Guidelines, Entry Requirements & Criteria

Guidelines and Entry Requirements

Important!  Please put include your full name and category (i.e. Photography, Spoken Word, etc.) on your creative entry file. Please include both your creative submission AND your completed entry form.

Example: Stephanie Jacobs poetry.pdf

Submissions will be reviewed by educators and artists

Entry Requirements

Art: Works of fine and design arts are accepted, including but not limited to: architectural drawing and models, ceramics, collage, computer generated images and graphics, crafts, drawing, mixed media, painting, printmaking and sculpture. Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Framed entries are not accepted. Submit one digital image of artwork as your submission. Accepted file formats: JPEG, JPG, GIF, PNG.

Essay, Poetry: Accepted forms of fiction and nonfiction include: Prose, poetry, reflective essay, Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Writing must not exceed 2,000 words and may be handwritten or typed. Accepted formats: Single-sided print on 8 ½x11” paper, PDF file.


Music: Short original works. Sound and lyrics in an audio file from 45 seconds to 3:00 minutes. The entrant must be the singer/songwriter but can use other teen as musicians with their permission. Accepted formats: MP3

Photography: Entrant must be the photographer and may use a variety of digital editing techniques including but not limited to, multiple exposure, negative sandwich and photogram. Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Print image dimensions must be no smaller than 3×5 inches and no larger than 20 x 24 inches. Digital image dimensions must be at least 640×960 (pixels) and 300 dpi (resolution). Accepted file formats: JPEG, JPG, GIF, PNG.

Spoken Word: Video recording of an original spoken word creation performed by the spoken word artist. Video file must not exceed 3 min. and 1 GB in size. Accepted formats: AVI, FLV, WMV, MOV, MP4.

Video/short film styles include: Animation, narrative, documentary, experimental or media presentation. Use of PowerPoint is prohibited. Entrant must be the screenwriter, cinematographer, editor and producer. If background music is used, cite it on the entry form. Video file must not exceed 3 min. and 1 GB in size. Accepted formats: AVI, FLV, WMV, MOV, MP4.


Entrants will be primarily judged on the following:

Art, Photography

  • Composition – works as a whole; elements flow together
  • Command of medium – skilled at using medium, uses appropriate technique for medium, understands medium’s various uses
  • Technique – use of color, texture, perspective; skilled at drawing or modeling (as appropriate)
  • Expression – vivid imagery; treats subject in a unique way
  • Presentation – work is in good shape

Essay, Poetry

  • Structure – clear story/poetic arc; flows together as a whole
  • Use of Language – proper/appropriate grammar and spelling; complexity of sentence and vocabulary
  • Theme – clear, well thought out; presented in creative way
  • Expressions – vivid imagery, language; unique voice


  • Tone Quality – beauty, resonance, control, clarity, focus, consistency, warmth
  • Interpretation/Musicianship – style, phrasing, tempo, dynamics, emotional involvement, expression, continuity, mood; balance with accompaniment (if appropriate)
  • Technique – artistry, intonation, rhythm/rhythmic accuracy, articulation, precision, consistency, attacks and releases
  • Improvisation if appropriate

Video/Short Film

  • Concept and Writing
  • Execution
  • Quality of Video/Short Film
  • Original and Innovative


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