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Ready to showcase your insights and real world research before a national audience? Every year, Enterprise through Literature sponsors a national video contest for high school students and their teacher sponsors. Working as individuals or in teams, students choose and read a book that they feel exemplifies the theme of the contest. To enter the contest, students answer the prompt provided by creating a video that visually demonstrates their findings. We encourage students to consider a range of approaches to creating a video including examining historical, real world or fictionalized accounts. Each team also prepares an abstract explaining how the video illustrates their conclusions.

The 2018 prizes for students are

  • 1st place video $500 for each team member – up to 4 members
  • 2nd place video $250 for each team member – up to 4 members
  • 3rd place video $100 for each team member – up to 4 members
  • 5 finalist videos $50 for each team member – up to 4 members *Note that individual submissions count as one team member

Teachers submitting classroom projects are also eligible for prizes!

  • sponsor 3-5 projects and receive UMD swag
  • sponsor 6-10 projects and receive a tee-shirt of your choice from outofprint.com
  • sponsor 11 or more projects and receive a class set of 30 of a utopian or dystopian novel of your choice

Deadline to enter: May 4, 2018

The theme of this year’s ETL contest is Individual Identity in Utopia and Dystopia

In a utopia/dystopia, how is the advancement or restriction of technology and information used by the governing body to control its citizens and limit enterprise? 

You or your team of up to 4 students will choose a work of literature that emphasizes the theme of the contest. For example, say your team reads Anthem, a story about a society in which all individuality has been eliminated. Fortunately, we don’t live in this kind of dystopian society, but every society has elements that individuals might consider more or less ideal for creating their own identity! After reading the book, think about how to tie ideas in the book to a story you want to tell about a real world situation, past or present.

One way to find great stories is to look around your own community. Your family and friends may help you identify people who have been confronted with interesting situations. These stories may inspire you to create a real or fictionalized story showing how someone has been confronted by elements of a utopian or dystopian society. It’s also OK to examine a historical situation.

To recap, here is what we think is OK

  1. A documentary style approach to a real world story
  2. A fictionalized account inspired by a real world story
  3. A story that creatively illustrates a book theme at work in the real world.

Once you’ve identified the book you are using and researched the real world component of your project, you are ready to prepare your contest submission!

Create a video. The video should be between 4 and 6 minutes long. All work must be your own. Please do not use photos or video footage from sources that are copyrighted. If you worked in a group, it should be clear that everyone in the group participated in creating the video. Videos should be uploaded on either youtube.com or teachertube.com with a link provided in our submission form.

Write an essay. The essay should be between 250 and 500 words and should concisely explain the link between the video and the work of literature. If you reference any additional material include a Works Cited page.

Winning submissions will be based on quality of content, clarity, organization, style, and creativity. For more information, read through the contest rules.