Editors’ Blog

Call for Submissions: First Person Arts

Monday, July 7th, 2008

By Rachel

We always like to spread the word when we hear about a new personal media project or cool writing opportunity, but I think it’s safe to say this is really something special. When Larry and I were in Philadelphia, we had the pleasure of drinking coffee with Andrew Schwalm from First Person Arts. An organization after our own hearts, First Person Arts transforms the drama of real life into documentary art to foster appreciation for our unique and shared experience.
This summer, we are honored to be a sponsor of First Person Impressions, a national competition for memoir and documentary writers, filmmakers and photographers.

Here’s the official assignment:

Each day countless stories unfold. Take a real life experience of your own and tell it in a way that only you can. Craft your story with words, photos or video. Make the ordinary magical, or the exotic familiar. Shock us, amaze us or make us pause to reflect. The only rule is that it’s real.

All entries must be new works that have not previously been published, exhibited or screened in the US.

Film – up to 5 minutes
Essay – 1500 words or less
Photography – up to 5 images. Single images are welcome; multiple images must be related, as in a photo essay.

The top three winning entries in each category will be presented at the First Person Festival of Memoir and Documentary Art at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia, November 12-16, 2008.

$500 – 1st place category winners
$100 – 2nd place category winners
$50 – 3rd place category winners

The 1st place writing and photography winners will have their work published in various publications including the Philadelphia City Paper, and of course, SMITH. The top five entries in each category will be featured on firstpersonarts.org.

The judges include:

Steven Rea, Film Critic, Philadelphia Inquirer
Samuel Adams, Contributing Editor, Philadelphia City Paper
Ron Kanter, Emmy Award-winning director
Katherine Ware, curator of Photography, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Daniel Jones, editor of the Modern Love column in the New York Times
Laurence Kirshbaum, Founder and agent, LJK Literary,
Amy Salit, Producer, Fresh Air, WHYY FM

Enter at impressions.firstpersonarts.org. It’s an incredible opportunity and a beautiful celebration of personal storytelling. We know you’ll make us proud!

One response

  1. Margaret Palmer says:

    Will you be able to use stories we have already submitted to Smith Magazine?

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