Thank you for your interest in the Secret Southern Discovery Contest. The contest ended August 10th.

Share your most surprising travel experience in the pages of Southern Living. Your story could be about any WOW moment of hidden treasure you discovered (or planned to find) while traveling. Tell us about hidden gems and holes-in-the-wall, little known spas and awe-inspiring vistas, unusual urban shops, or outdoor wilderness adventures. You could also tell us about an unexpected experience in a city very familiar to you or perhaps a place you had never before visited in the South.

We want you to be as descriptive and creative as possible. We will publish the winning story in the Best of Southern Living special edition, while runner-up essays will be published on

One catch: Your discovery destination must be within Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia or West Virginia.

All entries will be judged by representatives of Southern Living magazine based upon Originality (25%); Creativity (25%); Use of language (25%); and Appropriateness to Contest Theme (25%). In the event of a tie, the person among the tied entries with the highest score in Appropriateness to Contest Theme is the winner. Your submission must be original and not previously published. Decisions of judges are final and binding. Southern Living reserves the right to edit the essay for publication. Winner will be notified by email, telephone and/or mail.

No purchase necessary. Purchasing does not improve your chances of winning. Please e-mail your essay along with your full name and daytime phone number to One entry per person. Contest Begins May 13, 2008, and ends at 11:59p.m. CST, August 10, 2008. One (1) winning essay will be published in Southern Living magazine and three (3) finalists' essays will be published on Entrants must be legal resident of the United States, aged 21 years or older. Void where prohibited.