Movies Silently is holding The Silent Star Sandwich Contest (rules, submission form, etc.)

It’s finally here! The day has arrived when you can start submitting your entries for the Silent Star Sandwich Contest. For those of you joining us for the first time, this is my very first contest and I am very excited.

Inspired by some vintage sandwich recipes purported to capture the essence of some of the biggest silent stars, I decided to let my readers in on the fun. Sandwiches are easy to make and easy to eat, making them an ideal contest item. You don’t need a degree in fancy-schmancy cookery (though this contest is open to all comers), you just need to have a tasty idea and a star to match it.


All the details are below but, as usual, please feel free to leave a comment if something is unclear or not covered. Chances are someone else has the exact same question.


Create delicious sandwiches that also capture the essence of silent movie stars, directors, producers and other personnel.

Basic Quick-Start Guide

Rarin’ to go? That’s the spirit! These are the very basic rules pared down for a quick read. Happy sandwich construction!

  • Select your silent personality and then create a sandwich based on their personality, films or whatever else you can think of (within reason). Group or cast sandwiches are just fine.
  • One sandwich recipe per person.
  • “Sandwich” is a loose term and for the purpose of this contest the word can include wraps, lettuce wraps, burritos, open-face, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.
  • No ironic sandwiches, please. By “ironic” I mean that you hate a performer so you make a nasty sandwich to capture their spirit. Please think of my poor tasters!
  • If you are connected to the sponsors or know me in real life, you can still submit a sandwich as a non-competing entry. (That means the sandwich will receive coverage but you will not be eligible for any prizes.)
  • You may either submit your recipe using the form below or write a blog post about your recipe and send me the link using the same form. The submission period ends at 12:00PM PST on January 15, 2016.
  • Please include both your recipe for a single serving of the sandwich and a paragraph or two explaining why your sandwich fits the personality or personalities of the silent movie star(s) you have selected.
  • I will send you an email acknowledging that I have received your entry. I will try to send out acknowledgements within 2 business days. If you don’t get an acknowledgement, please let me know and I will check to make sure your submission came through.
  • Submissions will be judged on ease of prep, connection to their subject and the results of a blind taste test. The winner will be announced of February 29, 2016.
  • The grand prize winner will receive two silent film books provided by the event sponsor: Princess April Morning-Glory by Letitia Fairbanks and The Forgotten Flapper by Laini Giles.



WordPress forms can be a little buggy so if it give you any trouble, please send submissions to with a subject like SANDWICH CONTEST.

Please include the name you would like the recipe credited to, the email address where you would like to be contacted, your subject, recipe and an explanation of why it matches your chosen subject.

The Long Version

The info above should be enough to get you going but if you want more details, here is the whole enchilada.

Who is eligible to be a subject:

Anyone working in the film industry during the silent era who received a screen credit in a silent film. You are allowed to create a group sandwich for people who worked in films together. (For example, the Arbuckle/Keaton/St. John Sandwich or the Garbo/Gilbert Sandwich.) Obscure figures are welcome and encouraged.


Things to keep in mind:
  • The relative fame of the subject will not factor into the decision process. So a Buster Keaton Sandwich has just as much chance of winning as a Ben Turpin Sandwich.
  • You may include your own dietary preferences or needs in your recipe. Vegan/vegetarian, kosher, etc. is just fine.
  • For the purpose of this contest, a sandwich can include anything that New York State considers to be a sandwich. This includes open-face sandwiches, burritos, wraps, hot dogs, paninis, etc.
  • I reserve the right not to cook anything insane. So if someone submits a live mouse sandwich, I’m not doing it. Seriously, guys, no live mouse sandwiches.
  • Remember that this website aims to be family-friendly so keep it clean. No dirty ingredient puns, no sandwiches based on star love lives.
  • Also, no political statements. How can sandwiches be political? Honey, it’s an election year so nothing would surprise me. Make lunch not war, my friends, and that includes politics.


In addition to bragging rights, the winner of the contest will receive a smashing pair of silent film-related books in ebook format from the contest’s sponsors. These prizes can be delivered electronically almost anywhere in the world. (Approximate retail value of the books, $13.)

Here are the books:


Princess April Morning Glory by Leticia Fairbanks: A charming storybook written and illustrated by Douglas Fairbanks’ niece and inspired by her Hollywood surroundings.


The Forgotten Flapper by Laini Giles: A biographical novel based on the life and early tragic death of pioneering flapper actress Olive Thomas.

Great stuff!

