Every year, HSLDA offers quarterly contests in art, poetry, photography, and essay writing, open to all homeschooled students (ages 7–19). Through its contests, HSLDA hopes to offer homeschooled students the opportunity to hone their skills in a fun and creative setting that invites them to think outside the box and be rewarded for excellence.

Art Contest

December 1–February 1 (view winners)

Category 1 (Ages 7–10*): Cubist Art

Incorporate one characteristic of art from the Cubist period in your entry.

Examples of Cubist art

Winners

  • 1st place: Houses on a Peaceful Prairie by Titus Benton, Burke, VA
  • 2nd place: The Shelf in the Cellar by Sophia Iverson, Oneida, WI
  • 3rd place: Tulips in the Sunshine by James Morrison, Hillsboro, VA
  • Honorable Mention:
    • My Old Kentucky Home by David Shanks, Monticello, KY
    • The 3 Aces (8's) by Dexter Walsh, Oneonta, NY
  • Finalists:
    • The Cat Lady by Blake Morris, Murray, KY
    • Hummingbird and Flower by Phoebe Young, Albany, OR
    • You Are My Sunshine by Allyson Haddick, East Helena, MT
    • Goodnight City by Emsleigh McClellan, Easley, SC
    • Flight of the Eagle by Jackson Rider, Converse, IN
    • In His Image by Ellie Strickland, Fisherville, KY
    • Savior's Song to the Unborn by Angélica Gazaway, Barnard, MO
    • Musical Violin by Maggie Graeber, Concord, NC
    • Watermelon by Michael Buquo, Pompano Beach, FL
    • Sunset at Sea by Evelyn O'Dowd, Bow, NH
    • Kite in Flight by Daniel Reesor, Buena Vista, VA

Category 2 (Ages 11–14*): Rococo Art

Incorporate one characteristic of art from the rococo period in your entry.

Examples of Rococo art

Winners

  • 1st place: The Invasion of Neglect by Jocelyn Ginn, Hideout, UT
  • 2nd place: Peaceful Echos of My World by Anna Willard, Albany, GA
  • 3rd place: Table #5 by Megan Cota, Tulare, CA
  • Honorable Mention:
    • Captain of Liberty by Emma Stucker, Park City, UT
    • Parachuta! by Kate Steiner, Columbus, GA
  • Finalists:
    • Oh, Wind by Lindsey Brown, Ellsworth, ME
    • Waves of Wonder by Paul Miller, Aurora, CO
    • Arranging Roses by Sarah Lienemann, Omaha, NE
    • Tea Time by Alethea Gard, Albuquerque, NM
    • Sewing Flowers by Paige Reynolds, Fairfield, CA
    • Pretty in Pink by Anna Lee, Trinity, TX
    • A Lady in Flower Garden by Abigail Charles, Murray, IA
    • Horse in the Sea by Abigail Andrews, Billings, MT
    • Spring Forest Stroll by Addison Graeber, Concord, NC
    • Star of the Party by Kezia Schmidt, Marchand, Manitoba

Category 3 (Ages 15–19*): Impressionist Art

Incorporate one characteristic of art from the Impressionistic period in your entry.

Examples of Impressionist Art

Winners

  • 1st place: A Morning at Sea by Leah Steed, Dubuque, IA
  • 2nd place: Still Life by Matthew Cerha, Hamilton, NJ
  • 3rd place: Classical Guitar Man by Philip Smith, Klamath Falls, OR
  • Honorable Mention:
    • Mortality//Eternity by Edward Wang, Gilbert, AZ
    • Summer Solace by Amanda Zook, Newmanstown, PA
  • Finalists:
    • Embracing the Wind by Lindsey Brown, Ellsworth, ME
    • Somewhere Lost in June by Amanda Zook, Newmanstown, PA
    • Afternoon in Linz by Abigail Canutt, Canby, OR
    • Reflections by Emma Knowles, Trafford, AL
    • In My Feelings by Ethan Jordan, Lima, OH
    • Submission by Adi Stofer, Berryton, KS
    • White Over Yellow Harvest Song by Eleanor Vaughan, Worcester, MA
    • A Walk With the Master by Priscilla Harris, Fleetwood, PA
    • Destiny by Annika Taylor, Kalamazoo, MI
    • Breach Inlet: An Impression by Ava White, Awendaw, SC
    • Outstanding In His Field! by James Christenson, Prior Lake, MN
    • Garden Escape by Miriam Harris, Fleetwood, PA

Sources: For art history or other art-related materials, check out these vendors: Christianbook or Sonlight Curriculum.

See Rules & Guidelines for important instructions!

*All ages are as of January 1, 2020

Poetry Contest

March 1–May 1 (contest over, check back for winners)

Let’s see how clever you can get! For this year’s poetry contest, enjoy the complexity of the English language and mechanics of poetic literature. Do this by telling a story or expressing a message through a poem you create with a specific alphabetic structure (category details below), all the while maintaining your special voice.

Category 1 (Ages 7–10*)

Write a poem in which every new line begins with the exact same letter. You may choose the letter.
Maximum poem length: 20 lines.
Rhyme pattern: Poem should have a discernible rhyme scheme.

Category 2 (Ages 11–14*)

Write a three-stanza poem in which the first letter of each new line spells the message “SPRING IS HERE” or spells “SPRING” as three couplets.
Maximum poem length: 6 (“SPRING”) or 12 (“SPRING IS HERE”) lines.
Rhyme pattern: Poem should have a discernible rhyme scheme.

Category 3 (Ages 15–19*)

Write a poem in which each new line begins with consecutive letters of the alphabet. You may choose which letter you start the sequence with.
Maximum poem length: 26 lines.
Rhyme pattern: Poem should have a discernible rhyme scheme.

See Rules & Guidelines for important instructions!

*All ages are as of April 1, 2020

Photo Contest

June 1–August 1 Now accepting submissions!

Words likely flood your mind when you analyze a photo to determine why it attracts your attention. If you think about it hard enough, you can probably even boil those words down to single-word descriptors. In this year’s photography contest, create a photo shoot that reflects the single-word descriptor in your age category.

Category 1 (Ages 7–10*): Vibrant

Submit a photo that embodies the word vibrant.

Category 2 (Ages 11–14*): Impressive

Submit a photo that embodies the word impressive.

Category 3 (Ages 15–19*): Ornate

Submit a photo that embodies the word ornate.

See Rules & Guidelines for important instructions!

*All ages are as of June 1, 2020

Essay Contest

September 1–November 1 (closed)

This contest is currently closed. Check back in August for this year's themes.

All contest profits go to HSLDA Compassion, which uses them to provide low-income homeschooling families with access to educational and legal resources to help them continue homeschooling.

Please contact the Contest Coordinator at contests@hslda.org with any questions.