The HeroX Writers’ Draft

Do you have something to say about crowdsourcing? We want to hear it, and we can be your platform to share your writing globally.

This challenge is closed


This challenge is closed



Are you intrigued by what we do at HeroX?  Do you want to share your thoughts about crowdsourcing or open innovation in general?  At HeroX, we connect you to the global community of crowdsourcing opportunities.  We host and aggregate challenges from around the world at our platform.  We’re looking for talented, fearless, and curious writers to join our Writers’ Bench.  The HeroX Writers’ Bench is a core group of writers that contributes content to our blog and other relevant content to both and our partner sites.  The HeroX community is diverse in every sense of the word: our crowd comes from every corner of the globe, all stages of life - from student to retiree, and with expertise from every discipline and industrial sector imaginable.  We want our blog and other content to reflect that richness and to bring forth different perspectives on crowdsourcing and related topics, while at the same time speaking from a voice that echoes the HeroX Core Values.  Among other things, we believe in constant learning and growth, in having the courage of our convictions, and in staying positive.

In this challenge, we will award a total prize purse of $2500 to participants who offer a diverse perspective and a distinctive voice.  Winners will be asked to write blog entries on topics selected from the provided list.  In addition to receiving a prize and having their blog posted at HeroX, winners will have the opportunity to join the HeroX Writers Bench as a regular, paid Contributor to the HeroX blog.


The Challenge

HeroX is a nexus where curious and inventive people come to solve problems. People in our community might be just around the corner, or all around the globe.  At any given moment, our platform hosts dozens of challenges on topics ranging from space exploration to healthcare to finance.  We want to increase the engagement levels of our users by offering regular new content that represents a diversity of views while positioning  HeroX as a thought leader.  The Writers’ Bench Challenge helps us bring in new, distinct voices to create a body of content that is reflective of our community: diverse, creative, and always interesting.  Ultimately, we want the Writers’ Bench to create content that educates, inspires and brings the crowd together.

The goals of the Writers’ Bench are several-fold:

  • Increase traffic to HeroX and increase the number of platform users by providing a steady flow of new and interesting content
  • Increase the engagement level of current users by providing a wide diversity of views that results in repeat visits and increased interaction with the community (user-posted comments, uploads, etc)
  • Build a crowd of content consumers around a catalog of topics and learning resources

Becoming a member of the Writers’ Bench offers you more than just payment for your writing.  You will have the opportunity to share your views with a global audience and to establish yourself as a thought-leader in the innovation space.  Additional opportunities to work more deeply with the HeroX team may also arise.

To be successful in this challenge you don’t have to be an expert in crowdsourcing, but you do have to have good writing skills and an opinion to share.  Experience in crowdsourcing, open innovation, or technology scouting is certainly helpful, but really we are looking for contributors that will:

  • Write with a distinctive and articulate voice
  • Write with integrity
  • Have a good understanding of search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Be inspired advocates and ambassadors for the HeroX mission and brand
  • Bring their own unique experiences and expertise to bear on a given topic, or conduct research to develop facts and sources that strengthen writing on a given topic


Phase 1

Submissions to this challenge will be reviewed for writing quality, writing style, and alignment with the HeroX core values.  This initial Phase 1 submission serves as an introduction to you and your writing. Please review the Judging Criteria below to understand more fully what we’re looking for and the relative importance of the different criteria.  The writers with the most compelling introductions and writing examples will be invited to advance to Phase 2.  The Phase 1 submission form requires participants to select a writing assignment topic from the list below.  Should you advance to Phase 2, you will be asked to complete a writing assignment based on your selected topic.  Note that topic selection has no effect on the evaluation of your submission.  

