How to Apply

Phase 1: The YouTube Pitch

Submissions for the 2020 Holman Prize have now closed. Submissions open again January 2021.

The first thing you need to do is record a 90-second YouTube video pitching your idea. You’ll submit it on the application page, which opens to the public at 12 p.m. Pacific on January 15, 2020.

Applicants must be 18 years old as of October 1, 2020.  They must also be able to submit official documentation of blindness (during the semifinalist phase of the competition). Current LightHouse staff members and board members (as well as their immediate families) are not eligible for the Holman Prize; nor are previous winners. Former LightHouse staff and board members must wait 18 months after their last day of LightHouse service to be eligible for the Holman Prize.

Once your application is received, the Holman Team will check to see that your video is no longer than 90 seconds, and that it contains an idea for a specific project. If so, you’ll be registered as a 2020 Holman Prize Candidate. Every registered candidate will get their own page on the Holman Prize website. Don’t worry about setting that up; we’ve got you covered. All you have to do is brag about it to your friends. That part is important, because the candidate with the most YouTube likes will be guaranteed a spot as a finalist for 2020.

In March 2020, we will make a big bowl of popcorn and start watching all the videos, and we suggest you do the same!

Want to see some good pitches? Watch the 2019 Holman Prize Finalists playlist.

A few words of advice:

Be yourself. Rehearse your pitch before recording it. Be funny. Be memorable. Be yourself. Feel free to use props, friends, sound effects, costumes. Make us laugh. Make us cry. Be yourself.

We suggest that you take a few seconds at the beginning of your video to describe where the video is taking place, and what you are doing; don’t forget, our judges are blind and want to have as much information about you as possible.

Try to record videos in landscape view (sideways) rather than portrait view. Face toward windows and light sources instead of away from them. Don’t hide your face!

Do not mark the video as “for kids” or else we can’t add it to our playlist. (The “for kids” setting for videos that are specially targeted towards children.)

Please note: we do not share candidates’ information with third parties, but we will publish your full name and location, along with a brief summary of your project goals.

fill out the application

Phase 2: The Proposal

In March we will announce, via our newsletter and on our website, the semifinalists for the 2020 Holman Prize. Last year, we picked 41 semifinalists.

Every semifinalist will be required to submit an in-depth proposal detailing what they plan to do with the prize money, including a budget, an itinerary, applicable references, proof of blindness, high resolution photo and a more detailed explanation of your motivation for applying.

Phase 3: Interviews and Judging

If you are selected as a semifinalist, we will contact you in May for a final, recorded interview. This is just a short chat where we, the Holman Team, get to know you a little better.

After all that, your full Holman proposal (pitch, proposal, interview) will be shepherded to a panel of esteemed blind people from across the world. Shortly thereafter, our committee will convene to select the 2020 Holman Prizewinners.

2020 Prizewinners are announced in July.

We’d like to sincerely thank you for your interest in the Holman Prize. We can’t wait to hear from you.

If you have any further questions, please visit our FAQ page. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, contact the team at

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