My vote goes to option #3. There are far too many options for misunderstanding and loopholes in the current model.
Another concern I have is that participates have pushed out a ton of articles yet none of them were noticed. None of them were circulated, picked up by other sources or seen on social media.
What is the point of your efforts if it ends up going nowhere? Don’t you want to see your work appreciated and live on vs published and forgotten? The current PR contest model should be reworked from the ground up, one where people don’t hide their works, work towards value and appreciation, and above all the benefit of the entire FT network.
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”