Ugh. Those "contests" are an opportunity for unsuspecting suckers to give away the rights to photos for the dubious distinction of a bit of near-worthless "exposure". NG is exploiting people with these web contests and the equivalent sections in the magazine.
Completely agreed. Think twice before handing over the rights to your hard-earned images:
"You grant to National Geographic Society and its subsidiaries and licensees ("NGS") the following rights: a royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual license to display, distribute, reproduce and create derivatives of the Photograph, in whole or in part, without further review or participation from you, in any medium now existing or subsequently developed, in editorial, commercial, promotional and trade uses in connection with NGS Products."