FAQs

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 scholarship 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. Additionally, make sure that your video meets the judging criteria so you can earn as high of a ranking as possible.

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. The surefire way to lose is to ignore the judging criteria, create a video unrelated to Buxton, and to have severe historical inaccuracies.

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, teachers, or friends for help. You can also ask us if your idea meets our requirements. We’ll be offering Zoom Q&A sessions in February and March, so make sure to sign up for our mailing list to be notified.

How many entries will be accepted?

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

Will my entry be automatically accepted once I submit it?

You will receive an email stating we have received your entry. 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. If your entry was NOT accepted, we may send you an email or text as well.

How many entries am I allowed to submit?

You may only submit one entry/enter one time.

If I entered last year and won, can I enter this year?

No. We are thrilled that you won but we want to give others a chance to win, too.

If I entered last year and DID NOT win, can I enter again this year?

Yes. But you must submit a new entry.

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. Review the Official Contest Rules for details.

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

If you want to use it commercially, no. 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 and others 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 enter with my friends?

Yes. But keep in mind that if you win, the prize will be split equally between all of you. For example, if there are five of you entering and you win the middle school or high school First Prize of $2,000, you would get ($2,000 / 5 people) = $400 each. The maximum number of entrants for a single entry is five.

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 Create Videos 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 (25%): Did you share the history of Buxton in a unique and interesting way?
  • RELEVANCE (25%): Did you share why racial equality and equity are important and/or what we can learn from Buxton today?
  • INCLUSIVITY (30%): Did you include the  experiences of Black Americans in Buxton? Did you show the contributions made by Black Americans and how they made a difference in Buxton?
  • INSPIRATIONAL (20%): Does your video inspire people to want to learn more or take action after watching?
Can I submit my entry with a lot of typos and grammatical errors?

Well, you can. But grammar and accuracy are important as they show that you took the time to make sure your entry was the best it could be. While there is not a specific category for accuracy, excessive errors will most likely result in your entry being rejected. If we accept it with some errors and you are tied with another entry without errors, we will select the one without the errors. So all this is to say, why risk your chances of winning—and increase your odds of having your entry rejected—by submitting an entry with errors?

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. We will also let you know if you are a finalist. We will contact you (and follow-up with an email or text) if you are a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place winner.

If I win, can I use my prize money to buy a new iPhone or AirPods?

The contest was created to award money to be used for your education/college or job training. If you win, you must have a College Savings 529 Plan (if you live in Iowa, it’s a College Savings Iowa 529 Plan) opened in your name. We will make the prize check out to the Plan and include your account number on it.

Since my school/teacher will win the same amount I win, can (s)he use the prize money to buy a new iPhone or AirPods?

No. The money must be spent on class materials or other items that benefit students and learning.

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


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Project funded in part by the Legacy Foundation: The Hip History Scholarship Contest is funded in part by a grant from the Legacy Foundation, which partners to improve the health, education, and vitality of the City of Ottumwa and Wapello County.