Deadline For Submissions: March 31st









About The Program

Built on principles of justice, equity, and love, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s. dream of a “Beloved Community” was his vision for a more prosperous United States. In honor of his memory, the Lyric asks students in grades 5th-12th to submit essays, poems, videos, and visual art about the big dreams they have for a better world.

Students are eligible to enter the contest between December 15th and March 31st with one of the following submission types:


300 word essay submission



One Page Poem



60 Second Video

Contest Timeline

Portal Opens

January 16th, 2022
Receiving Submissions

Portal Closes

March 31st, 2023
Deadline For Submissions

Finalists Announced

April 11th, 2023

Dream Big Celebration

April 26th, 2023
Featuring Finalists
7PM | Lyric Baltimore

Scoring Criteria

Students receive a score between 1-5.
5 being the best score.

Scores of 1,2
- Students do not clearly articulate what their big dream is or do not follow other contest instructions.
- Excessive grammatical or typographical errors.
- Submission incomplete.

Score of 3
- Using words or visual imagery, student articulates big dream, but submission may lack clarity.
- Fails to articulate how their big dream will impact others.
- Language or imagery lacks creativity and self-expression.
- Passion and commitment to their big dream is not clearly articulated.

Score of 4
- Students fully articulate or illustrate their big dream and discuss how it will impact others.
- Language or imagery used is unique, creative, and expressive.
- Students clearly state the problem and how achieving their big dream will address and positively affect the problem.

Score of 5
- Work is exemplary.
- Students clearly express their big dream and how it will change the world.
- The language and imagery are creative and expressive.
- The student’s unique voice and perspective shines through and creates a visceral reaction.
- We gain a glimpse of the student’s voice, perspective, and commitment to their dream.


Enter the Lyric Baltimore’s Dream Big Contest for a chance to win $500 and a new laptop.