We’ve provided answers to additional questions you may have. Please contact us if your question was not answered here.

What’s the point of this contest?

Buxton was an extraordinary town in Iowa history that does not get enough attention. Its story of racial equity and equality, along with its goal of unity, are important today. We want the world to know about Buxton and we want your help spreading the word. But unlike a typical history lesson, we want you to express what you’ve learned in a fun and creative way that showcases your interests and talents and educates and resonates with others.

Why should I enter?

We are offering prizes that we hope will make this contest worth your while. Not only that, but the contest judges are talented and successful in areas that we know will be interesting and inspirational to you. Who knows? Getting your name and video online and in front of our judges now might pay off for you down the road. And while it might not seem like a big deal to you, the money we offer to help pay for college expenses will delight your parents.

How can I increase my odds of winning?

Creativity is key. If you wrote an original song but you sing off-key, you could still win. If you wrote an original play but your acting skills won’t get you nominated for an Oscar, you could still win. We are looking for you to use your creativity to bring the story of Buxton to life in an original and entertaining way.

How can I increase my odds of losing?

The surefire way of losing—or not even getting your entry posted—is to just throw something together without putting any thought or effort in it or to include offensive content.

What if I’m not a songwriter or a writer or an artist or a videographer or …?

We can’t say it enough—we are looking for creativity. What are you good at? What do you like to do? What are you passionate about? Look for ways to use that as you share Buxton’s history. Feel free to ask your parents or friends for help. After you have read the contest rules, get ideas from our Ideas and Resources page.

How many entries will be accepted?

We do not have a limit on the number of entries that will be accepted.

Will my entry automatically be posted online once I submit it?

No. We will review your entry to ensure that the rules have been followed and your video does not contain offensive content or copyrighted material. We are not judging entries at this point. Once your entry has been accepted and posted, we will send you an email (or a text message, if preferred) informing you. If it was not accepted, we will send you an email or text as well.

How many entries am I allowed to submit?

You may submit a new entry each week, but once your entry is accepted and posted on the website, you can no longer enter. Do not keep submitting the same, unchanged entry each week. We didn’t accept the original version for a reason. We will begin posting entries Wednesdays in mid-March. Visit the Contest Rules page for the contest schedule.

What are you going to do with my entry?

By entering this contest, you give us the right to use your entry for promotional purposes, such as to promote this contest or future contests.

Can I do whatever I want with the video I entered in the contest?

If you want to share it on social media or love it so much that you want to use it in your portfolio, sure. But if you want to use it commercially, i.e., sell it and make money off it, it depends. The book excerpt used for this contest is copyright protected. Additionally, the photographs of Buxton we’ve provided on our Resources page were given to us by Alisa Corstorphine for use in this contest, not commercially. If you think you will want to use this entry for commercial purposes, contact us before you enter.

Can I suggest additional judges and prizes?

Yes! It’s been eons since we were in middle school or in high school, so if you have an idea for the perfect prize or judge for our Hip History Contest, please tell us!

How do I submit my video with my entry?

You will upload your video as part of the contest entry form, where you will be required to enter additional details. Please read the Hip History Contest pages on this website and use the Contest Submission Checklist before submitting.

What are the video length and file size restrictions?

Your video cannot be longer than three (3) minutes. It must be less than 500 MB.

If I want to submit artwork or a story, do I still have to submit a video?

Yes. All entries must include a video. If submitting artwork created by you, think of a way to turn it into a video. For example, you could create a video showing your work—either the final product or the creation process from start to end—and then use it it to share Buxton’s history. Remember though, the focus of the contest is Buxton. So the bulk of your video should not be spent detailing how you created your artwork. Instead, if you want to spend a significant amount of time sharing your creation process, you could weave in Buxton’s history as you share your process. That’s just one way. Use your creativity to come up with whatever works for you. If you would like to use photographs of Buxton, check out the Ideas and Resources page.

How will my entry be judged?

Uniting Through History team members, along with contest judges, will evaluate your entry in the following areas:

  • CREATIVITY: Did you share the history of Buxton in a unique/interesting way?
  • EDUCATIONAL: Did the viewer learn about Buxton after watching your video?
  • INSPIRATIONAL: Does your video inspire people to learn more or take action after watching?
  • INCLUSION OF REQUIRED MATERIAL: Does your video open with the contest introduction, begin with the required paragraphs from the excerpt, and include at least three (3) facts from the excerpt?
How will I know I won?

We will share updates on your entry, as well as important contest news, so be on the lookout for emails or texts from us throughout the contest. As previously stated, we will let you know whether or not your entry was accepted into the contest and posted on the website. We will also let you know if you are a finalist. We will call you (and follow-up with an email or text) if you are a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place winner before informing all entrants and posting the winners on the website.

Have additional questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to getting your entry. Good luck!