SUBMISSIONS

Creativity + Education + Saving Lives

The Create for Life Challenge is a unique and engaging way for high school and college students to use their interests and talents to cultivate cancer awareness and risk reduction among their peers. As a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and Colorado-based nonprofit Catch It In Time, the Challenge blends creativity and life-saving information. 

Unlike most other cancer awareness campaigns, the Challenge focuses on communication, not fundraising. Students create a piece of audio, video, or visual art that addresses one of this year’s chosen topics and will spark conversation about the early detection of cancer, or ways to reduce risk of developing it later in life. 

 

There is absolutely no cost to enter and no requirement to raise funds at any point in the Challenge.

There’s no need to go buy expensive equipment. The three Challenge categories–audio, video, and graphic design–are designed to allow students of all demographics to participate. Entries will be judged on creativity and communication effectiveness, so use what you have at hand. The absolute bare minimum required to enter is a piece of paper, a pen or pencil, and some way to upload that image to the website. We have a list of some great places to start for free or low-cost resources across all three categories on our Resources page, so check it out. 

We stress that creative pieces are NOT about delivering just facts; but to find new ways to address and bring attention to a particular topic.

Check out some past entries and examples for inspiration [link to examples/Resources page], and let your creative mind run wild! 

Submission Categories

To make sure anyone can participate in the Challenge, regardless of where your creative talent lies, there are three main submission categories: video, audio, and graphic design/visual art. We have included examples within each category of types of projects you can submit, but the sky is the limit. 

 

Learn more about the main categories and their subdivisions before you start creating:

[Link to Video Categories PDF] w/ image of teen with video camera 

[Link to Audio Categories PDF] w/ image of teen recording audio at a mic 

[Link to Visual Arts Categories PDF] w/ image of teen drawing or painting 


And don’t forget to check out the submission guidelines to make sure your entry will qualify.

Regardless of format, all entries to the Create for Life Challenge must follow these guidelines:

For visual submissions, include the Challenge logo somewhere in the submission piece. Various versions of the logo can be downloaded here [link TBA]. The logo must be large enough to ensure all text is legible and colors/layouts cannot be altered. For audio submissions, see specific guidelines below.

  • Submissions must be free of profanity, nudity, and anything else that would qualify the submission as a higher than PG rating. This includes spoken, written, and graphic elements.
  • All submissions must be original content and adhere to copyright law. If you’re not sure whether or not a song, quote, image, etc. is in the public domain, don’t use it. 
  • Any submissions that don’t meet the requirements for the appropriate category will be disqualified. Check the specific categories for more information on technical requirements. 
  • All submission topics MUST be from the provided list of available topics, which can be found here [link to topics page]. Any submissions that do not address one or more of these topics in some way will be disqualified.
  • All submissions require the signature of a digital release form that allows the Create for Life Challenge team to utilize your work on social media, marketing, etc. (You retain the copyright to your work, so we need your permission to share it.) Submissions from students under the age of 18 also require parental consent. Both of these will be available on the submissions form. 

Each category also has specific guidelines and requirements, shown below.

[Link to video guidelines PDF] w/ image of video camera or other video equipment

[Link to audio guidelines PDF] w/ image of microphone and/or headphones

[Link to visual arts guidelines PDF] w/ image of drawing or painting supplies

 

All Challenge entries must somehow relate to and include information about one or more of the following topics:

For visual submissions, include the Challenge logo somewhere in the submission piece. Various versions of the logo can be downloaded here [link TBA]. The logo must be large enough to ensure all text is legible and colors/layouts cannot be altered. For audio submissions, see specific guidelines below.

  • HPV [Link to mission PDF from ACS]
  • Skin cancer [Link to mission PDF from ACS]
  • Lung cancer [Link to mission PDF from ACS]
  • General Cancer Awareness (i.e. survivor stories, nutrition and health, cancer specifically in teens and young adults, etc.) [Link to mission PDF from ACS, if applicable]
 
For more information on these or anything else related to cancer information, visit cancer.org. 
Image of various cancer awareness ribbons 
 

Judging

The Create for Life Challenge judges are distinguished and accomplished members of their industries and communities. They know what they’re talking about, whether they’re judging at the state or national level. 

Because of the huge variety of potential ideas, entries will NOT be judged against each other. Instead, they will be judged against a set of predetermined criteria (which doesn’t include how much you spent on it or what tools you used). Based on these, entries will be awarded status as Gold, Silver, or Honorable Mention

Creativity or uniqueness

  • Seriously, we want the most creative and unique things you can think of (we’re not kidding)
  • Does your piece stand out from a crowd?
  • Does it feel too much like something else that’s already out there?

 Message or Content

  • How did you incorporate information about early detection or risk reduction?
  • Is the information you provided clear and accurate? (Remember, the American Cancer Society has everything you need to make sure you hit this point)

Engagement

  • How did you blend the required information with your creative vision?
  • Is your piece interesting and compelling? Does it grab your audience’s attention?
  • Do you keep that initial engagement through the entire piece?


Production Basics

  • Is everything clear and understandable?
  • Can any text be read by most people?
  • Is the lighting okay for video and visual entries? (Again, we’re not asking you to go drop a thousand dollars on a professional light kit. Just make sure we can see faces and tell what’s going on!)
  • Is any audio loud enough? Are any background sounds minimized or balanced with the main audio?
  • Did you follow the entry guidelines and regulations?