List of possible topics:

  • Why are you the newest member of the Writers’ Bench?
  • How to tune a cacophony of thoughts into a symphony of ideas.
  • 5 strangest places where the big idea was made.
  • Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Finding the Right Partners for a Challenge
  • Thinking Big on Small Budgets: 5 Cost-Effective Strategies to Fuel Innovation
  • 8 ways to spark a culture of innovation at your workplace
  • Intelligent Crowdsourcing: How Big Data and the Hive-mind Are Transforming Business Models
  • 5 cost-efficient problem solving techniques for SME
  • 10 innovations you use today that were created by the crowd

Phase 2

Phase 2 participants are the winners of Phase 1.  They will have approximately a week to complete the writing assignment below, which will be based upon the topics selected in their Phase 1 submissions.  Upon review of the completed writing assignments, the judging panel will announce the two winners and the two runners up.  The winners will receive $1000 (1st place), $750 (2nd place), $500 (3rd place) and the runner-up will receive $250. The writing assignment will consist of the following components:

  1. Title for the blog and 2 alternate titles
  2. Image to accompany blog content and 2 alternate images
  3. Short form blog (300-500 words)
  4. Long form blog (1200-1600 words)
  5. Social posts (with appropriate hashtags and links) for
    1. Twitter
    2. Facebook
    3. LinkedIn

The blogs must each incorporate 5-8 SEO keywords (which will be provided by HeroX) and follow this format:

  • Title
  • 1-3 sentence Introduction/Summary  (meta-description)
  • 4 Summary points
  • Blog body, using subtitles to break up sections
  • Call to action

After editorial review, all 4 winning participants will have their blog entries posted at  Additionally, some, none, or all winners will be asked to join the Writers’ Bench, which, if accepted, guarantees a minimum of 10 pieces of content per year at a rate to be mutually agreed upon.


There is a total prize purse of $2500.  Up to four Phase 1 submissions will be selected as Phase 1 winners, and those winners will participate in Phase 2.  The winners will receive $1000 (1st place), $750 (2nd place), $500 (3rd place) and the runner-up will receive $250.  All prize winners will have their content posted at HeroX (subject to editorial review) and may have the opportunity to work regularly with HeroX as a member of the Writers’ Bench.


Phase 1: Open to SubmissionsJune 23, 2020 
Phase 1: Submission DeadlineAugust 5, 2020 @ 5pm ET 
Phase 1: JudgingAugust 5-26, 2020
Phase 1: Winners AnnouncedAugust 26, 2020
Phase 2: Writing PeriodAugust 26 - September 4, 2020
Phase 2: JudgingSeptember 4-28, 2020
Winners and Runner-Up AnnouncedSeptember 28, 2020


Judging Criteria


Phase 1 Criteria

Phase 1 submissions will be evaluated by the HeroX Evaluation Panel, using the rubric below.

Section DescriptionOverall Weight
Writing - mechanicsWriting meets common standards for grammar, punctuation, and style.  Writing is accessible and at 10th grade reading level.15
Writing - contentWriting displays a unique voice that is competent, evocative, elegant, and inspired.  Likelihood that the author will be able to contribute blog posts that speak with authority and a point of view.40
Writing examplesExamples demonstrate integrity, pride in work, and a distinct point of view35
Alignment with HeroX core valuesDemonstrates ability to collaborate effectively, accountability, positive attitude, and other traits reflective of HeroX core values 10


Phase 2 Criteria

Writing assignments will be evaluated by the HeroX Evaluation Panel, using the rubric below.  

Section DescriptionOverall Weight
Writing: Mechanics and contentWriting meets common standards for grammar, punctuation, and style.  Writing is accessible and at 10th grade reading level.  Writing is competent, evocative, and inspired.


Style and CreativityWriting demonstrates complete story telling, a clear point of view, and commitment to one’s convictions.  SEOs are incorporated gracefully.  Calls to action take into account management of the HeroX community and possible next steps.


Understanding of social mediaAuthors demonstrate an understanding of the differences between the different social channels, their purposes, and impacts through social post constructions that are targeted, creative. and thoughtful.  


Supporting imageryDemonstration of creativity and understanding of multi-media through selection of appropriate supporting imagery.


Ambassador quotientIs the writing fun to read?  Is it a good ambassador for HeroX and is it consistent with HeroX core values?




