Word Festival

The CITL, along with campus and community partners, held the eighth annual Fall 2023 Word Festival vocabulary video competition throughout the month of October 2023. CITL welcomed Stephanie Hazelhoff (Communications, 2021) and Brooke Parish (Communications, 2021) as our alumni judges.

See below for info about the festival and to check out last year's winning entries.


The Word Festival contest involves students making short, live-action videos (20 seconds or less) in which they express the meaning of a particular word to the viewer. Words must be derived from an archived list of the New York Times Word Of The Day (DOWNLOAD archive PDF), and definitions must be derived and cited from Merriam-Webster OnlineCambridge Dictionary Online, or Dictionary.com.

In addition, there is a Foreign Language category as well as dictionaries for Music and Medical fields for classes seeking discipline-specific words. Students participating in those areas will be using one of the resource listed below to derive your word and definition. Rules are the same, see guidelines below for specifics and an example video. Students in both tiers can choose to participate in the main category or the foreign language category:

- Online Spanish Dictionary Word of the Day - peruse their Word of the Day feature to find an interesting word.
- Collins Dictionary - multiple foreign language translation features.
- Word Reference - multiple foreign language translation features.
- Langenscheidt's - online Germany dictionary with translations in 25 languages.
- Merrian Webster Medical - online medical dictionary.
- Oxford Dictionary of Music - users on campus can access online.

Guidelines and Submission

Participation guidelines are below, they are short and simple -- READ CAREFULLY!

1. Videos must be no more than 20 seconds
2. Video must be original and live-action (can have additional elements).
3. Each word must be displayed, pronounced and defined, and the part of speech given.
4. For words in a language other than English: the language should be given and the word should be displayed and pronounced in the language. Provide an English translation of the definition (subtitles may be used)
5. If there are several definitions, the first one is fine (though a second or third definition could be used as well).
6. Use your imagination. You can act the word out, dramatize it, use puppets, draw, sing a song, create a dance, write a skit, incorporate photographs, use claymation, stop-motion, or anything else that will help viewers understand and learn your word. 
7. Commercially produced media and stock footage are not permitted.
8. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube.com to be considered (participants will provide the URL in the submission form, MAKE SURE it is viewable). You can make your upload 'unlisted' so that only those w/ the URL can see it. ALSO: submissions should be regular HD video, NOT a YouTube Short.

Once your video is uploaded to YouTube, fill out one of the online submission forms below by the deadline 11:59pm, 10/31/2023:

ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM (link will go live 10/1/2023).

Fall 2023 Awards


Best Film: (TIE) Killjoy by Auggie
Best Film: (TIE) Lugubrious by Harper
Runner-Up: Eccentricity by Ella

Best Creativity: Scenario by Sophia
Best Creativity Runner-Up: Diversion by Codie and AJ

Best Acting: Ragamuffin by Juliette
Best Acting Runner-Up: Eccentricity by Ella


Best Film: Bait by Pace Prioleau and Tyrell Brown
Best Film Runner-Up (tie): Goad by Kaniah and Caedan
Best Film Runner-Up (tie): Reek by TJ, Ellis and Carter

Best Use Of Effects: Potion by Reagan, Jillian and James
Best Use Of Effects Runner-Up: Blare by Si’yana, Roxy and Breanna


Best Film: Delete by Kaitlyn McMurray, Kennedy Fender and Rebekah Schindler
Best Film Runner-Up (tie): Bait by Owen Greene
Best Film Third Place: Vendor by Liam Foster, Oliver Morries and Abriel-Kalob Bondurant
Honorable Mention: Cupidity by Alyssa Calfee
Honorable Mention
: Embezzlement by JD Gubb and Miles Goff
Honorable Mention: Niggle by Hunter Crist and Lillian Dunn

Best Creativity: Gusto by Luke Gaither and Jill Grim
Best Creativity Runner-Up: Casual by Essiq Williams and Lillian Dunn

Best Use Of Effects: Pyromaniac by Adilene Mar-Valenzuela and Madeleine Boyd
Best Use Of Effects Runner-Up: Discount by Luciano Pugliese and Kenzi Hamilton

Best Dancing: Buffoonery by Ben Harvey, Jacob Davidson and William Hoff
Best Dancing Runner-Up: Amphitheater by Corineah Austin-Pleasant, Jerimiah Holmes and Bradley Viars


Sweep Award*: Clairvoyant by Austin Tuggle

Best Film Runner-Up: Flounder
by William Tyler Barrett
Best Film Third Place: Insomnia by Jenna May Repass
Best Film Honorable Mention: Cringe by Dajon James, Coni Sandoval and Kris Isquith
Best Film Honorable Mention: Shard
by Isabella Walsh

* the Sweep Award is given on occasions when an entry takes top honors in all categories: Best Film, Best Acting, Best Use of Effects, Best Creativity, etc.