The DC Student Arts Journalism Challenge

The DC Student Arts Journalism Challenge is a competition for undergraduates in District area colleges and universities. Arts journalism provides a critical link between artists and audiences. Without quality review of artistic work, new artists may never find their audience, and audiences may never find meaningful arts experiences. Quality arts journalism supports the best achievements in the arts, and the DC Student Arts Journalism Challenge was created to identify and support talented young arts journalists.

Annually, the Bourgeon editorial board solicits applications, and selects three finalists from the entrants. All three finalists have their work published in the magazine, and receive written feedback from the finals judges. One winner is selected by a panel of professional arts writers, and the award includes a cash prize of $150 dollars.

The submission period for the 2016 competition is January 15, 2016 – March 31, 2016

Entries are accepted by email only to:

Guidelines for Entrants

Eligibility: Undergraduate students currently enrolled in one of the District area colleges or universities.

  • Only one submission per person.
  • There is NO FEE to enter the competition.
  • Submission must be between 500 and 1500 words in length.
  • Submission must be sent in one of the following file formats: .doc, .docx, .pdf
  • Submission must be received at by midnight, March 31st, 2016 to be considered.
  • Any piece of arts journalism created for any reason may be submitted for this competition, including criticism, opinion, editorial, and history.
  • Any performance, gallery show, exhibit, reading, or other artistic product, in any location, may be the focus of an article. Artwork or performances covered don’t have to have occurred in the District, but must be verifiable (i.e. you can’t write about a made up performance or event.

To read some competition Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

2015 Competition
Finals judges included Christina Cauterucci (Slate), Rachel Sadon (DCist), and author/journalist Gareth Branwyn.
Winner – Mark Lieberman (American University) for his article Inside Out: Mind’s Eye.

2014 Competition
Finals judges included Philip Kennicott (Washington Post, 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism), Tyler Green, and Lisa Gold (Washington Project for the Arts).
Winner – Sean Stempler (Georgetown University) for his article Human After All.

2013 Competition
Finals judges included Philip Kennicott (Washington Post) and Philip Hutinet
Winner – Roxanne Goldberg (George Washington University) for her article Hairy Confrontations: a Review of Sonya Clark’s Solo Show

2012 Competition
Finals judges included Lewis Segal (Los Angeles Times) and Leonard Jacobs (Clyde Fitch Report)
Winner – Julia Lloyd George (Georgetown University) for her article Leibovitz Journeys from Lennon to Landscapes

2011 Competition
Finals judges included Michael O’Sullivan (Washington Post) and Anne Midgette (Washington Post)
Winner – Caroline Klibanoff (Georgetown University) for her article Arcade Fire: The Suburbs


About Bourgeon

Bourgeon is a program of the non-profit Day Eight. Day Eight's mission is to empower individuals and communities to participate in the arts through the production, publication, and promotion of creative projects.

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