The Student Arts Journalism Challenge

The Student Arts Journalism Challenge is a writing competition for any student currently enrolled in college or university. 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 Student Arts Journalism Challenge was created to identify and support talented young arts journalists.

The submission period for the 2023 competition is now open. The deadline to submit is midnight, December 1, 2023.

Any piece of arts journalism written by a currently-enrolled undergraduate student at a DC area college or university in the calendar year of the competition is eligible for judging. No cover letter or resume is necessary to apply. To enter, email your article as word doc or pdf to: competition <at> Three finalists will have their work published in Bourgeon, and a $250 prize is awarded to the winner. To read the full Guidelines for Entrants, click here.

To read Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

2022 Competition
Finals judges included Peter Marks (Washington Post) and Sarah Marloff (Washington City Paper).
Winner –  Francesca Theofilou (Georgetown University) for her article Noah Kahan’s “Stick Season” Dives Headfirst into Who We Are and Where We Come From

2021 Competition
Finals judges included Jennifer Harlan (New York Times) and Kayla Randall (National Public Radio).
Winner – Olivia Kozlevcar (American University) for her article AU Alum Isman Khan Tackles Tough Topics in Her Short Film ‘Disturbed’

2020 Competition
Finals judges included Peter Marks (Washington Post), Holly Smith (Washington Independent Review of Books), and John Stoltenberg (DC Metro Theater Arts).
Winner – Nyah Hardmon (Howard University) for her article Stranger Than (Science) Fiction.

2018 Competition
Finals judges included Erin Devine (Washington City Paper) and Diane Charnov (Renwick Quarterly).
Winner – Gabriel Falk (Howard University)

2017 Competition
Finals judges included Sarah Kaufman (Washington Post) and Mark Lieberman (Northwest Current).
Winner – Anying Guo (American University) for her article Updraft America.

2016 Competition
Finals judges included Sharmilla Ganesan (Malaysia Star), Jeanette Catsoulis (New York Times), and Maura Judkis (Washington Post).
Winner – Adena Maier (American University) for her article Bloom Mirror.

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