What’s a Voice Good For?

Some voices stand out in a crowd. They may not be the loudest, most polished or even cleverest of expressions, but they lift themselves out of the noise and find their way into our central core. Once there, they change things. They inspire us and make us want to do what we authentically are meant to do.

The OV Award is an annual act of support for such a voice, a way to underline an inspiring, authentic expression in service of the whole. Designed to be given to one person each year, it's a U.S. $1000 offering to further the work of the individual behind the voice.

The rules are as follows:

  1. The award will be given to an individual, as distinct from an organization or corporation. The recipient can use the money as he or she sees fit, but the voice must be traceable to a real, living person inspiring others to the greater good. In nearly all cases commercial or sales-oriented works will not qualify.
  2. There are no limitations to the format of the "voice": in other words, it can be through words, music, dance…you name it. However, there are limitations to the size and / or length of submissions: 5000 words maximum for written media; 10 minutes maximum for motion / sound media; one central image for still visual media. Submissions other than these kinds of media may be considered if they qualify in other respects. (See next rule)
  3. Because of copyright considerations, submissions must be in the form of a Web page link that anyone can access to view. If the link is part of a work longer than the parameters in #2 above, let us know which section you want to highlight for consideration.
  4. Any registered member of the OriginalVoice Online Community can submit an entry, as long as it follows the overall guidelines for this site.
  5. The initial award selection team will be registered participants in the OriginalVoice Online Community who have been members for at least three months. They will narrow the choices to three entries. The hosts of this online community will make the final award selection. Our selection is final.
  6. For award selection, we must be able to receive permission to reproduce the work on this site (though the creator of the piece will retain copyright).

To submit a work for consideration, do the following: send to this page's comment section a link to the work you want our members and hosts to consider. With the link, include a brief description (no more than 50 words) of the work represented by the link and / or why you think it is inspiring. Descriptions longer than 50 words will be shortened or deleted.

We must have some means of contacting the final three award candidates to acknowledge them, and a means of sending the monetary award to the recipient.

The first OV Award will be given on June 1, 2010.

Thank you for helping to acknowledge some of the most beneficial voices among us.