Welcome to the second installment of the Co-Main Event Podcast’s sort-of annual White Elephant Essay Contest. OK, fine, there’s actually nothing annual about it, since the last time we did it was 2012, but whatever. If you’re reading this, you’re probably more interested in winning yourself a fabulous prize pack than any pesky little “details” so let’s all just be cool and forge ahead, yeah?
The concept is fairly simple: Below you will find two essay prompts. Pick the one you like best and compose a formal essay of between 500-1,000 words, spellcheck it, make sure it conforms to our submission guidelines and then email it to us just as you would one of the rambling, often impenetrable queries you routinely submit for our weekly Listener Mail segment.
The grand prize winner will receive a fabulous original woodcut by MMA artist Chris Rini (follow this man: @RiniMMA), depicting heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez beating the stuffing out of Bigfoot Silva (see above? Yep, that’s it. It’s dope). Other entrants of an as-yet indeterminable number will receive runners-up prizes from the “personal collections” of Chad Dundas and Ben Fowlkes.
We can also almost guarantee that, once again, at least one entrant will receive a Baskin & Robins gift card. Don’t you want that person to be you? Of course you do.
The grand prize winner will additionally have the extreme honor of getting their essay published here at CoMainEvent.com. Cool, right? Maybe we’ll even publish some of the runners-up, too. That part is kind of on you and the quality of work that you produce.
All entries must be received by midnight (mountain time, naturally) on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. That means you have three full weeks to get this shit done. Only one entry per listener, please.
Below, you will find the prompts as well as more specific instructions for our submission guidelines. Read them. Read. Them. After doing so, if you find you still have questions, email them to us. We’ll do our best to guide you.
Respond to one of the following prompts with a five paragraph essay between 500-1,000 words.
1) The Persuasive Essay (a.k.a Not Just Saying Stuff): In today’s landscape, what do you believe is the biggest threat to the overall health of mixed martial arts and how can it be overcome? Using the formidable powers of your own reasoning and argumentation, pinpoint the single most perilous hazard currently afflicting the MMA industry. Explain it, explain why you view it as the most serious threat to our sport and explain how to solve it. Cite some credible outside sources. Bonus points awarded for uniqueness of argument and overall persuasiveness.
2) The Narrative Essay: So, you want to be a fucking MMA fan, huh? Why? Seriously, dude, why? Discuss your own journey into our strange niche corner of the sports world. How did you get here? Why does this sport speak to you? What do you like/dislike about it? Why did you choose to get totally hyped about MMA rather than, say, hurling? Just how big of a superfan are you? Do you consider yourself to be the “typical” MMA fan? Why or why not? Don’t forget to cite credible outside sources. Bonus points awarded for style and the ability to make your personal story compelling to a broad audience.
1. To make it easy on everyone, paste your essay in the body of an email and submit it that way. As you know, the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We won’t be fucking around with attachments, so essays submitted as such won’t be reviewed. Make the subject line on your email read: Essay Contest.
2. First things first: Put your name, address and a return email address at the top of your email, so we can get in touch with you when you win. Also slug your essay with the words “persuasive essay” or “narrative essay” so we’ll know which prompt you’re going after.
3. Give your essay a cool title, obviously.
4. Since this is a five-paragraph essay contest, make sure your essay is in five paragraphs, including an introduction boasting a rad thesis statement, three body paragraphs and a conclusion that leaves no room to question your argument.
5. Remember, we said between 500-1,000 words. Don’t go under. Don’t go (much) over.
6. Yes, spelling, grammar and punctuation count.
7. Include a properly formatted bibliography listing a minimum of three sources. Be advised, failure to properly cite and credit sources can constitute the serious academic crime of plagiarism and can result in severe sanctions according to the student conduct code.
8. Is that it? That’s it. If we left anything out, email us your questions.
9. Thanks for your continued support of the Co-Main Event Podcast.
10. Our panel of judges may or may not include the world’s leading theatricalist, Sir Nigel Longstock, so keep that in mind as well.