I'm pretty sure that I've read 17 books. Maybe they've split them in a few more parts in the german version?
Unfortunately, The Taint, which is the original source of this information, is now offline, and the Wayback Machine does not store forum databases. So there is no way at present to truly verify Goodkind's policy short of contacting him and asking.
It isn't just the need to read the books in order to enter the competition: I wouldn't really feel I could make an informed vote on the maps, since I wouldn't know a brilliantly researched one from a wildly inaccurate one, so I wouldn't vote.
I would certainly be interested in a "pick your literary inspiration" sort of mapping challenge. Open it up to the map-maker's favorite author/work and I think you'd get a lot of participation. I'd probably go sci-fi.
In light of that, I think mearrin69's suggestion about a "pick your literary inspiration" mapping challenge is a good substitute. Although it suffers from the same problem as this challenge in that it's hard to judge the contributions for outsiders. At least how well they adhere to the original source material.
Hmm..Thomas Covenant anyone?......
What about The Hobbit series? Or Elric Moorcock series? Or even the Wit'ch series?
Thomas Covenant, from what i remember, wasn't very descriptive of cities/lands, but then again, its been a long time since I read them.