Prompt and Mediums

The 2017 HonorsGradU multimedia scholarship is now closed. Check out the awardees’ work here, and check back this summer for information on the 2018 scholarship!

The Prompt

Each year, we carefully select prompts to foster individual expression, genuine reflection, and personal meaning. This year’s prompt is as follows (drum roll…):

Represent your views about the concepts of education vs. learning.

Please make sure your project is a reflection of this prompt in some way. While we don’t specifically ban work that you have previously created (class projects, etc.), if it does not directly respond to the prompt, we will not accept it. For more background on the prompt, as well as some friendly do’s and don’ts, click here!

Once you choose your medium and complete your project, submit it using our form here!

The Mediums

ART

As Aristotle once said,

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.

ART REQUIREMENTS

Art projects can include any painting, drawing, sketching, sculpting or other method that involves creating shapes on a surface.

Remember that this year, the ART category is available to high school seniors only, not college applicants.

For submission, you have options:

  • Digital submission:
    1. Scan 2D artwork, or take a high-quality photo of 3D artwork.
    2. Upload to a cloud storage file such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc. in a jpg or png format.
    3. Double-check the share settings so we can view it. “Anyone with the link may view” is a good option. We cannot grade your project if we cannot view it!
    4. Carefully locate the link to your file and copy and paste it in your submission form. If it is not the correct link, we cannot grade it, so please test it out in another browser first!
    5. Note: You may not edit the file past the deadline, April 16, 2017. Any file marked as edited past that date will be disqualified. 
    6. Just like in a museum or art exhibit, you may provide an optional brief description of your piece with your submission (up to 300 words). This should NOT be an attempt to write a mini-essay responding to the prompt (keeping in mind that this is not an essay scholarship program, but a creative multimedia program).
  • Physical mail submission. See instructions on the bottom of the Submission Form page.

Regardless of how you choose to submit, your project must be only one panel. We will not accept paneled art.

ART FAQ’S

Please read these before submitting.

CAN I MAIL IN MY ARTWORK?

Yes. See instructions at the bottom of the submission form page. Once you’ve sent it out, please email scholarship{at}honorsgraduation{dot}com to let us know we should be keeping an eye out for it.

CAN I SEND IN AN ESSAY WITH MY ART PIECE?

No. Your work should be a reflection of the prompt WITHOUT an essay. Just like in a museum or art exhibit, may provide an optional brief description of your piece with your submission (up to 300 words), but this should NOT be an attempt to write a mini-essay responding to the prompt.

HOW WILL I KNOW YOU GOT MY WORK?

  • After you submit the form, the page should display a message that says, “Your form was successfully submitted. Thank you for contacting us.” If this message does not show up, please try submitting the form again using a different browser. If that still does not work, you may contact scholarship{at}honorsgraduation{dot}com for assistance.
  • If you mail it in, we suggest getting tracking information on the package.

CAN I SUBMIT A PIECE THAT I MADE BEFORE?

If it directly responds to the prompt, you may submit it. This is not preferable, though, because the whole idea of this is to foster creativity. For an enriching experience, we would encourage you to make something new.

CAN I SUBMIT DIGITAL ART?

Yes. As long as it responds to the prompt, and fits the guidelines of “shapes on a surface,” consider it allowed. If you have something specific that you’re not sure fits the guidelines, please contact us at scholarship{at}honorsgraduation{dot}com.

CAN I SUBMIT A PROJECT DEPICTING SEXUAL, GORY, VIOLENT, OR OTHERWISE EXPLICIT MATERIAL?

Because we will be publishing winners’ work to our website, we will not accept any explicit material.


PHOTOGRAPHY

As Ansel Adams once said,

You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.

Photography requirements

Photography projects can include any type of photography. You are allowed to send one to six images.

Remember that this year, the PHOTOGRAPHY category is available to high school seniors only, not college applicants.

For submission, you have options:

  • Digital submission:
    1. Upload photo(s) to a cloud storage file such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc. in a jpg or png format. If there are multiple photos, save to a single folder.
    2. Double-check the share settings so we can view the file and/or folder. “Anyone with the link may view” is a good option. We cannot grade your project if we cannot view it!
    3. Carefully locate the link to your file or folder and copy and paste it in your submission form. If it is not the correct link, we cannot grade it, so please test it out in another browser first!
    4. Note: You may not edit the file or folder past the deadline, April 16, 2017. Any file marked as edited past that date will be disqualified. 
    5. Just like in a museum or art exhibit, you may provide an optional brief description of your piece with your submission (up to 300 words). This should NOT be an attempt to write a mini-essay responding to the prompt (keeping in mind that this is not an essay scholarship program, but a creative multimedia program).
  • Physical mail submission. See instructions on the bottom of the Submission Form page.

