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By entering this Challenge, Entrants accept and agree to be bound by the Official Rules associated with this Challenge and the Challenge Guidelines below. Any violation of the rules may, at the discretion of Sponsors (Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cricket Media, Inc.), 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 documentation to identify the message and information 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. Edit, 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 Global 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 or slideshow 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.
    • Within the presentation, I include a personal reflection on the value of the tradition bearer’s practice to the community, the culture and the tradition bearer himself/herself.
    • The tradition bearer reviewed my presentation, approved the sharing of the content, and signed the release form.
    • My presentation is 6 minutes or fewer.

For the judging criteria, see the Scoring Guide.


Challenge entries accepted beginning September 21, 2015 through 11:59 p.m. ET on December 7, 2015

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 December 18, 2015, a panel of Smithsonian and Cricket Media staff members will score 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 a total of six winners. An individual and a team winner will be selected for each of the three age categories. All taxes, fees and surcharges on prizes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the prize winners.

Each of the winners will receive prizes, to be announced on September 21, 2015.

ePals Choice Award. The six winners will be finalists in the Folklorist Challenge Choice Award. The winner with the most votes from an online poll will receive the honorary Choice Award that will be announced on or about January 4, 2016.


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 (5) days from the date the Sponsor first tries to notify him/her, fails to return the prize 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

No purchase necessary to enter or to compete in this Challenge.

Submissions must be original work by the Entrant. By submitting, the Entrant 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 Challenge. They cannot contain any defamatory, obscene or otherwise unlawful matter; depict anyone engaged in any illegal, immoral or lewd act; and contain any violent or pornographic material or any other inappropriate content as determined by the Sponsor.


Open to legal residents, age 8-18 at time of entry, of: the 50 United States (and District of Columbia), Canada (other than Quebec) and only those countries in which this contest is fully permitted by law. Residents of Cuba, Iran, North Korean, Sudan, and Syria are expressly prohibited. Individuals who meet the residency/age requirements and who are in Grades K-12 are eligible to enter–either as an individual or part of a Team (see below), so long as entries are submitted) in accordance with the online instructions, utilizing the Challenge entry submission form provided and associated parental release form, as applicable. Children, immediate family members, and members of the household (whether related or not) of employees of Sponsors or its affiliates, are not eligible to participate or enter.

Two Categories

Individual Team

8 – 10 years of age 8 – 10 years of age
11 – 13 years of age 11 – 13 years of age
14 – 18 years of age 14 – 18 years of age

Click here to view the complete Official Rules