Judging Criteria

The following factors will be weighed in making the final decision:

Connection to Subject (40 %): The sandwich must have some connection to its subject, either literal or abstract. For example, if you are making a Rudolph Valentino Sandwich, you can include hot peppers to symbolize his spicy film roles or you can be more literal and include items inspired by the locations of his movies, ingredients that show up in his films or something that he might have mentioned eating in interviews. Thinking outside the box and creativity are encouraged, the relative fame of the subject will have no bearing in the contest. Be as obscure as you like. Have fun with this! (I will be judging this section with the assistance of a few consultants.)

Ease of Preparation (20%): Sandwiches were invented to be fast and easy to make. Recipes should be aimed at the home cook and not require fancy gadgets not found in a normal American kitchen. (Blenders, yes. Ivory-handled strawberry hullers, no.) Simple cooking is okay but if your recipe starts with “First, plant your wheat” then we have a problem. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions about this or have no idea if a required gadget is known in America or not. (I will be judging this section with the assistance of other judges.)

Blind Taste Test (40%): The final sandwiches will be prepared for a panel of taste testers who will not be told whose recipe or which subject goes with which sandwich. Sandwiches will be judged on deliciousness, texture and creativity. (I will not be one of the taste testers.)


On January 31, 2016, the eligible submissions will be judged by a panel in written form for potential deliciousness. The top rated recipes (maximum of ten, minimum of three submissions) will move on to the final round, which means they will be prepared and judged by the criteria mentioned above. The winner will be announced on February 29, 2016 because it is a leap year! Further, the grand prize winner will be informed by email and given details on the delivery of their prizes.

How to enter:

Participants must submit their recipes before 12:00 PM PST (California time) on January 15, 2016. Please include the name that you would like used in contest posts (nothing NSFW) and a valid email address so I can confirm that your entry has been received and so you can receive your prizes if you are the winner.

Here is the recipe format you must follow:

  1. List the ingredients. Make sure to be specific if something adds important flavor (e.g. don’t say “bread” say “sliced swirl rye bread”) and mention if there is a particular brand required to make to recipe a success. Mention quantities if this makes a difference.
  2. Write sandwich construction instructions. You can either list them step-by-step (“Step 1: Butter bread”) or just write them out in sentence form (“First butter the bread”). Each recipe should yield exactly one sandwich.
  3. Make sure to include any important tips for preparation or presentation. For example, if your sandwich is tall, you might advise that it be held together with a toothpick. Also, be as specific as possible with ingredients as certain words mean different things in different countries. (For example, bacon is very different from one country to another.) When in doubt, explain. (“American bacon”) The contest is hosted in the western United States so please educate us if something is specific to your country, culture or region.
  4. Finally, please include one or two brief paragraphs with a few thoughts on your subject and the reasons why you think your sandwich captures their spirit.

Copy and paste your recipe into the submission box. I will confirm that I have received it.

If you would prefer to write a blog post about your sandwich instead of submitting the recipe, that’s fine. Please follow the recipe format in you post and write “Blog Post” and provide a link in the Recipe text box. The form will allow me to collect your email address privately. (I hate spam and, needless to say, will not be sharing your email address with anyone. The exception will be the grand prize winner, whose email will be sent to my two sponsors so they can deliver the ebooks.)

Sample Recipe Format:

The Douglas Fairbanks Almond Butter and Jelly Sandwich


2 slices of whole wheat bread
Almond butter (I used the Trader Joe’s store brand)
Seedless blackberry jam

Instructions: Lightly toast the bread and allow it to cool. Spread a thin layer of almond butter on each slice of toast. Spread one slice of toast thickly with blackberry jam and press the slices together. Enjoy!

Explanation: (This is where I explain why the ingredients and combination work so well for Douglas Fairbanks.)

Legal Stuff

You will retain the rights to your recipe but by submitting your recipe and explanatory paragraphs, you grant me the right to reprint them now or in the future. Why no time limit? Well, I may want to re-publish these recipes sometime later and I don’t want to have to track everyone down to receive permission again. Naturally, you will be credited as author in any reprints.

If you want the full legalese, the Official Contest Rules can be found here.

17 Replies to “Movies Silently is holding The Silent Star Sandwich Contest (rules, submission form, etc.)”

    1. Thanks so much for entering! Yes, you find valuable knowledge in the most unlikely places. 😉 (Would you believe I found it embedded in an NPR story about the nature of sandwiches?)

  1. I submitted the DAN (Durfee-Arbuckle-Normand) Triple Decker into the contest. Really looking forward to perusing everyone’s sandwich recipe creations- such a fun (also delicious) idea!

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