Regardless of how you choose to submit, your project must only contain minor editing for light and retouching (black and white, etc.). Anything else may be submitted as an ART project. Please make sure you know the camera make and model, as we ask for that information.

Photography FAQ’s

CAN I MAIL IN MY PHOTOGRAPH(S)?

Yes. See instructions at the bottom of the submission form page. Once you’ve sent it out, please email scholarship{at}honorsgraduation{dot}com to let us know we should be keeping an eye out for it.

 

CAN I SEND IN AN ESSAY WITH MY PHOTO(S)?

No. Your work should be a reflection of the prompt WITHOUT an essay. Just like in a museum or art exhibit, may provide an optional brief description of your piece with your submission (up to 300 words), but this should NOT be an attempt to write a mini-essay responding to the prompt.

HOW WILL I KNOW YOU GOT MY WORK?

  • After you submit the form, the page should display a message that says, “Your form was successfully submitted. Thank you for contacting us.” If this message does not show up, please try submitting the form again using a different browser. If that still does not work, you may contact scholarship{at}honorsgraduation{dot}com for assistance.
  • If you mail it in, we suggest getting tracking information on the package.

CAN I SUBMIT PHOTO(S) I TOOK BEFORE I HEARD ABOUT THIS SCHOLARSHIP?

If it directly responds to the prompt, you may submit it. This is not preferable, though, because the whole idea of this is to foster creativity. For an enriching experience, we would encourage you to make something new.

HOW MUCH CAN I EDIT MY PICTURES?

You can only do minor touch-ups and corrections, such as black and white editing. You can layer images that you’ve taken. HDR is fine. If you wish to mix media and draw overlays on your images, please submit as an ART project.

CAN I PHOTOGRAPH WORDS? WHAT IF THERE ARE WORDS IN THE BACKGROUND OF THE IMAGE(S) I TAKE? WHAT IF MY SUBJECT HAS TATTOOS? ARE THOSE ELIGIBLE?

This is a little tricky. Obviously, this is a photography submission and we do not want to get an essay from you. On the other hand, we’re not going to disqualify your post because there’s a street sign somewhere in the background. As long as the words are not a focal or supporting point of your photography (for example, this image would get disqualified), it should be okay. There are a million ways to express something without the use of words.

CAN I SUBMIT A PROJECT DEPICTING SEXUAL, GORY, VIOLENT, OR OTHERWISE EXPLICIT MATERIAL?

Because we will be publishing winners’ work to our website, we will not accept any explicit material.


VIDEO

As Dorothea Lange once said,

The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.

Video requirements

If it involves you filming a short video that you wrote, edited, and directed, you can submit it. To be precise:

  • The film must be 3:00-7:01. It can’t be longer than 7:01 and can’t be shorter than 3:00.
  • You must have written any script involved.
  • You must have directed the film.
  • You must have edited the film.
  • Any actors or other outside help must be credited in the work itself or in the submission form.

Remember that this year, the VIDEO category is available to college applicants only, not high school seniors.

For submission:

  1. Upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo. No other platform will be accepted.
  2. Double check the share settings so we can view your piece.
  3. Submit the link to us through the submission form.
  4. Just like in a museum or art exhibit, you may provide an optional brief description of your piece with your submission (up to 300 words). This should NOT be an attempt to write a mini-essay responding to the prompt (keeping in mind that this is not an essay scholarship program, but a creative multimedia program).
Video FAQ’s

CAN I SEND A DIRECT VIDEO FILE?

No. All videos must be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo, with the link provided to us in the upload form.

HOW WILL I KNOW YOU GOT MY WORK?

After you submit the form, the page should display a message that says, “Your form was successfully submitted. Thank you for contacting us.” If this message does not show up, please try submitting the form again using a different browser. If that still does not work, you may contact scholarship{at}honorsgraduation{dot}com for assistance.

CAN I SUBMIT A VIDEO I CREATED BEFORE I HEARD ABOUT THIS SCHOLARSHIP?

If it directly responds to the prompt, you may submit it. This is not preferable, though, because the whole idea of this is to foster creativity. For an enriching experience, we would encourage you to make something new.

CAN I HAVE MY FRIENDS ACT IN MY VIDEO OR DO I HAVE TO DO ALL THE WORK?

