2020 Veterans' Voices Award Submission

2020 Veterans' Voices Award Submission

Everything you need to know about submitting the Veterans’ Voices Award is below; if you would rather have a conversation, please contact program officer Blake Rondeau at blake@mnhum.org or 651-772-4248.

Veterans' Voices Award Submissions

The Minnesota Humanities Center (MHC) seeks to honor and amplify a diversity of voices and Veteran experiences. MHC welcomes and encourages submissions from Veterans of the war in Southeast Asia that did not serve in direct U.S. military units.

We invite Veterans living in Minnesota to submit poetry, prose, essays, and memoirs for consideration. We will invite selected authors to attend the Ceremony on October 10 to celebrate their work.

Prior to submitting written or audio work, we encourage Veterans to attend one of the four Warrior Writers Workshops from April 23 to July 9. Attendance at a workshop is not mandatory, and it will not influence the Awards selection process.

If English is not your preferred language, you may submit in the language of your choice.

If you have an oral tradition or need assistance submitting your piece(s), someone may transcribe and/or submit on your behalf, or you may submit an audio file speaking your piece.

If you have questions, contact Blake Rondeau, program officer at blake@mnhum.org or 651-772-4248.

Process and Timeline

An independent panel will review submitted writings and audio files and make award recommendations to MHC. We will honor up to ten Veterans (and their pieces) at the Veterans’ Voices Awards Ceremony.

A note about written and audio pieces submitted for consideration: Ownership of the material will stay solely with the Veteran. Selected awardees will share excerpts of their stories at the Awards Ceremony. Additional opportunities may arise for MHC to amplify and celebrate Awardee stories beyond the ceremony. MHC will not use or share any submissions without explicit permission from the Veteran.

The timeline for the Veterans’ Voices Awards and Writer’s Workshops is as follows:

February 3 – Submissions Open
April 23Warrior Writers Workshop – Online
May 7Warrior Writers Workshop – Online
June 4Warrior Writers Workshop – Online
July 9Warrior Writers Workshop – Online
July 31 – Submission Deadline
September 4 – Awardee notification
October 102020 Veterans’ Voices Award Ceremony – St. Paul

Eligibility and Assessment Criteria

We will accept up to two (2) submissions, no more than ten (10) pages or ten (10) minutes in length each, from any former or current service member currently living in Minnesota. Submissions must be about Veteran and/or military experiences, or could incorporate at least one of the eight themes of the Veterans’ Voices program: Combat & Non-Combat, Duty, Family, Motivation, Perceptions, Reintegration, Service, and Transformation.

The following criteria will be used by the independent review panel to assess submissions and make Awardee recommendations to MHC:

Compelling Content

  • Can it open and build dialogue in community?
  • Is it coming from a diverse perspective (amplifying a voice not often heard)?
  • Does this piece work to change/challenge the single-narrative of Veterans (hero or social problem)?
  • Does this story speak to audiences other than Veterans?

Narrative Quality

  • Is the chosen content consistent and clear throughout the piece?
  • Can this piece be made better with (only) small edits?

The panel will also consider the overall diversity of the pieces (poetry, prose, etc.) and the awardee pool across geographic location, demographics, and lived experiences. The panel will not accept pieces that are dehumanizing.

Note: MHC can be a sounding board for applicants’ story ideas, however, MHC cannot provide editing/proofreading support.

How to Submit

Regardless of format, all submissions must include:

  1. Name of Veteran*
  2. Current Address
  3. Phone and Email
  4. Branch of Service, Dates of Service
  5. Bio (no more than 200 words)
  6. High resolution headshot or professional photograph that is not blurry, grainy or pixelated. (if available)
  7. Written material(s)/piece(s)—up to two (2) submissions, no more than ten (10) pages in length each
    OR
    Audio file(s)/piece(s) – up to two (2) submissions, no more than ten (10) minutes in length each
  8. Optional info:
    • National, ethnic, or racial identity
    • Gender identity and pronouns

*If you are helping someone submit, please also include:

  1. Name of person submitting on behalf of Veteran
  2. Phone and email of person submitting
  3. Relationship to Veteran

Ready to submit? Send us your written or audio piece(s) and responses to the questions above by one of the following methods:

  • Online Form: Submit through our online form.
  • Email: Send your submission (Word doc or mp3) to submissions@mnhum.org
  • Postal Mail: Mail a copy of your materials postmarked by the deadline to:

Minnesota Humanities Center
c/o Veterans’ Voices Award
987 Ivy Ave East
St. Paul, MN 55106