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Three Big Read contests announced

Big Read organizers have announced a photo, a short film and an essay contest designed to encourage participation in this month's community celebration of the book "Bless Me, Ultima" by New Mexican author Rudolfo Anaya.

Residents of Dona Ana County, except employees of the New Mexico State Library and the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, are eligible to enter. The deadline for all three Big Read contests is Friday, Oct. 19.

The grand prize for the photo contest is a Canon PowerShot 7.1 Megapixel ELPH. Participants can e-mail high resolution digital photos (one submission per day per person) that represent themes and imagery in "Bless Me, Ultima" to lascrucesbigread@gmail.com. Photos will be judged on artistic interpretation and quality of the photograph. Contestants must include their name, a brief description of the photo and their phone number with each entry. First, second and third prize-winning photos will be posted to the Big Read Web site at http://lib.nmsu.edu/bigread/.

A Sony digital camcorder is the grand prize for the Big Read short film contest. Participants can e-mail a three minute or shorter film in .wmv, .avi, .mov or .mgp file format (only one entry per person) to lascrucesbigread@gmail.com. Films must depict a scene, a theme or imagery from "Bless Me, Ultima." All copyrighted materials used must have permissions for use given. Films of first, second and third prize winners will be posted to youtube.com and the Big Read Web site.

The Big Read essay contest is open to two age groups, age 17 and younger and age 18 and older. Essays must be between 300 and 500 words and must be on the subject "What novel changed your way of thinking, inspired your dreams or made you a better person?" Essays (only one entry per person) can be about any novel, but it must be a fictional novel. Contestants should include their name, address, age and phone number with the entry. Participants can e-mail the essay to lascrucesbigread@gmail.com. First, second and third prize winners in each age group will receive Barnes and Noble gift certificates.
It is recommended that for more contest details, contestants should visit http://lib.nmsu.edu/bigread/contests.shtml or contact NMSU librarian Alisa Gonzalez at acgonza@nmsu.edu or (575) 646-6926.

The Big Read contests are part of the month-long Big Read, which includes a rich schedule of programs, book discussion groups, readings, music and dance performances, film showings, contests and other events and activities related to "Bless Me, Ultima" and the culture it describes. All the events will take place in the Las Cruces area and are free and open to the public.

Support for the Dona Ana County Big Read is provided by a National Endowment for the Arts grant to the NMSU Library and the generosity of private donors and institutional sponsors.

For more information on all aspects of Big Read, visit http://lib.nmsu.edu/bigread or call (575) 646-6925 or (575) 646-5792.