General Entry Guidelines
- The deadline for all entries is Feb. 1st each year.
- Individuals may submit up to four entries per category in every category.
- All entries should be submitted electronically if at all possible; exceptions can be made for 2D and 3D art.
- The submitted files should be named the same as the entry title. For example, if a photo entry is titled “Sunset,” then the file should be called “Sunset,” NOT “Picture 3” or “IMG559.”
- Each entry must be sent separately.
- Failure to meet all guidelines may result in automatic disqualification.
- Entrants give their express permission that winning entries will be published in the magazine and may also be used for promotional and educational purposes.
- Use the online submission manager below for all categories; you will be redirected to a website to provide information and submit entries for contest consideration.
- Entrants should live within 100 miles of the campuses of Crowder College located in southwest Missouri in the towns of Cassville, Jane, Joplin, Neosho, Nevada, and Webb City.
- Employees of Crowder College should enter in the community division in order to avoid competition with Crowder students.
Nonfiction: Essays, character sketches and other true-to-life writings should be limited to 1800 words. Sufficient development and support of introduction, body, and conclusion with clearly defined theme are expected.
Fiction: Clear plot development and well-defined characters, setting, and theme are expected; also limit of 1800 words.
Poetry: Whether free verse, blank verse, rhymed or metered verse, poetry should make a point, state emotion, or relate an experience with originality and impact.
2D Art: Original paintings, drawings and hand-made prints including pen, pencil, woodcut, etching, screen print, charcoal, oil, colored pencil, pastels, water color, and acrylic creations, both black & white and color. Originality, composition, good craftsmanship, printability, and impact are expected.
3D Art: Entries include but are not limited to pottery, ceramic, sculpture, assemblages, recycled materials and reliefs that protrude at least 1/8 inch off the surface. Photographs of the art (front and side view required) should be uploaded online. Originality, composition, good craftsmanship, printability, and impact are expected.
Digital Art: This graphic art category includes computer-generated art or extensively manipulated photographs in order to create special effects. Photographs with only minor adjustments should be entered in one of the photography categories.
Black and White Photography: Entries may be reproduced from film or digital files with only minor corrections and adjustments. Contrast, originality, focus, composition, and impact are expected of all photography.
Color Photography: Film or digital files that emphasize vibrant color reproduction are sought. Contrast, originality, focus, composition, and impact are expected of all photography.
Carefully read the category descriptions to avoid mis-categorizing. For example, graphic design should not be entered as 2D traditional media.
If there are only minor adjustments to a photograph such as corrections to exposure, white balance, color saturation, and cropping, it’s considered regular photography and should be entered in either the color or B&W photography category.
Otherwise, the digital art category is for a photograph has been extensively altered or art that was created on the computer. Below are hundreds of examples of photo manipulations and digitally created art:
High School: grades 9-12 in communities located within 100 miles of one of the Crowder campuses, which are located in Carthage, Cassville, Greenfield, Lamar, Monett, Neosho, Nevada, McDonald County, and Webb City.
Crowder students: currently enrolled students at one of the Crowder campuses
Community: adults, including Crowder faculty to avoid competition with students; community members should be located within 100 miles of any of the Crowder campuses.
Visual Arts: Artwork, photography, and digital art
Digital art is extensively altered digital photographic images and computer-generated art.
2D art includes both black & white and color two-dimensional entries.
3D art is for three-dimensional entries.
A model consent form must be submitted for photographic or art entries of live models.
Art should be created based on real life (still life, landscape, or live model), memory, or imagination rather than copied from published materials. On the rare occasion that an artist alters a previous work of art, credit should be given. For example, an alteration of the Mona Lisa could be titled Mona Lisa’s Smile with source credit given to the original artist: The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci. “Copy art” used as learning exercises will no longer be accepted as contest entries.
2D art and 3D art should be scanned or photographed and sent digitally if at all possible.
All photography and digital art should be submitted online; see general guidelines.
Email LatoniaBailey@crowder.edu or call 417-455-5410 to make arrangements for hand-delivered art entries. See “How to enter contest” for more details.
Literature: Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction
Whether free verse, blank verse, rhymed or metered verse, poetry should make a point, state emotion, or relate an experience.
