We are, all of us, defined by our stories. They are the stuff of our empathy, our hope, our ambitions. Our evolution. Stories give us our consciousness, our humanity.

We are the people of Earth.

Salt Lake Film Society’s MAST announces its 2019 writing and photography contest, People of Earth.

Entrants are encouraged to collaborate in pairs, and should submit an original photograph depicting one person, or multiple people, accompanied by an engaging character profile describing the person or people in the photograph.


Photograph: The photograph may be color or black-and-white, and should be at least 4k resolution. It must depict one person, or multiple people. Please be sure to get any needed model releases from the photographed subjects to keep in your records.

Character profile or character-centered short story: in prose must be between approximately 2,500 words and 10,000 words in length; in poetry may be any length. There is no required format, style, content rating, audience, or genre—it's an open field!

All submissions must include both a photograph and a character profile/story. The photographer and writer may be the same person, but need not be—collaboration is encouraged. Award money will be split equally amongst all collaborators on all winning entries.


Grand Prize Winner: A single Grand Prize Winner will be selected. A cash award of $2,000 USD will be divided between the writer and photographer of the winning submission), along with complimentary enrollment (for both the writer and photographer) in all 2019 MAST labs, masterclasses, and networking events.

Winners: Multiple Winners may be selected. A cash award of $200 will be given to each (divided between writer and photographer). (When the contest was announced, this tier was dubbed "Honorable Mention". We determined, however, that "Winner" was more in keeping with the spirit of the contest. A change in terminology was made, but the awards themselves were not altered.)

Awards will be announced on March 31st.


All submissions must be received before noon MST on 15 February, 2019. By popular demand following Sundance, the deadline has been extended to noon MST on 1 March, 2019. The deadline has now passed, and no further submissions are being accepted. Thanks to all those who participated!

Available Portraits

The following portraits have been submitted by photographers looking to pair with a writer. If you're a writer, and would like to use one of these photos as the inspiration for your work, please note the photographer's name and contact us.

If you're a photographer and would like to submit photos for posting here, contact us!