Participation Eligibility:

The challenge is open to anyone age 18, or older. Submissions must be made in English. All challenge-related communication will be in English.

No specific qualifications or expertise in the field of crowdsourcing or open innovation is required. Prize organizers encourage outside individuals to compete and present new viewpoints. 

To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement

Registration and Submissions:

Submissions must be made online (only), via upload to the website, on or before August 5, 2020, by 5pm ET. No late submissions will be accepted.

Intellectual Property Rights:

Innovators who are awarded a prize for their submission must agree to grant HeroX a royalty free, non-exclusive, irrevocable, world-wide license in all Intellectual Property demonstrated by the winning/awarded submissions. See the Challenge-Specific Agreement for complete details.

Selection of Winners:

Based on the winning criteria, prizes will be awarded per the weighted Judging Criteria section above.

Judging Panel:

The determination of the winners will be made by a HeroX Evaluation Panel.  The panel will consist of HeroX team members and other members of the Writers’ Bench. 

Additional Information

  • By participating in the challenge, each competitor agrees to submit only their original idea. Any indication of "copying" amongst competitors is grounds for disqualification.
  • All applications will go through a process of due diligence; any application found to be misrepresentative, plagiarized, or sharing an idea that is not their own will be automatically disqualified.
  • All ineligible applicants will be automatically removed from the competition with no recourse or reimbursement.
  • No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win the competition.
  • Void wherever restricted or prohibited by law.

Challenge Updates

And the winners are...

Sept. 28, 2020, 11 a.m. PDT by Despina Maliaka

And that's a wrap! Thank you once again to everyone who participated in the HeroX Writers' Draft. We saw some really amazing submissions, and are thrilled with the final results:


1st Place ($1000): Tom Haxton

2nd Place ($750): George Shewchuk

3rd Place ($500): Matthew Gaiser

4th Place ($250): Michael Trigg


Each of the finalists submitted entries that were thoughtful, interesting to read, and in keeping with the type of content that we want on the HeroX platform. Congratulations to each of them! 

-Team HeroX


Congratulations to our finalists!

Aug. 26, 2020, 2:01 p.m. PDT by Despina Maliaka

Greetings Writers!

Thank you for everyone who participated in the HeroX Writers Draft! We were thrilled with the number of submissions we received and we super impressed by the quality. After a thorough review by our judges, we are happy to announce the following finalists who are moving onto round 2:

  • George Shewchuk
  • Matthew Gaiser
  • Tom Haxon
  • Michael Trigg

These finalists will be submitting another written piece for a shot at winning part of $2,500 and a spot on the HeroX Writers' Bench. Good luck to our finalists and thank you, once again, to all of our participants! 

Don't miss your chance to be admitted to the HeroX Writers' Bench!

Aug. 5, 2020, 8:03 a.m. PDT by Despina Maliaka


You may have received a notification yesterday that there were only 8 hrs left to submit.  That update was sent out in error. The submission deadline is today, at 10:59pm EDT.   That deadline is fast approaching - but worry not! You still have time to submit your piece and put your name in the ring as one of our official writers.  

Don't wait until the last minute.  We are looking forward to seeing your submission. 

-Team HeroX


8 Hours Remaining to Submit!

Aug. 4, 2020, 6 p.m. PDT by Lulu

If you're still assembling your submission, you have exactly 8 hours left to complete it! 

Here's a Tip: HeroX recommends innovators plan to submit with at least a 3-hour window of time before the true deadline. Last-minute technical problems and unforeseen roadblocks have been the cause of many headaches. Don't let that be you!

Two Day Warning

Aug. 2, 2020, 6 p.m. PDT by Lulu

This is your official two-day reminder!

That's right, the HeroX Writers’ Draft will be closing this coming August 5th at 5:00 pm Eastern Time (New York/USA).

Please be sure to complete your submission form well before the exact cut-off time. 

At exactly 5:00 pm ET, we can no longer accept new submissions! 

Got questions?

Now is the time to speak up! Comment directly on this update with any questions about the submission process and we'll get back to you right away! 

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