Fictional writings should have clear plot development and well-defined characters. There is an 1800-word maximum.
Character sketches and personal essays should make a statement, whether serious, dramatic, or humorous. There is an 1800-word maximum.
All literature entries must be typed and submitted online.
Scholarships available for high school gold winners
$500 scholarships are available to the high school gold winners for each category in the Crowder Quill literary/art contest. This one-time scholarship is for the top high school winner in each category: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, photography, digital art, 2D art, and 3D art.
The scholarships are funded by individual departments (art and journalism) in order to nurture the talent presented during the Quill contest. Those winning students must enroll in one of the courses designated on the certificate to activate the scholarship. Currently, the eligible courses are as follows:
- 2D and 3D art gold award winners: ART 103, 104, 106, 107, 110, 111, or 210
- Literature, photography, and digital art gold award winners: DIGM 102, 103, or 105
After the first semester, the department may elect to renew the scholarship if student has shown satisfactory progress in the discipline and has maintained a minimum g.p.a. of 2.5. Students should inquire about renewing the scholarship through the appropriate department.
The award does not expire, but the award recipient should contact the digital media marketing department (LatoniaBailey@crowder.edu) for writing and photography scholarships or the art department (JoshuaKnott@Crowder.edu) for those categories prior to the semester of enrollment to complete a current scholarship form for the Admissions/Financial Aid offices.
The deadline for the contest/scholarship is Feb. 1 each year.
Detailed Contest Category Descriptions
The magazine is a compilation of winning entries in the following literary and art categories.
Various forms of each genre are welcome as publication submissions. The following are common terms and explanations within each category.
Essays, character sketches and other true-to-life writings should be limited to 1,800 words.
Essays – a short piece of writing that is based on one certain subject in which the author normally states and details their opinion on. There are four types of essays in literature: expository, descriptive, narrative, and persuasive.
Biography – a piece of literature that has been written about someone’s life.
Autobiography – when the biography is written by the subject of the story.
Character sketch – a short piece of writing that details a certain character.
Memoir – a written work similar to a biography but focuses on a specific time in a person’s life.
Historical narrative – a narrative that was written for the general purpose of recreating historical events and characters.
Satire – a piece of writing that ridicules mankind’s downfalls and corruptions.
Political satire – a piece of literature written for the purpose of mocking the government and its members.
Commentary – writing that is generally used for records. The author, having been a part of a certain experience, details what occurred.
Journal/Diary entries – a written record of a person’s thoughts, opinions, and activities.
Clear plot development and well-defined characters are expected; also limit of 1,800 words.
Short stories – a brief story that, while it does come to completion, lacks complexity and in-depth character development.
Plays – a written piece presenting a story that was created with the intention for the piece to be acted out on a stage.
Fables – A short narrative that is used to teach morals and commonly uses animals as characters.
Folklore – a piece of literature that preserves the traditional customs and tales among a certain group of people.
Parody – a piece of literature that closely imitates an author or another piece of literature, most often for comedic purposes.
Fantasy – a literary genre that is comprised of things that cannot occur in the real world, such as magic and mythical creatures.
Science fiction – a literary genre that has a story line that is based off different views on what science and technology will be like in the future.
Whether free verse, blank verse, rhymed or metered verse, poetry should make a point, state emotion, or relate an experience.
Musical lyrics – poetry that is paired with instrumental sound to create a song.
Free verse – a verse that does not have a steady rhythm.
Blank verse – a verse that does not rhyme and is most commonly written in iambic pentameter.
Rhymed verse – a verse in which the words at the end of each line rhyme.
Metered verse – a syllabic rhythm recurring throughout a verse.
Ballad – a type of poetry that is used in dance songs, they often tell a story with the themes ranging from comedy to romance.
Sonnet – a poem in the fixed verse form pattern of fourteen lines that are generally iambic pentameter rhyming agreeing to a specific design.
Haiku – a type of verse, originating from Japan, that contains three lines with five syllables in the first and last lines, and seven syllables in the second line.
Original two-dimensional art may be black and white or color. Entries may be scanned and uploaded online, hand-delivered, or mailed. Art should be created based on real life (still life, landscape, or live model), memory, or imagination rather than copied from published materials. If a source is referenced, credit must be given. Model consent required.
