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2018 Water Resources Art & Poetry Contest Guidelines

Thank you for participating in the 32nd annual Water Resources Art and Poetry Contest. We look forward to seeing your entries.

Who is eligible to participate?

Second through twelfth grade public, independent, charter, parochial, and homeschooled students in New York City and the East and West of Hudson Watersheds are eligible to participate each year. View the NYC Water Story Map to see contest boundaries.

What do I need to know about entering the contest?

  • All entries must relate to New York’s water resources. To view a list of acceptable topics, visit 2018 Art & Poetry Contest Themes.
  • Teachers must first complete a Teacher Registration Form to provide information about the student entries that they will be submitting.
  • Teachers should then submit for each of their students using the online Student Entry Form. On the front of each entry, please include student:
    • First name
    • School
    • Grade
    • Borough/watershed
  • Art entries can include paintings, drawings, photographs, dioramas, models, dance videos, music performances, public service announcements, or animations, for example.
  • Students may work in small groups or individually. Please submit a Student Entry Form for each student, whether they worked individually or in a group.
  • Be sure to review the Contest Tips (PDF) ahead of time to see the information needed for your teacher registration and student entries. The accuracy of this information is very important since it will be used to notify you and to acknowledge student and school participation.
  • All entries become the property of DEP to be used for educational purposes.

How do I enter the contest?

Step 1: Register for the Art & Poetry Contest

  • Teachers must first complete an online Teacher Registration Form to provide more information about the participating student(s), school, and the number of entries that the teacher will be submitting. This form will only need to be submitted once.
  • Be sure that you have all of the following information ready when you submit your Teacher Registration Form:
    • Teacher name, email address, and phone number (either school or personal)
    • School/organization name, address, and borough or East/West-of-Hudson Watershed
    • Principal name and email address
    • Number of students being entered into the contest
  • After submitting a Teacher Registration Form, teachers will receive a confirmation email to the teacher email address provided. A confirmation email will include a link to the Student Entry Form, so you may submit each of your student entries.

Step 2: Submit Student Entries to the Art & Poetry Contest

  • Using the Student Entry Form, teachers will be able to submit an art or poetry entry for each participating student.
  • Be sure that you have all of the following information ready when you submit your Student Entry Form(s):
    • Correct spelling of the student’s name, and grade
    • Teacher name, and email address
    • Is this an art or poetry entry?
    • Title of student entry and file attachment
    • For a Group Entry: Names of the other student(s) who are submitting an art or poetry entry as a group
  • Art and poetry files should be titled using the student’s first and last name (for example: John_Doe).
  • Art and poetry files must be less than 25mb. Click here for help compressing a file.
  • Art entry files (such as photos, digital art, videos, etc.) in a jpg, pdf, avi, wmv, or mov format will be accepted. If submitting drawings, paintings, or 3D works, we suggest submitting a high-resolution photo or scan.
  • Poetry entry files in a doc, txt, rtf, or pdf format will be accepted.
  • After submitting a Student Entry Form, teachers will receive a confirmation email to the teacher email address provided. Be sure to carefully review your email confirmation for accuracy, and be sure you receive an email confirmation for each student you enter into the Art and Poetry Contest.
  • Teachers should reuse their link to the Student Entry Form to submit entries for additional student participants.

How and when will the submissions be accepted?

Entries will be accepted from January 16-March 9, 2018.

How will the entries be judged?

  • Entries will be judged based on creativity in interpreting one or more of the contest themes, accuracy of information, originality and skill.
  • An impartial panel of judges will review the entries, and select art and poetry winners from each category (grades 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, and 10-12). Please notify us about your student participants with special needs.

Who wins?

Teachers and principals will be notified by mid-April if any students from their school have been selected as winners or “Water Champions.” All students will be recognized for their work.


Contact with questions and inquiries. Thank you so much for your participation.

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