Image of professional-looking adults smiling (might create a video for the bullet list instead)

 

How it Works

Participating in the Create for Life Challenge is easy and 100% free. The Challenge is divided into two sections: state competition and national competition. The top entry in each subcategory during the state competition, as decided by our industry judges [link to judging page], will move onto the national competition.

Here are the dates you need to know:

Submission period is open January 1st through March 31st 

  • State-level judges will look over entries throughout the month of April
  • Entries that are moving onto the national competition will be announced in early May
  • National judges have the summer to choose the top entries 
  • National winners will be announced in September, during a special awards event
 

What's a Challenge without awesome prizes?

Don’t worry; we’ve got it covered:

 

[Prizes video]

Submission period is open January 1st through March 31st 

  • $5,000 scholarship for the top national entries in each subcategory 
  • $10,000 scholarship total for the top three national entries overall 
  • $5,000 for the schools of national winners 
  • Certificates and lapel pins 

More prizes are likely to be announced throughout the Challenge, so keep an eye on this page! 

Submit

Submissions open January 1st, 2022. 

 

Challenge Overview

The Cancer Awareness Creative Challenge is a collaboration between Colorado-based nonprofit Catch It In Time and the American Cancer Society to bring cancer awareness to schools in a fun, engaging, and unexpected way. By encouraging high school students to create innovative and artistic ways to spread information–including video, music or podcasting, and graphic design–the Challenge brings together students’ interests and talents with life-saving information on cancer prevention. 

The Cancer Awareness Creative Challenge is FREE and open to all high school and college students, and their respective school departments. The Challenge also brings together cancer organizations and non-health related partners to help spread the message of early detection through creative efforts.

In order to best meet the needs of student demographics across the country, submissions fall into three creative categories. Within each category, there are a number of formats students can choose from, so students have a variety of options to best express themselves. Judging will be among submissions within each format, not category.

The following are the categories to choose from. 

  • Video
  • Graphic Design
  • Audio

For more details regarding specific submission requirements, judging criteria, and guidelines, select the category links.

As this challenge is designed to create a fun and energetic means to increase awareness surrounding cancer, we have outlined the available topics students can use as inspiration. All research and data are provided by the American Cancer Society.

We stress that creative pieces are NOT about delivering just facts; but to find new ways to address and bring attention to a particular topic. 

Delivering awareness to students, by students!

Our Purpose

Adolescents and young adults (AYAs), between the ages of 15 to 35, are increasingly susceptible to cancer. Although improvements have been seen for many cancers in children and older adults, AYAs present unique differences.

  • In 2020, it was estimated to be approximately 89,500 new cancer cases and 9,270 cancer deaths in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) ages 15 to 39 years in the United States. These patients are often grouped with younger or older patient populations which masks important differences in cancer distribution, tumor biology, and survivorship.
  • AYAs have been understudied in the US until the mid-2000s, when the National Cancer Institute (NCI), in collaboration with the LIVESTRONG Foundation convened a group of experts to report on priority areas for AYAs across the cancer continuum.
  • 15 to 19-year olds have a unique cancer profile that includes childhood cancers as well as adult cancers.
  • For some cancer types, AYAs are more likely to be diagnosed at a late stage due to unawareness and early detection. 

The Cancer Awareness Creative Challenge offers high school and college students creative opportunities to help bring awareness to adolescents and young adults.

American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts & Figures: 2020

Submission Categories

There are three main categories for the Creative Challenge: video, audio, and graphic design. We have included examples within each category of types of projects you can submit. 

Learn more about the categories and figure out where your idea fits:

Topics

We know it can be intimidating to choose a topic for a project when the possibilities seem endless. This year, all submissions must somehow relate to and include information about one or more of the following topics:

HPV – Cervical Cancer: Subject matter content one-sheet with links

Skin cancer: Subject matter content one-sheet with links

Lung cancer: Subject matter content one-sheet with links:

  • Vaping
  • Smoking
  • Non-smoking contraction
  • Radon

 

General Cancer Awareness – examples but not limited to:

  • Survivor stories
  • Caregiver stories
  • Other cancers such as:
    • Breast cancer
    • Advocacy
    • Nutrition and health
    • General Prevention

Deadlines for Submission

What to Expect 

The following is a rundown of important deadlines and reminders: 

  • Challenge registration begins: January 1
    • Register by going to :
    • Review submission categories and pick the medium that interest you
    • Take a look at the available topics and choose one to feature
    • Go to www.cancer.org for resources and information
    • Get creative!
    • Be sure to check the submission requirements for each category to make sure your masterpiece fits
    • Turn in your creative piece by midnight MST, Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Our elite team of industry professionals will review each entry and judging is based on the creativity in bringing awareness to cancer through storytelling. 

Judging wraps up by April 28th with winners being announced by May 1st.

Pretty simple, right? 

The most important takeaway here is: don’t forget to register and submit your video by March 31!

And, in the meantime, make sure you’re signed up for updates and news from the Video Challenge. We can’t wait to see what you create! 

Prizes

Here are the types of prizes we offer through the Challenge!

  • Trophies
  • Cash up to $500
  • DSLR Cameras
  • Camera Lights
  • Wireless Microphones for phones and cameras
  • Tripods
  • Video Editing Software
  • Audio Production Software
  • Graphic Software
  • Laptop computers
  • Tablets
  • Media Recognition
  • Ronin M (Camera Stabilization Gimbal)

Disclaimers: 

  • Pictures are representative of the prizes and may not reflect actual prizes.
  • All prizes are purchased or supplied to the Challenge.
  • Companies own their products/copyrights and are not affiliated with the Challenge in any way unless otherwise stated.