Hand-made prints – artwork created by hand.
Monoprint – a single print created by applying ink or paint to a smooth surface and then transferring it to paper; may have a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd monoprint, each with a specific process.
Etching – a print produced by etching with acid into a piece of metal, then applying ink and pressing paper to the inked metal.
Screen print – silk-screen printing; a process that uses stencils on screens to layer different colors of ink onto a print.
Charcoal drawing – a drawing using sticks of charred wood.
Oil painting – made with oils; takes longer to dry and is used in layers.
Colored pencil – similar in shape to a graphite pencil, each colored pencil has a different shade or color, and the lead contains wax.
Pastels – similar to a crayon; made out of powdered pigment made into a binder.
Graphite pencil – a pencil whose lead is a mixture of powdered graphite and clay; easily erasable.
Marble texturing/brush – applying a pattern to an object by transferring oil paints floating on water.
Pen & Ink- A drawing or sketch done in pen & ink. Often incorporates the methods of stippling and cross-hatching (as a variety of media do.)
Stippling – created by drawing or engraving a detail or an image in either small strokes or dots.
Cross-hatch – creating an image with series of lines that cross over each other.
Qualifying art must include a relief that protrudes at least 1/8 inch off the surface. Photographs of the art (front and side view required) may be uploaded online instead of bringing the art for judging.
Pottery – objects that are wheelthrown with clay and fired to cone 02-10. They can be altered, added on to, or detailed.
Ceramics – all things made in clay and fired; it is also possible to make from a mold; not thrown on the wheel.
Sculpture – 3D objects that can be created from a variety of materials, through various processes, such as carving or welding.
Assemblage – a piece of art that is created with different sections or pieces that are assembled to create a whole piece.
Recycled material Art – artwork that is made of recycled materials or trash.
Relief art – a sculpture that has been made to give the impression that the carved image is above the background plane.
Fused-glass jewelry – created by selecting pieces of glass and arranging them to be fired in a kiln in order to fuse the pieces together.
Stained-glass mosaic – decorative glass pane that is created by cutting and arranging pieces of colored glass connected by strips of lead; color enhancements may be added with stains and paints.
This graphic art category includes computer-generated art or extensively manipulated photographs in order to create special effects. Photography with only minor adjustments should be entered in one of the photography categories. Digital art, photography, and literature entries should be uploaded online.
Common Photoshop techniques – a few of the most commonly used Photoshop techniques are the ability to manipulate photos, create textures, alter hand-drawn images that are scanned in, add layers to create more dimension, and alter the lighting on an image to make it brighter or darker.
Photoshop layers – different sections of the same image that can be altered and moved separately to give the image more dimension.
Photoshop filters – an effect that can be used to imitate photographic filters, correct a photo, or apply special art effects that give the image a unique appearance or appear to have been created using a different medium.
Sumo Paint software program – a website with a downloadable program for image design, photo editing, and making digital art.
InspirARTion software application – an application that allows users to utilize various brushes of different styles, sizes, and colors as well as different symmetry modes to draw or create digital art.
Black and white entries may be reproduced from film or digital files with only minor corrections and adjustments.
We seek film or digital files that emphasize vibrant color. Files should be uploaded online. All photography is judged on originality, contrast, composition, and artistic merit.
Aperture setting (f-stop) – f-stops are the size of the aperture and corresponds to how much light is allowed in the lens. Larger f-stop numbers result in a darker image. Smaller f-stop numbers result in a brighter image.
ISO (film speed) – measures how sensitive to light the camera sensor is; the lower the number, the less light sensitive and less grain on the photo, and the higher the number, the more light sensitive and more grain on the photo.
Shutter speed – how long the aperture exposes the sensor to the light, the faster the speed of the shutter, the crisper the picture.
Automatic setting (Auto) – the automatic setting controls aperture, shutter speed, and ISO for the user.
iPhone lens attachment – smartphone attachments that helps the phone and user to produce a higher quality photo.
Film processing – a series of chemical baths that develop a photograph, requiring control over the environment, especially light. With digital printing, images from digital cameras can be printed directly from the computer.