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I, [Object]

Leonard Read told the surprisingly complex story behind the everyday pencil. Your job is to tell the story of another object in the form of a video under 3 minutes long. Each video will be judged by how well the economic concepts in I, Pencil are applied to another everyday object.

This contest was made possible by the generosity of The Ralph Smeed Private Memorial Foundation.


1st place: $1500

2nd place: $1000

3rd place: $500


  1. Participating students must be between the ages of 16 and 24 years old at time of contest submission.  Winners will be asked for proof of age.
  2. Video entry must be a maximum of 3 minutes in length. It can be shorter than 3 minutes; there is no minimum length requirement. It should be concise, in good taste and visually appealing. It must be in English.
  3. Video must explicitly mention I, Pencil, though other sources may certainly be used as well, if properly cited.
  4. Description section must include a link to this contest page (http://www.FEE.org/i-object) and the I, Pencil essay on the FEE website.
  5. Multiple people may be involved in the production of a video though only one person will receive payment if selected as a winner.
  6. Video must not be political in any way, i.e., favor a particular candidate for election, or bill before Congress.
  7. Infringements of copyright will disqualify a video. Please cite all sources and use other elements legally.

How to Enter

Your entry must be a video uploaded to YouTube. Please send a link, your name, and contact information to Chuck Grimmett: [email protected]. By submitting an entry, you agree to be bound by the above rules and you agree that FEE can use your video for promotional purposes. 


Deadline for submission is midnight, September 30, 2013 EDT.


Judging by a panel of experts selected by FEE will begin October 1, 2013. Winners will be announced November 1, 2013.


Please contact Chuck Grimmett ([email protected]) with any questions regarding the contest.