We Are Here For All of Us: The 2015 WRITING & ART CHALLENGE

We Are Here For All of Us: The 2015 WRITING & ART CHALLENGE

2015 Challenge Banner900

Download a PDF Flyer Here.

Enter ONLINE HERE or submit by email to info@lakotachildren.org

Due Date for entries has been extended to FEBRUARY 27, 2015

Drumroll please, the theme of this year’s Annual Writing and Art Challenge is about using your voice to promote social change or spark activism. In the words of Alicia Keys:

We Are Here For All of Us

Your assignment/the Prompt:

Shout out a message that tells the world that YOU ARE HERE, YOU MATTER and YOU ARE READY TO TAKE ACTION.

Using concrete examples from YOUR own experiences, tell the world:

  • an important message about YOUR space, culture or your world;
  • what YOU want to STAND UP for; and/or
  • why you want to make a difference and why people should HELP ONE ANOTHER.

Make sure that your entry has an IMPACT: Tell a story, describe an event or a cultural practice in your life that illustrates or delivers your message.

The Format for Written or Spoken Word Entries and the Prize$:
  • Poem (written), Essay (written), or Spoken Word (accompanied by transcript)
  • In the voice of anyone or anything: Use your imagination!

The following three age categories will be judged separately and anonymously:

  • Middle School: Grades 5 through 8; 700 word maximum: Grand prize $250
  • High School: Grades 9 through 12; 750 word maximum: Grand prize $350
  • Young Adult: Ages 17-24; 750 word maximum: Grand prize $350
The Prize$ for Grand Prize Writing Winner SCHOOLS:

Schools of the GRAND PRIZE WINNERS of the Writing Challenge will receive a $1,000 grant for materials for the school –only schools on the Pine Ridge Reservation are eligible for this award.

The Format for ART Entries and the Prize$:
  • Notebook or sketchbook sized entry
  • Containing a written message (a caption or worked into the drawing)
  • Drawn in colored pencil, pencil, pen or markers (make sure they are clear)
  • Materials used to create the entry are less important than the drawing itself and its’ message

The following two age categories will be judged separately and anonymously:

  • Young Artists: Ages 11-15: Grand Prize: $250
  • Experienced Artists: Ages 16-24: Grand Prize: $350
Additional Resources:

Enter ONLINE by Friday, February 27, 2015


RULES For Everyone

Entrants must be residents of Pine Ridge Reservation, and able to prove their residency to the satisfaction of the judges. Young Adults and Experienced Artists who reside on Pine Ridge Reservation and attend school full-time at schools off the reservation are eligible to enter.

All entries must be submitted electronically by 11:59 PM on February 27, 2015 to info@lakotachildren.org or through the ONLINE ENTRY FORM on our website. If entry is a video, provide a link to your video, along will all other required information.

Runners Up may be awarded in any categories, at the judges’ discretion, and will be awarded $100 prizes.

All entries must be accompanied by multiple methods for contacting winners: email address of self, parents, teachers, phone numbers, etc. If do not hear back from you, then your prize will be given to someone else. Please see our ONLINE ENTRY FORM for all information which must be submitted with your entry.

By entering this Challenge, you represent that your entry is 100% your own original work and that you own all rights to the submitted materials. Once submitted, the poem, art work, audio and/or video becomes the exclusive property of LCE. By entering, you grant LCE and anyone it may authorize permission to display your entry and biographical information. As a condition of entry, entrants irrevocably grant to LCE and their affiliates, legal representatives, assigns, agents and licensees a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, sublicensable, unconditional, perpetual and transferable right and license to use the entry in any manner, and entrants forfeit rights of privacy, intellectual property rights or other legal or moral rights that would preclude LCE from using the Contest Entry Material for promotional purposes and agree to never sue or assert any claim against the LCE’s use or distribution of those Materials. Any personal information supplied by entrant to YouTube  or Vimeo will be subject to YouTube or Vimeo’s privacy policies.

If you are under 18 years old, a parent or guardian who has consented to the terms of this challenge must be identified in the entry, along with valid contact information for the consenting parent or guardian.


Revised Due Date for entry: FEBRUARY 27, 2015


Youth Board Chair Keith Martinez and other youth from the Pine Ridge Reservation #WorkingTogether on a service project to help elders in the community.

Food For Thought

Addressing the Pine Ridge community in April, 2014, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and activist Jody Williams (who will be a judge for the Writing Challenge again this year) said she was honored by the public support for her trip to the Reservation to honor it’s young writers and poets. Laureate Williams also said, “It is not about ME; it is about US and what WE can do together to bring about social change.”

Fast forward to September, 2014, when announcing the release of her new song “We Are Here” Alicia Keys said: “I believe we have an ability to end poverty, oppression, and hopelessness that often breeds despair, terror, and violence…. And, it’s not about me. It’s about WE…. Our souls were brought together so that we can love each other sister, brother. …We are here for all of us. That’s why We Are Here.”

#WorkingTogether #WeAreHere #WeMatter

~ You might be interested in reading entries from the 2014 Writing Challenge on Lakota Children’s VOICES OF THE LAND COLLECTION on Medium. We continue to add new content to this collection.