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    Official Start

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    Submission Deadline

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    Winners Announced

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    ePals Choice Winner Announced


By entering this Challenge, Entrants accept and agree to be bound by these Official Rules. Any violation of these rules may, at the Sponsor's discretion, result in disqualification. All decisions of the judges regarding this Challenge are final and binding in all respects.


Each Challenge entry must identify a tradition bearer and share the tradition bearer’s story following the Folklorist Process as outlined below:


  1. Research and choose one form of folklore in your community that interests you.
  2. Identify and contact a local tradition bearer who is willing to share knowledge, skills and experience with you.
  3. Develop thoughtful interview questions.


  1. Gather the tools most appropriate for documenting the tradition bearer’s stories and skills.
  2. Conduct your fieldwork: interview, observe and record.


  1. Review all of your information to identify the story that you want to share with others.
  2. Choose the interview quotes, visuals and other materials that you feel best tell the story.
  3. Prepare a first draft of your presentation, and review it with the tradition bearer and others.


  1. Polish and share your presentation.

Identify a tradition bearer who practices one of these traditions:

  1. Moving: Forms of traditional physical activity, such as dance, games, sports or martial arts that are important to your community.
  2. Creating: Forms of traditional arts that people have mastered in your community: making handicrafts, cooking special dishes, or composing music.
  3. Performing: Creative activities particular to your community and performed for audiences, such as playing music, singing, or storytelling.
  4. Working: Jobs or skills distinctive to your community or region.
  5. Celebrating: The making and presenting of traditional holiday meals, crafts, rites of passage and/or performances in your community.

Submission Requirements

To submit an entry to the Junior Folklorist Challenge, you must:

  1. Complete the online submission form. Your submission form, which includes the name and contact information for both you and the tradition bearer, must accompany your submission. On the submission form, you must affirm that you have collected a signed release form from the tradition bearer.
  2. Upload a video, slideshow or podcast that meets the following requirements:
    • The interview can be conducted in the first language of the tradition bearer. Entrant must translate key presentation elements to English using voice-over, subtitles or text on slides.
    • I include key information about myself (first name, age, where I live).
    • I identify the tradition of focus and introduce brief background information on this tradition. (For example, if the tradition bearer practices Chinese calligraphy, give information about the history of this tradition as well as its current significance and practice.)
    • I introduce the tradition bearer (first name, location [city/town, country], tradition of practice), and he/she is present through audio or visual media in my presentation.
    • I tell the story of the tradition bearer using some of his/her own words combined with interesting photos, video and/or audio documented during the interview.
    • The tradition bearer reviewed my presentation, approved the sharing of the content, and signed the release form.
    • My presentation is 7 minutes or fewer.

For the judging criteria, see the Scoring Guide.


May 26, 2014, for all entries.

Sponsors are not responsible for entries that, for any reason, are lost, late, misdirected, incorrect, garbled or incompletely received.

Winners and Prizes

On or about May 26, 2014, a panel of Smithsonian and ePals staff members will judge all entries. The judges will score entries on the basis of how the presentation shares the tradition bearer’s story and presents evidence of the four steps in the Folklorist’s Process. See Scoring Guide.

There will be six winners. A China winner and a global (non-China) winner will be selected for each of the three age categories. Each of the winners will receive the following prizes:

  • Digital Camera
  • Field Notes prize pack
  • Best of Broadside 5 CD Box Set

ePals Choice Award

The six winners will be finalists in the ePals Choice Award. The winner with the most votes from an online poll will receive the ePals Choice Award that will be announced on June 13, 2014. The prize is publication through the Smithsonian Institution.


All potential winners will be notified by mail, e-mail and/or telephone using the contact information on the submission form.

If a potential winner cannot be contacted, does not respond within five days from the date the Sponsor first tries to notify him/her, fails to return the affidavit and release, or refuses the prize, the potential winner forfeits all rights to win the Challenge and its prizes. An alternate winner may be selected.

General Rules


  • Submissions must be original work by the entrant. By submitting, the individual attests that the work is not copied from others and it does not violate the rights of any other person or entity.
  • Submissions must adhere to the fundamental spirit of the 2014 Junior Folklorist Challenge and be submitted during the announced submission time period. They cannot contain any defamatory, obscene or otherwise unlawful matter, depict anyone engaged in any illegal, immoral or lewd act, contain any violent or pornographic material or any other inappropriate content as determined by Sponsor[s], and shall adhere to the guidelines posted online in connection with the 2014 Junior Folklorist Challenge, which guidelines are incorporated herein.
  • All submissions become property of ePals, Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (the “Sponsors”). Through their submissions, entrants and/or their parents/legal guardians (in the case of minors on behalf of the entrant), grant nonexclusive reproduction and publication rights to the works submitted including photographs, video, text, images, and audio of entrants and of other parties that were part of an entry. Submission of the entry constitutes permission for Sponsors to use in any and all media now known or hereinafter developed, the name of the entrant and of other parties included in the entry, and the likeness, images, photographs, biographical information, text, information, and materials of the same as contained in the entry, and utilize any statements or remarks made about the 2014 Junior Folklorist Challenge in advertising and promotion without further compensation or permission, except where prohibited by law. Submitted material will not be returned.
  • All entrant information, including e-mail addresses, is subject to the respective Privacy Policy of the applicable Sponsors. Entrants shall be registered with the ePals Global Community as a condition of entry and may be asked to sign, or entrant’s parents/legal guardian sign, additional documents in connection with 2014 Folklorist Challenge and prize fulfilment.


Anyone 8 – 18 years of age can enter.

Two Categories

Students from China
8 – 10 years of age
11 – 13 years of age
14+ years of age
Students from Around the World (non-China)
8 – 10 years of age
11 – 13 years of age
14+ years of age