To make it considered “yours,” you must direct, edit, and write the film. Any other actors or outside help can be used, but must be credited. You MUST have permission from every person you film. For your own records, it will be good to keep that information to prevent any legal discrepancies.

HOW MUCH CAN I EDIT MY VIDEO? DOES IT HAVE TO BE LIVE-ACTION? CAN I USE CGI?

If it is moving images that qualify a “video,” it will be accepted. If you choose to do something along this route, please make sure you put in the time to make it worth it! Note that slideshows do not count.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR BACKGROUND MUSIC?

Any music you use in your video (not required, by the way) must either be in the public domain, original music (made by you), or used with permission. It would be a good idea to look up how to use copyrighted music on your YouTube or Vimeo videos.

CAN I SIT IN FRONT OF MY CAMERA AND TALK FOR SEVEN MINUTES (AND ONE SECOND)?

No. If that is what you want to do, consider the Creative Writing medium. This should be a visual production that tells a story primarily through a sequence of shots. The more sitting and talking to the camera you do, the less well you perform in our scholarship competition.

CAN I NARRATE OVER MY VIDEO?

Yes. As long as it isn’t you sitting and talking to the camera with no other movements or shots, you’re allowed to read a script.

CAN I SUBMIT A PROJECT DEPICTING SEXUAL, GORY, VIOLENT, OR OTHERWISE EXPLICIT MATERIAL?

Because we will be publishing winners’ work to our website, we will not accept any explicit material.


MUSIC

As Victor Hugo once said,

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

Music Requirements

Music projects can include any type of music that you create and record. You can choose whether or not to also sing. To be precise:

  • The song must be 2:00-5:00. It can’t be longer than 5:00 and can’t be shorter than 2:00.
  • You must write any lyrics.
  • You must write the the music.
  • You must produce the song.
  • Any band members or other outside help must be credited on SoundCloud or in the submission form.

Remember that this year, the MUSIC category is available to high school seniors only, not college applicants.

For submission:

  1. Upload your music file to SoundCloud. No other platform will be accepted.
  2. Double check the share settings so we can view your piece.
  3. Submit the link to us through the submission form.
  4. If you have lyrics (any words beyond “oohs” and “ahhs,” upload the file to an online storage platform such as Google Drive and submit the link to that as well in the submission form (again, check those share settings). If you composed a piece that has a score, you may submit the link to that file as well.
  5. Just like in a museum or art exhibit, you may provide an optional brief description of your piece with your submission (up to 300 words). This should NOT be an attempt to write a mini-essay responding to the prompt (keeping in mind that this is not an essay scholarship program, but a creative multimedia program).
MUSIC FAQ’s

CAN I SEND A DIRECT AUDIO FILE OR LINK A MUSIC VIDEO ON YOUTUBE OR VIMEO?

No. Your song must be uploaded to SoundCloud and linked to us via the form below. A music video is not allowed. This is an audio-only project. If you wish to submit a music video, please do so under the Video category.

HOW WILL I KNOW YOU GOT MY WORK?

After you submit the form, the page should display a message that says, “Your form was successfully submitted. Thank you for contacting us.” If this message does not show up, please try submitting the form again using a different browser. If that still does not work, you may contact scholarship{at}honorsgraduation{dot}com for assistance.

CAN I SUBMIT A PIECE I CREATED BEFORE I HEARD ABOUT THIS SCHOLARSHIP?

If it directly responds to the prompt, you may submit it. This is not preferable, though, because the whole idea of this is to foster creativity. For an enriching experience, we would encourage you to make something new.

CAN I HAVE MY FRIENDS PLAY INSTRUMENTS AND/OR SING IN MY SONG, OR DO I HAVE TO DO ALL THE WORK?

To make it considered “yours,” you must write the lyrics, melodies, harmonies, and accompaniment for every single instrumental part (including voice). Anything we hear in the recording must be written by you. We are grading you, not the skill of your awesome musical buddy. Any soloing must be written by you. Any improv must be performed by you. If you do not play or sing in your piece–i.e. a big band/orchestra piece–you must have conducted it. Any musicians or outside help can be used, but they must be credited. You MUST have permission from every person you record. For your own records, it will be good to keep that information to prevent any legal discrepancies.

And finally, we will be infinitely more impressed with something like this (one person who layered recordings of himself to make a duet) rather than a recording of a song your band wrote.

HOW MUCH CAN I EDIT MY SONG? CAN I USE AUTO-TUNE? DO I HAVE TO USE REAL INSTRUMENTS?

