Q. What are the eligibility requirements for this contest?
A. Entrants must be legal residents of the United States who will be graduating from high school in the spring of 2014 and entering college in the fall of 2014. Grades, standardized test scores, and financial need are not factors in this contest. Entries must be original, unpublished works. Eligibility will be verified for each of the contest semi-finalists.
Q. How do I submit my essay?
A. First, if you haven’t already done so, join Medium! Then either copy and paste or rewrite your essay as a new story. Here’s an article on signing up and getting started in Medium.
Next, submit your story to the Medium collection Extra Credit here, using the button in the upper right corner. We cannot accept entries in any other way.
Q. What if I have problems posting my essay?
A. Don’t hesitate to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. How should I format my entry?
A. Feel free to use all of the editing tools Medium provides to make your essay stand out. Here’s an article on writing in Medium. And here’s a collection of some of our most beautiful stories.
Q. Should I include photos or other elements that relate to my essay?
A. Medium supports photos as an integral part of a post. Feel free to enhance your entry in this way. Here’s an article on images, and one on how to embed all kinds of media.
Q. Can I submit multiple essays?
A. No, you can only submit one essay. Entrants who post multiple essays will be disqualified from the contest.
Q. Can I choose to remain anonymous?
A. Unfortunately, we cannot consider anonymous entries for this contest.
Q. Can I submit an essay that was not included on a college application?
A. Yes. However, please include the writing prompt.
Q. Is there a word limit?
A. We suggest you limit your essay to 1,000 words or less.
Q. My essay has been previously published. Will you consider it?
A. No. All entries must be unpublished, original pieces of work.
Q. What is the best way to get my friends and family to read and recommend my essay on Medium?
A. Once your essay is accepted into the Extra Credit contest, share the link to your story with as many people as you can — via email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Invite your friends and family to become Medium users. Lots of help is available in the help center.
Q. When and how are the semi-finalists selected?
A. On May 20, 2014, Medium will select up to TWELVE (12) semi-finalist essays, as determined by statistics of “Read” and “Recommend.” You can view your these numbers by navigating to your “Stats” page from the Medium sidebar menu.
As such, it is very important that you encourage your network of friends and family to register with Medium, and read and recommend your essay.
Q. When and how are the contest winners selected?
A. A panel of professional writers, including Anna Quindlen, Wally Lamb, Kelly Corrigan and Mary Roach, will read each of the semifinalist essays and will select 3 winners, based upon the strength and uniqueness of the writing. On June 2, 2014, Medium will announce the three winners of the $5,000 college scholarships.
Q. Do I have to be available to attend the award ceremony in San Francisco on June 12th in order to win?
A. No. If you are one of our 3 winners, we hope you will join us at Medium on June 12, 2014 for public recognition. However, you do not need to be present to claim your prize.
Q. How will the scholarships be distributed and administered?
A. Medium has partners with ScholarMatch to administer the scholarship funds. Trained counselors from ScholarMatch will help the winners determine the best possible timing and use of the funds.
Q. Where can I view the official rules?
A. Right here.
Q. How can I maximize my chances of winning this contest?
A. First, enter a memorable, well-written essay that stands out, comes from the heart, and reflects who you are as a person. Next, use the Medium editing tools to make your story come alive. And finally, activate your network and rally as many people as you can to read and recommend your essay on Medium.com. It’s that easy.