Have you noticed more Chippewa Valley students taking free or reduced lunches, or taking home weekend lunches? Do you know of people unable to buy healthy food, or any food? Are there Chippewa Valley residents who lack a stable home or can’t find affordable housing, or pay bills or pay their student loans?  Do you have post-high school education and find yourself in a low-wage job unrelated to your interests, skills, or gifts?  If yes, does this mean you are affected by poverty?

How much of this story do you think the news has told? Does the news show what you see?

The Beyond the Headlines Essay and Visual Works Contest gives Chippewa Valley residents a platform to describe what poverty looks like to them, in comparison to the way it is reported in the news. Contest entries can be submitted online or in person October 2 to October 11. Winners will be announced on October 25 and cash prizes awarded thanks to a grant from the Mahmoud S Taman Foundation.


  • Each contest has two categories. Essays and visual art may be submitted in either the Student(7th-12th grade) category, or in the Community Member category that is open to all ages. Prizes awarded in each category are First $100, Second $75 and Third $50. Winners will be announced and awarded on October 25 during the BTH headliner forum at the Pablo Center at the Confluence.
  • Please include name, address, contact information, and current grade in school for students, or tell us if you are a community member.
  • Essays and visual works will be judged on how well the entrants depict what poverty looks like to them or what stories journalists should be reporting about poverty. Consider the theme of "Building Trust" related to whether you trust journalism and its coverage of poverty issues, and why this is important to the public.
  • Visual Works: Maximum size: 24"X32". Visual works can take any form and may be created by an individual or group. Email videos or photos of the original work to  

Alternatively, labeled works in either contest can be dropped off at one of two Eau Claire locations:

* The front desk of The Local Store (at Volume One World Headquarters), 205 N. Dewey St., Eau Claire. Hours — Mon-Sat: 9am - 9pm // Sun: 9am - 4pm. Ask staff to set aside your Beyond the Headlines entry for Tom Giffey.

* The front desk of the Leader-Telegram: 701 S. Farwell St., Eau Claire. Hours--- 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday -Friday. Ask staff to set aside your Beyond the Headlines entry for Julian Emerson.

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October 2, 2018 (All day) to October 11, 2018 (All day)