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Cool Contests for Creative Kids in 2021–2022

Competitions for talented kids interested in writing, visual arts, performance, photography, film, music and more

Published on: July 30, 2021

Cool Contests for Creative Kids in 2021–2022

Young boy pointing a camera

Multidisciplinary contests


YoungArts holds a major national contest for 15- to 18-year-old (grades 10–12) visual, literary and performing artists in 10 disciplines. Applications open in June and close in October, with winners announced in three categories in December. Winners receive cash prizes from $100 to $10,000, as well as lifelong access to mentors, workshops and residencies. Cost to enter is $35 (which can be waived).

Holocaust Center for Humanity’s Writing, Art and Film Contest 

This contest challenges students to use writing, art or film to explore the history and stories of the Holocaust and to consider the impact of individual actions. The contest opens with two prompts published in December. Students in grades 5–12 from Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska are eligible. Winning entries are displayed by the center throughout the year, and winners receive cash prizes of as much as $200.

Emerald Youth Review 

The Emerald Parents Association posts a new prompt for stories, essays or artwork about historical events or characters each month. Asian American students in grades 3–10 can enter by the end of the month for a chance to win $10.

Washington History Day

Held as part of National History Day, Washington History Day is a social studies program administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction in Washington state that challenges middle and high school students to develop their historical research skills. Individual students or teams in grades 6–8 and grades 9–12 research the annual topic and then present their work in one of five formats: a historical research paper, dramatic performance, multimedia documentary, a museum-quality exhibit or a navigable website. There is no registration fee, and the initial deadline is in January. Winners progress through regional, state and national levels. Prizes may include certificates, medals, trophies, scholarships or cash.

Scholastic Art and Writing Contests

For younger kids, Scholastic frequently runs free art and writing contests through its website. Winners are chosen at random and receive prizes, such as a box of books.

Get to Know

The Get to Know contest promotes environmental learning by encouraging young people to connect with and interpret the natural world around them through art and photography. It is open to anyone ages 19 and younger, with both place-based and artform categories. Entries must be submitted by June 1 each year. Prizes include items such as binoculars and art supplies.

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