Personal Essay Documentary

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The $3,000 award will be reported to the winner on a 1099-Miscellaneous tax form.

It is the responsibility of the winners to file their tax liability.

We are interested in work that directs its gaze outward, that curiously engages with the world, and that is, as former CDS director Tom Rankin describes, “derived from an in-depth understanding of place, history, and the current situation, in concert with a personal relationship to the proposed work.

Ultimately, the commitment is to use documentary expression to motivate the thinking and reflection of others.” The judging will be based only on the work as presented, with focus on the strength and nuance of the essay submitted as a narrative; the subject matter can be weighty or light-hearted.

An admissions committee member once told me that it mattered less what an applicant’s experience was, what mattered was how they talked about it.

Even the most seemingly dull experience can be transformative to someone who is really paying attention.

There are no restrictions on the age and nationality of the applicants.

Individuals currently associated with the Center for Documentary Studies are not eligible for the prize.

If I have trouble submitting my entry, whom do I contact?

For technical support related to uploading documents, entry forms, and/or payments, please contact .


Comments Personal Essay Documentary

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