Rural Voices Youth Contest

Announcing the 2019-2020 Rural Voices Contest

The Rural Voices contest is sponsored by the North Central Regional Planning Commission (NCRPC), Beloit, Kansas, to engage the youth of North Central Kansas in thoughtful reflection on rural Kansas and to promote a discussion among citizens based on their insights. More than $22,000 has been awarded to high school seniors from around the region since the contest began in 2006.

Check the official rules to see if you are eligible to participate.

Contest Theme – “Rural Kansas…Rural by Choice”

The NCRPC invites high school seniors in North Central Kansas to prepare an original essay or video based on this year’s contest theme of “Rural Kansas…Rural by Choice.” Entries should address the following:

Opportunity can be created no matter where a person lives. Many young people and entrepreneurs are making the choice to stay or return to their rural community to live, work, and prosper. What can be done in your community or in the region to encourage people to want to move or return there? What challenges must be overcome to encourage others to choose rural?

Awards

  • A one-time cash award of $850 will be made to the winning entry in each category (written and video).
  • Winning entries will be published on the North Central Regional Planning Commission website (www.ncprc.org).
  • Winners will be recognized with the John R. Cyr Rural Voices Award. Cyr served for 22 years as NCRPC Executive Director.
2019-2020 Registration Forms
Click here for the individual registration form. (For written and video entries)

Click here for the team registration form. (For video entries only)

How to Submit a Written Entry

  • Entry should be reflective of the contest theme. See theme description above.
  • Entry must be at least 1,000 words and may be fiction or non-fiction. Entries that do not meet minimum length requirements will not be considered.
  • Entry should be double spaced and 12-point font with one-inch margins.
  • Entry must be the student’s original work.
  • Team entries are not eligible in the written contest.
  • Only one entry per person (may enter as an individual OR as part of a team; not both).
  • Written entries should be saved as a pdf file and submitted electronically to ruralvoices@nckcn.com. The student’s name should not appear on the entry, but should be used in the file name of the document. (For example, firstnamelastnameruralvoices.pdf).
  • Complete and submit contest registration form by the deadline (December 2, 2019). Once the form is downloaded, it is a fillable pdf. Please note that a signature is required on the registration form. You may either scan and email the completed form with signature or print and mail. See instructions on the form.

How to Submit a Video Entry

  • Entry should be reflective of the contest theme. See theme description above.
  • Video must be at least three (3) minutes and must not exceed five (5) minutes in length.
  • Video entries may be completed by an individual OR a team of up to four individuals. All team members shall be seniors in high school. Note that the $850 cash award for a first place video entry is for the total entry and not per person on a team. Teams will need to designate their payee(s) in the contest registration form.
  • Only one entry per person (may enter as an individual OR as part of a team; not both).
  • All work must be original of the student(s) entering, including any photos that may be incorporated into the video.
  • If music is used, no copyrighted music can be used without proof of written permission.
  • Use of good video technique is encouraged, including the use of a tripod if necessary.
  • Video entries should be uploaded to YouTube (www.youtube.com) with a link sent to ruralvoices@nckcn.com.
  • Complete and submit contest registration form by the deadline (December 2, 2019). Once the form is downloaded, it is a fillable pdf. Please note that a signature is required on the registration form. You may either scan and email the completed form with signature or print and mail. See instructions on the form.

Official Rules

Contest Entry Deadline

All entries must be received electronically no later than 11:59 p.m. on December 2, 2019.* Contest registration forms are due the same date.
*We suggest keeping a copy of the sent email so there is proof of a date mark prior to December 2, 2019, 11:59 p.m. in case technical difficulties arise. Late entries without such proof will not be considered.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible: The contest is open to any senior in high school who lives in and/or attends a public or private high school whose district falls within the primary 12-county NCPRC service area* — including the counties of Clay, Cloud, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Jewell, Lincoln, Marshall, Mitchell, Ottawa, Republic, Saline and Washington. Home school students in this same area may also enter.
*A student is eligible to enter if any portion of their school district’s official boundaries falls within the 12-county NCRPC service area.

Not Eligible: NCRPC employees and their immediate family members may not participate.

The contest allows one entry per person. This could include one of the following:

  • Individual written entry
  • Individual video entry
  • Team video entry

The Rural Voices Contest is sponsored by the North Central Regional Planning Commission (NCRPC). The NCRPC is committed to advancing rural Kansas through comprehensive planning and development services. Its primary service area includes 12 counties and 83 cities in North Central Kansas.

For questions about the contest, email lthielen@nckcn.com or call 785-738-2218.

The NCRPC reserves the right to make no awards or partial awards based on the quality of the entries received.