Photo Contest

2014 Art Contest Guidelines

Submission Dates: January 1st–March 1st

Entries must be post marked by March 1st. We receive a high volume of entries around this date, so if you submit an entry toward the end of the submission period, please be patient. We will notify you via email when we process you entry!

Entry Form

Photo Contest

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Homeschoolers ages 7–19 are invited to create a drawing or painting based on the content of a beloved hymn. Each student may enter up to 3 pieces of art.


Cash congratulations, plus a wonderful transcript booster!

Category 1 2 3
First place $100 $150 $200
Second place $75 $100 $150
Third place $50 $50 $100
Honorable Mentions (2) $25 $25 $50


While each of the arts has its own unique value, we believe there is a special richness only attainable through their interaction, as poetry, music, and art work in harmony to achieve a common goal. We encourage you to read the words of the hymn listed for your age category, listen to its music, and let one of the lines, words, phrases, or entire verses inspire your artwork. We eagerly await the fruit of your vivid imagination and unique creativity!

Category 1 (ages 7–10*): Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
Category 2 (ages 11–14*): Be Thou My Vision
Category 3 (ages 15–19*): Take My Life and Let It Be

*For the purposes of this contest, an eligible student must have received a majority of his or her education at home during the current school year. The staff and immediate family members of HSLDA, HSF, GenJ and PRO are not eligible to participate.

Artwork Guidelines:

  • Completely original hand-done artwork. No tracing, photography, or computer-generated artwork.
  • Both wet and dry mediums are welcome.
  • You may look at photographs or other art for ideas, but do not copy them. We want to see your creativity at work!
  • Flat, two-dimensional artwork less than ¼" thick (not including mat or frame). This means no sculpture or other 3D aspects.
  • Once your artwork is completed, take a good picture of it—this is what you will enter! We recommend reading this short article to learn more about how to photograph your artwork in a way that presents it well.
  • Fill out one Art Contest Entry Form per entry—if you enter two pieces of artwork, fill out an entry form for each one.

Great! My artwork is ready. How do I enter?

Simple! Mail us three things:

  1. 1. An 8"x10" color photograph, 8½"x11" color copy, or 8½"x11" color digital print of your artwork. Do NOT send the original artwork for the preliminary round, as these entries will NOT be returned.
  2. 2. A completed and signed Art Contest Entry Form
  3. 3. Your Entry Fee in the form of a check or money order:
    HSLDA Member Discounted Entry Fee$10.00
    Regular Entry Fee$15.00
    Multiple entry fees may be paid on one check for students or families submitting multiple entries.

Mail items to:

Attn: Art Contest
PO Box 3000
Purcellville, VA 20134

What happens if I’m a finalist?

If your artwork is selected as a finalist, you will be invited to mail us the framed original in April. You will be instructed on how to submit your artwork for the final round. Instructions will include:

  • All work must be matted and/or framed with a simple and lightweight matte or frame and have wire or other hanging hardware attached ready for hanging.
  • Maximum size including matting and framing is 48" x 48". There is no minimum size.
  • It is HIGHLY recommended that entrants use plexi-glass rather than glass in the framing. We have received damaged artwork from glass shattering in the mail. HSLDA cannot be held responsible for artwork damaged during shipment.

All finalist pieces will be on loan to HSLDA for one year and will be displayed at the HSLDA headquarters in Purcellville, Virginia. After a year, the artwork will be returned to the artist, much to the sadness of HSLDA employees, visitors, and honored guests.


  1. Preliminary entries received between January 1st and March 1st, 2014.
  2. Preliminary judging will take place in March.
  3. All participants will be notified by email in March with the names of those selected as finalists.
  4. Framed artwork from finalists must arrive by April 14, 2014.
  5. Final judging will take place in late April and all finalists will be immediately notified of the results via email.
  6. Winners will be announced on HSLDA’s contest website, e-lert service, Facebook, and Pinterest in May 2014.


  • Pieces will be judged on originality, creativity, and adherence with the theme.
  • A panel of four judges selected by HSLDA will judge both the preliminary and final rounds.
  • The decision of the judges is final.

Other information:

  • Profits from all HSLDA contests go to the Special Needs Children Fund administered by HSLDA’s charitable arm, the Home School Foundation.
  • HSLDA has the right to use reproduction of entered artwork at its discretion. Full credit will always be given to the artist.
  • All judgments are final and interpretations of the guidelines are at HSLDA’s sole discretion.

Note: Versions of each hymn may differ depending on the hymnal, and all versions are acceptable for the purposes of this contest. The Youtube links below are purely for your listening convenience and are in no way endorsed by HSLDA.

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

By Henry van Dyke
Hear a version of this song.

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee,
Opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain,
Call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Well-spring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the mighty chorus
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife;
Joyful music leads us sunward,
In the triumph song of life.

Be Thou My Vision

Trans. by Mary E. Byrne
Hear a version of this song.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul's Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Take My Life and Let It Be

By Frances R. Havergal
Hear a version of this song.

Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise,
let them flow in endless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for Thee,
swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from Thee,
filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as Thou shalt choose,
every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it Thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is Thine own;
it shall be Thy royal throne,
it shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for Thee,
ever, only, all for Thee.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact the Contest Coordinator at contests@hslda.org. We love your feedback!