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.

– Submissions for the 2015 competition will be accepted from January 20 to June 30, 2015. — 

Entries are accepted by email 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, April 30th, 2015 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.

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, 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism) and Philip Hutinet
Winner – Roxanne Goldberg (George Washington University) for her article Hairy Confrontations: a Review of Sonya Clark’s Solo Show at Contemporary Wing, AHEAD OF HAIR

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



Publisher - Day Eight
Editors - Robert Bettmann, Daniel Barbiero
Intern: Juliana DeSouza
Bourgeon Bloggers: Kate Kretz, Cem Catbas, Robert Bettmann, Heather Desaulniers