“Stories of Resilience: Life and Identity in East Tennessee” is the theme of a story competition sponsored by East Tennessee State University’s Language and Culture Resource Center, along with the Regional Diversity and Inclusion Alliance and ETSU Film and Media Studies.
“Stories are what make us who we are,” says Dr. Felipe Fiuza, director of the LCRC and clinical assistant professor of Spanish in the ETSU Department of Literature and Language. “It is how we make sense of things, and by sharing our stories, we help others in their identity process formation, as well.
“Of all stories, the stories of resilience are frequently the ones that help people the most in their process of becoming. Learning about how others persevered through their difficult times show us how to survive our own struggles.”
The contest sponsors invite members of the ETSU community and the public to share their stories of resilience in written form, recorded storytelling or film. The top three submissions chosen in each category will receive cash prizes.
In addition, all chosen submissions, and not only the winning entries, will be shared with the public in a variety of ways. Written entries will be featured in a book, recorded stories will be aired on ETSU’s WETS-FM/HD radio and through the Jonesborough McKinney Center’s “StoryTown Radio Show,” and films will be shown during the 2021 Appalachian Film Festival.
Contestants might share how they have been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic or how they adapted in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, racism, threats, prejudice, or other significant sources of stress, such as family and relationship problems, serious health issues, or workplace or financial situations.
Stories submitted will be judged on the following criteria: creativity, uniqueness and originality; resilience factor; potential community impact; and overall organization.
The deadline for submissions is Monday, March 1. For complete contest information and guidelines, visit etsu.edu/cas/lcrc/scholarships.php.