Travel Web site Trazzler  and NYCgo , a New York City lifestyle site, are currently running a travel writing competition  for a short-short essay on a personal oasis. One writer will win ten thousand dollars and a two-week trip to New York City to write about oases in the urban landscape for Trazzler. Four runners-up will receive five-hundred-dollar contracts to cover fifteen excursions. The deadline for 160-word entries, accepted online only, is August 17.
"Modern life can often feel like a trek through the desert," Trazzler says in its contest guidelines. "We want you to write about a place that not only satisfies your thirst for a change of scenery, but goes beyond this, breaking the spell of everyday existence and providing the ‘refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast’ that we all crave, especially in the summer."
According to the guidelines, writers may have to employ some self-promotion to make it through the three-tiered selection process. Semifinalists’ pieces, chosen by editors and posted on Trazzler, will be voted on by the public. For writers among the semifinalists, Trazzler recommends publicizing the mini-essays using Twitter , social networking sites, and blogs. An editorial jury will then select the winner from the ten most popular pieces, and the prize announcement will be made during the week of September 21.
In order to enter, writers must sign up to be members of Trazzler using their Facebook  accounts. A note to residents of Arizona: according to the official rules, this contest is void in the state.