Darren Richardson

Have you ever read an op-ed column or a piece of political reporting on the Web or in a newspaper only to find yourself nodding in agreement or shaking your head in dismay? Has some variation of “I’d like to let them know what I think about that!” crossed your mind in those situations?

Allvoices is encouraging political-minded writers to let the world know what they think throughout Campaign 2012 with its American Pundit competition, a political writing contest with more than $15,000 in prizes to be awarded between now and December. Prizes include four $250 bonuses to be awarded each month, a runner-up prize of $1,000 and a $5,000 Grand Prize for the big winner. Participants can also earn cash under the terms of Allvoices’ Build Your Brand incentive or the Select Media program, as applicable.

The American Pundit competition gives you a chance to share your own insights, commentary and opinions while engaging in Citizen Journalism, so long as your punditry relates in some way to American politcs and the 2012 United States elections. In addition to informing readers and shaping their views on the issues, Allvoices gives you the chance for increased exposure by placing your stories on the American Pundit page at http://www.allvoices.com/election2012.

Register and start writing

If you are not already an Allvoices contributor, you can register at http://www.allvoices.com/write_now. Once you are registered, simply check the box next to “American Pundit” when publishing your report and it will automatically be entered into the contest.

As the primary season progresses and we move toward the party conventions, the American Pundit site may well become a kind of “destination page” for political-minded readers seeking original, insightful, uncensored and meaningful viewpoints, with informed writing they can’t find anywhere else on the Web. It represents a tremendous step forward in the history of Citizen Journalism, and you can be a part of it, whether you live in Washington, D.C., somewhere else in the United States or in another country entirely. View the complete rules here.

See the companion report, Allvoices Writers’ Resources: 5 tips for American Pundit writers, for some simple steps to help you boost readership and improve your chances at winning a prize.

Punditry includes analyzing, offering opinions

Punditry can be a lot of things, from “telling it like it is” with attitude and flair to compiling relevant facts and presenting them in a way that clarifies and illuminates readers’ understanding of the issues, but there is always an element of opinion or individualized viewpoint present in punditry.

Winners of this contest will not simply repackage facts found in other sources -- they will offer unique thoughts and commentary on what these factual developments might mean. Any actual on-the-ground reporting by American Pundit writers also will be considered when selecting winners, but adding personal commentary on the factual event – assuming the role of columnist rather than reporter – is highly encouraged.

A final note

Alas, as much as Punditty enjoys political writing and the fine art of punditry, he will not be eligible to win any American Pundit prizes since he is assisting Allvoices in the administering of the contest. Articles by Punditty may appear on The American Pundit page from time to time, but they will not be a part of the competition.


The American Pundit page

Complete American Pundit rules

Follow @AmericanPundits on Twitter