I know everyone loves rules, but it's really important that you read all of these and follow them carefully. I have to be fair, and I don't want to disqualify anyone. Here's the drill... (And if you're still not sure about something, please contact me!)
The Short Version
- Step 0: Decide if you want to enter the 2D or 3D category. What's the difference? A 2D cake is a flat cake without true structural components coming out of the cake. Think of it like a very fancy sheet cake. A 3D cake is a sculpted trophy of man's ignorance of the limits of cake. Or something. It's pretty self-evident if you check out previous winners for each category.
- Step 1: Bake a cake based on a design found here. (This page will take a while to load; it's HUGE!)
- Step 2: Take a TON of photos! Get photos of the entire baking, decorating, and eating process, in addition to your finsihed entry shots.
- Step 3: Submit your entry between 9/1/2014 and 11/3/2014 at 11:59:59, MST. (Arizona time, THIS IS RIGHT AFTER THE DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME SWITCH in the US!)
- TIME ZONES:Contest ends at 11:59:59 PM MST on 11/3/2014. This is a Monday night for Arizona. It is 11 PM California time, 1 AM on 11/4 Chicago time, 2 AM 11/4 New York time, 7 AM on 11/4 London/UTC/GMT time, and somehow nearly 6 PM on 11/4 in Sydney, Australia. Confused? Add it to your Calendar Here!
- Step 4: Tweet and Facebook your cakes! While you're at it, follow us and like us as well!
- Step 5: Eat your delicious entry. Remember, even if you don't win, you still get to eat delicious cake!
Now for the nitty-gritty... please read through these carefully before attempting an entry or asking me questions!
Timeframe & Other Stuff
- Contest Starts: Monday, September 1, 2014
- Contest Ends: Monday, November 3rd, 2014 at 11:59pm MST. Entries WILL NOT be accepted after this date and time!
- There may be surprise weekly prizes. These prizes will be awarded to favorites from entries in the previous week, or randomly.
- You MAY submit AS MANY ENTRIES as you want, in either category! Go nuts!
- You can only win once in 2014!!! (Winners from last year's contest are eligible, of course!)
- Anyone in just about any country is eligible. Most prizes should stay the same, but a few may need to change based on your location. (We have trouble shipping physical prizes to some countries, sadly.)
- Cakes must be YOUR creation. Friends can help, naturally, and, in fact, several people hosted cake-baking parties last time around.
- As such, you MUST BAKE THE CAKES! You should include pictures of the baking process to prove this!
- Cakes CAN be made from boxed mix and canned frosting. How it tastes is up to you. No buying prebaked sheet cake at the store, though.
- Cakes MUST be based on a PRINTED Threadless, Threadless Select, Type Tees, or Threadless Kids design. (These CAN be sold out or retired designs, so long as they were at some point in time printed by Threadless! If you can't find it here, you can't submit it.)
- Cakes MUST be of just one design.
- Cakes are an interpretation of a design. Be creative! (This is to say they don't need to be pixel-perfect interpretations, but our winners have trended towards that in previous contests.)
- You MAY NOT re-submit your entries from last year's contest.
- Cakes MUST be CAKE. The entire creation needs to be edible, with a few exceptions. You MAY use fondant, marzipan, sugar glass, and any other type of edible material for support. You MAY also use some toothpicks or dowels to support, but we prefer more cake. Typically, we'll allow you to enter either way, but the more edible, the better, the more cake, even better still. The judge panel may take support structures into account. Entries with support structures have won in the past, but they were nearly entirely edible otherwise.
- A note about supports: We've seen some interesting entries, including metal support structures, rice-krispie features, wooden shelves and dowels, and more. I accept these entries, but as above, the more edible the better, generally speaking. Still, we love the amazing designs people can deliver with just a little bit of non-edible support, but you need to ensure you document the entire structure and process so we know what's the magic behind your entry. It's important that we be able to tell how you've assembled your cake, especially if you're using some non-edible support.
- Assume we mean dessert cake. While I am a fan of pancakes, crabcakes, and all other forms of cake, non-dessert-cake entries may be dropped. Cupcakes are totally allowed, though. Cheesecake? Not so much.
- You are responsible for all cake expenses. And cake-related injuries. Please be careful.
- You must own the rights to ALL PHOTOS you upload to us.
- Keep it clean. Don't upload anything objectionable. (All entries are subject to approval. We want to keep this site completely kid-friendly, though.)
- By entering in the contest and uploading your photos for your submission, you grant us perpetual, non-exclusive rights to reproduce and use those images throughout our site, but also in other collateral, promotional materials, social media, etc., as we see fit, and without compensation. Please note that we may use your photos even if you do NOT win. You also grant us license to allow other publications to share, distribute, and print your images. This is necessary given the exposure we anticipate. You still own the images, and your name will always appear on the entry, but we need total rights to distribute and redistribute your photos as we see fit. We will try our very best to attribute, but if you have a problem with this, you shouldn't enter.
- You MUST take MULTIPLE PHOTOS of both the cake AND the creation process. Entries with just one photo WILL BE REJECTED! (In fact, the system won't let you submit an entry with fewer than 5 photos. The more photos, the better!!! There is NO LIMIT to how many photos you can upload, but edit out blurry or poorly framed shots, please.)
- Creation process photos need to show that you're working with cake and other baking supplies. Show us how you assembled the cake, from start to delicious finish.
- Likewise, this means you should have a picture uploaded of you and your friends and family cutting into and enjoying the delicious cake!
- Be excellent to one another. Fortunately, the Threadcakes community has been completely amazing to one another! This is really encouraging and I like that I hardly have to moderate things.
- Please keep this a fun, encouraging place for people to share their designs!
- Please keep your entry stories creative, fun, and mostly clean!
Why no professional/amateur categories?
The single most-asked question I receive about Threadcakes is: "Why aren't there separate amateur and professional categories? I have no chance at winning against these pros!"
This is probably true! And it can be discouraging! The seemingly simple solution to this would be to simply launch an "amateur" category, where only amateur bakers could enter! But let me walk you briefly through the issues I foresee with this:
- What constitutes an "amateur"? Is it someone who has baked all their lives for fun but never been paid? Someone who has baked fewer than 10 cakes? Where do we draw the line?
- There are some fantastic "amateur" bakers. So good that I guarantee someone will end up frustrated at the insanely high quality of the winning amateur entries, and then accuse them of secretly being professionals: members of some elite baking cabal, set out to ruin online baking contests. What's worse, that may very well be the case! We'd have no way of knowing if a "professional" decided to hustle the amateur category by entering as an amateur to take the smaller prize there. Why compete in the harder category if you feel you can run the amateur contest?
- This contest isn't really about having a fantastic chance at winning. Amateur or not, you'll see our past winners have been completely incredible. Most people can't bake & decorate cakes that good. I certainly can't. And that's okay! We want amateurs to enter, to have fun developing their skills, challenging themselves, sharing their success and failures, and seeking advice on our Facebook page!
I hope this helps explain my perspective on why simply adding a new category isn't as simple as it sounds. And I hope you'll still invite some friends over, pick a design, and have a REALLY great time baking up a wild mess and decorating a great cake!