If you follow American politics, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve got some strong opinions about at least some of the issues facing the nation. Allvoices is giving you a chance – again! -- to let the world know what you think while earning money for sharing your views.
Building on the success of “The American Pundit” political writing contest in 2012, Allvoices is bringing back this unique digital celebration of the First Amendment for 2013.
The election may be over, but the debate continues. Like its 2012 predecessor, The American Pundit 2013 aims to facilitate informed discussion in ways that allow writers to speak their minds and readers to hear viewpoints not always adequately represented elsewhere in the media.
As in 2012, the 2013 contest winner will receive a $5,000 grand prize, with one runner-up receiving a $1,000 payout and $250 going to one writer who earns an honorable mention. The contest begins on Presidents Day (Feb. 18) and ends on Nov. 30. The first writing topic was announced on Presidents Day; final winners will be announced in December.
In addition to the overall winners, Allvoices will be awarding four $250 bonuses each month during the duration of the contest. Writers can respond to a Writing Assignment posted on The American Pundit page or just write about a topic of their choosing that is relevant to American politics.
The first contest period begins at 12:01 a.m. on Presidents’ Day and ends at 11:59 p.m. PST on Feb. 28. The next segment begins March 1 and ends March 15, with new topics being posted on the 1st and 16th of each subsequent month. Additional details are available at http://www.allvoices.com/contest/america
Over the course of 2012, Allvoices received more than 11,000 submissions to the contest, with American Pundit stories receiving more than 9.5 million combined page views. Maryann Tobin of Tampa won the $5,000 grand prize, with Herbert Dyer Jr. of Chicago earning the runner-up prize of $1,000 and Rob Lafferty of Eugene, Ore., receiving the honorable mention and $250. In all, Allvoices paid out more than $25,000 in prizes and payments to those deemed the top citizen "voices" of the 2012 US presidential election.
Tobin, our grand prize winner, was understandably pleased with her selection as 2012’s American Pundit.
“I was thrilled and honored to be chosen the winner out of so many good writers,” she told Allvoices in January. “The site has literally grown up over the past year, and the American Pundit contest really spotlighted political viewpoints not found anywhere else on the Web. I didn't agree with all of them, but respected the fact that the First Amendment was, and still is, alive and well at Allvoices.”
Tobin, Dyer and Lafferty are eligible to compete in this year’s contest to defend their laurels, as are all of the writers who claimed semi-monthly prizes in 2012.
New writers and contenders are, of course, always welcome. If you are interested in participating in The American Pundit 2013 but have not yet created an Allvoices account, please go to http://www.allvoices.com/register_now. The publishing process is self-explanatory as you proceed, but remember to check The American Pundit box during the publication process to ensure timely review of your contest submissions.
A panel of qualified judges, to be named later this year, will assist American Pundit managing editor and contest administrator Darren Richardson (better known as “Punditty” in Allvoices circles) in selecting the prize winners. As with last year’s contest, Punditty will not be eligible to participate, but his reports may be featured on The American Pundit homepage.
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Sources and Resources:
Allvoices announces American Pundit winners, Dec. 18, 2012
A few words of thanks, Herbert Dyer Jr. on Allvoices, Dec. 26, 2012
Thanks from the Allvoices American Pundit winner, Maryann Tobin on Allvoices, Jan. 2, 2013
Columns by judges of the 2012 contest: