Now for the bit that makes every comper nervous: the judging. Is A Prize To Die For worth a place on your bookshelf?

* * *
A Prize To Die For by Jon McKnight is published by Middle England Media and is available for Kindle, Kobo or iBooks. Details at www.aprizetodiefor.com and on the A Prize To Die For Facebook page.





This is a fantastic chance if you are a fan - if you win you will get your very own tour of the Coronation Street set in England! The prize also includes flights to London for two, transfer to Manchester where you will be staying four nights in a 4-star hotel. With all meals included!

Only thing you have to do is to get a NZ Woman's Weekly issue and enter a unique code from it. I'd say it is a rare chance to be taken! Just click on the picture below to get to the competition.
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