The 2014 Writing and Art Challenge

Inila-QuoteView and Download a PDF of the Writing and Art Challenge Rules 2013-2014

This Year’s Theme: THE LAND

The land is an important part of Lakota heritage. Over time, sacred grounds have been taken for national parks, bombing ranges and other uses. Today, some lands contain undetonated munitions, warheads and/or other contaminants.  While many regions are lush and have access to clean water, other regions are unprotected from extreme weather and lack clean water sources. Fracking, pipeline constructions and other actions present continuing threats to the land.

The Written Challenge:  A letter, a poem or a spoken word submission. This can be submitted as a written document, audio file or video file.

OPTIONAL Additional Art Message Challenge:  IF you enter the Writing Challenge, THEN you qualify to enter an Art Message Challenge to create an Artistic Message on plain standard size paper, drawn in pencil, colored pencil or marker.  The Art Challenge is an optional additional challenge and will be scored separately.

Specific details and word restrictions are contained in the Writing Challenge and Art Challenge Official Rules. This is a challenge of imagination. Inspire Us, please!

You MUST enter the Writing Challenge in order to enter the Art Challenge.

DEADLINE: Midnight, Thursday, FEBRUARY 13, 2014

View and Download a PDF of the Writing and Art Challenge Rules 2013-2014



Writing Challenge: $350 for Young Adult; $350 for High School; $250 for Middle School Grand Prize Winners

Art Challenge: $300 for Young Adult; $300 for High School; $200 for Middle School Grand Prize Winners

Reservation Schools of Grand Prize Winners: Grants will be awarded to qualifying Reservation Schools.

 Runners Up will be awarded at the discretion of the judges.

Everyone WINS just by entering: All entrants will be invited to receive a Certificate of Accomplishment and Recognition at an Awards Ceremony, subject to your availability and the winning school’s availability. LCE is not responsible for the cost of travel to award ceremonies.


View and Download a PDF of the Writing and Art Challenge Rules 2013-2014

  • Make sure you read the prompt and follow the instructions.
  • Pay attention to the rules and the judging criteria, which will determine how your entry is scored.
  • Confer with teachers, friends and mentors — have someone look over your entry before you enter.
  • Make sure you provide us with multiple ways for us to contact you.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute — earlier entries will be greatly appreciated by the judges and you will not risk computer failure, snow storms or other reasons that might prevent you from entering! GET THOSE ENTRIES IN!!

Follow this blog and our Facebook Page for announcements about the Challenge.


We have an amazing panel of Writing Challenge judges!

We are SO excited to have national and international authors, writers, poets, a spoken word performer, a groundbreaking journalist AND a Nobel Peace Prize Winner.


Do I really have to enter the Writing Challenge to enter the Art Challenge?  Yes.

Will my Writing and Art entries be judged separately? Yes, but we are smart and if your Writing Challenge entry is only two words long and does not appear to be a good faith attempt to meet the challenge, then you may be disqualified from entering the art challenge.

Can I win both the Writing Challenge and the Art Challenge?  Yes. Each entry will be judged anonymously –judges will see entries after identifying information has been removed from entries.

Do I have to enter both the Writing and the Art Challenge? No, but in order to enter the Art Challenge you MUST enter the Writing Challenge.

Can I consult with my writing and art teachers on my entries? Absolutely and we hope that you do consult with teachers and mentors, seek advice, and incorporate their suggestions into your work.  Your entry, however, must be 100% your own work product. By entering either challenge, you are certifying that the entry is 100% your work.

Can my friend and I submit an entry together? No.

Can I submit more than one entry? Yes, but they must be entered separately and each one must follow the instructions. No more than 2 entries in either category will be allowed.

Do I have to submit two Writing entries if I want to submit two Art entries? No. If you submit one qualifying Writing Challenge entry, then you can submit up to 2 art entries.

What category should I enter?  Middle School category is for students enrolled in grades 6-8; High School category is for students enrolled in grades 9-12; Young Adult category is for youth ages 18-24 who are residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation and may include students in college on the Reservation, full time college students off the Reservation, or those who are not currently enrolled in school but are residents of Pine Ridge Reservation. Schools located off the Pine Ridge Reservation are not eligible to win School Prizes, but their students are eligible to win prizes, as long as they can establish residency and age criteria as specified in the rules, to the sole satisfaction of LCE Judges.

I am from Pine Ridge but I attend a High School or College in another state. Can I enter the Challenge? Yes, as long as you can establish to the satisfaction of LCE’s judges that you are a resident of Pine Ridge Reservation, a full time student and that you meet the age or grade criteria of one of the categories.

I am 18-24 years old, l live on the Pine Ridge Reservation and I do not attend a school full time. May I enter the Challenge?  Yes, you qualify for the Young Adult category.

I am in Elementary School, may I enter? Although this year we do not offer monetary prizes for elementary school students, we will accept entries from younger students and we will forward them to the judges for their review. In addition, all who enter will receive a Certificate of Achievement and will be invited to attend the awards ceremonies in the middle of April.

How will I know if I have won?  You will be notified by call or by email. All entries MUST contain your name, phone contacts (more than one phone number is preferable) and if you are under 18 then you must include contact information for an adult, teacher or other person we can reach. Please provide us with multiple contacts because if we cannot reach you or your representative, then we may award your prize to someone else.

The Writing Challenge has multiple ways to enter. Is there a preferred method of entry? No. Each entry will be judged alone and those with the highest scores will be named winners.  We added the spoken word option of audio or video entry because some of you asked us to give you an opportunity to perform or speak your entries.

I am a teacher and want to make this a class project. Can you send me hard copies of the flyer? Yes, send us an email at and we will send you as many copies as you need. Please make sure to include your mailing address in the request and specify how many copies you would like to have.

I don’t have a computer, will you accept my entry by mail?  No. Please ask your teachers, school administrators or neighbors to help you submit your electronic entry. LCE is not responsible for misdirected mail or email but will acknowledge receipt of all entries within 48 hours. Please make sure that you provide active contact information so that we can reach you if we encounter any technical difficulty accessing your entry.

I never win anything, why should I put myself out there on this one?  We believe in the power of youth, we believe that you see things differently than adults, we believe that your voices should be heard and that your messages should be celebrated. Go for it — you might surprise yourself. We want YOU to win and by entering, you will win a Certificate of Accomplishment!


View and Download a PDF of the Writing and Art Challenge Rules 2013-2014

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