All post-effects are fine. Auto-tune is fine. Please use it wisely. You do not have to use real instruments, but you CANNOT use pre-recorded loops that you did not create. It matters slightly less how great of a musician you are, as we are mainly rewarding creativity.

CAN I USE LOOPS I FOUND ON GARAGEBAND/ETC? IS IT OKAY IF I WROTE THE WHOLE SONG EXCEPT THE BASS LINE THAT MY BAND MEMBER WROTE?

NO! You can use computerized instruments, but you can NOT use anything you didn’t write.

CAN I RAP?

Of course. If you incorporate rhythm and music together with lyrics, we will accept it; however, we will not accept merely speaking over music. If you have great lyrics that you don’t want to sing or write a rap rhythm to, please consider submitting it under Creative Writing.

CAN I SUBMIT A PROJECT DEPICTING SEXUAL, GORY, VIOLENT, OR OTHERWISE EXPLICIT MATERIAL?

Because we will be publishing winners’ work to our website, we will not accept any explicit material.


CREATIVE WRITING

As Maya Angelou once said,

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

Creative Writing Requirements

Creative writing goes beyond the traditional bounds of academic or technical writing. Fiction and non-fiction pieces, biographies, short stories, poems, and screenplays can fit this description. Essays do NOT fit this description and will not be accepted. 

There is no minimum word count. Max is 1,200 words. Any that goes over this will be disqualified. EVERY SINGLE ONE will be checked upon submission. The point of this is to awaken creativity. Again, please remember that this is NOT an essay scholarship program, but a creative multimedia program. Pieces that become technical or academic (ie, essays) will not be accepted. Please tell us a story, or paint us a picture with your words.

Remember that this year, the CREATIVE WRITING category is available to high school seniors only, not college applicants.

For submission, you have options:

  • Digital submission:
    1. Upload file to a cloud storage file such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.
    2. Double-check the share settings so we can view the file. “Anyone with the link may view” is a good option. We cannot grade your project if we cannot view it!
    3. Carefully locate the link to your file and copy and paste it in your submission form. If it is not the correct link, we cannot grade it, so please test it out in another browser first!
    4. Note: You may not edit the file past the deadline, April 16, 2017. Any file marked as edited past that date will be disqualified. 
    5. Just like in a museum or art exhibit, you may provide an optional brief description of your piece with your submission (up to 300 words). This should NOT be an attempt to write a mini-essay responding to the prompt (keeping in mind that this is not an essay scholarship program, but a creative multimedia program).
  • Physical mail submission. See instructions on the bottom of the Submission Form page.
Creative Writing FAQ’S

CAN I WRITE A PERSUASIVE ESSAY LIKE PREVIOUS YEARS AND MOST SCHOLARSHIPS?

As stated above, pieces that become technical or overly academic (ie, essays) will not be accepted. Every work needs to be persuasive, but we are grading mostly on a scale of creativity.

CAN IT HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED?

No, because of copyright and permission issues. Also because we want to foster your creativity to keep seeking enriching and growing experiences.

DO I HAVE TO CHANGE THE NAMES OF REAL PEOPLE IN MY NON-FICTION SUBMISSION?

Yes, because if you win (and also possibly if you don’t), we might want to publish your work. So yes.

CAN I SEND YOU A CHAPTER OF A NOVEL? CAN I SUBMIT A SONNET? AN INTERVIEW? PERSONAL ESSAYS? BIOGRAPHIES OF OTHER PEOPLE?

You can send us anything creative involving words on paper that answers the prompt. Your requirements are to have no more than 1,200 words, and to stay away from overly academic or technical writing.

HOW WILL I KNOW YOU GOT MY WORK?

After you submit the form, the page should display a message that says, “Your form was successfully submitted. Thank you for contacting us.” If this message does not show up, please try submitting the form again using a different browser. If that still does not work, you may contact scholarship{at}honorsgraduation{dot}com for assistance.

 

WHAT ARE THE FORMATTING REQUIREMENTS?

Any kind of long-form creative writing should be in MLA format. Any submissions wherein formatting is integral to the artistic nature of the piece (i.e. poetry), there are no formatting requirements.

CAN I SUBMIT A PROJECT DEPICTING SEXUAL, GORY, VIOLENT, OR OTHERWISE EXPLICIT MATERIAL?

Because we will be publishing winners’ work to our website, we will not accept any explicit material.

Done? Congrats! Submit your project using this form!

 

featured image: deathtothestockphoto