On The Learning Network, we constantly invite teenagers to write about their opinions, but it’s only during our annual Editorial Cartoon Contest that we ask them to illustrate those ideas.
With this, our third annual Editorial Cartoon Contest, we are inviting students to channel their thoughts into images, with inspiration from New York Times cartoonists like Patrick Chappatte and Heng Kim Song and from our 2015 and 2016 winners.
So if you have something to say about President Trump, immigration, fast fashion, football, robots, standardized testing or anything else The Times covers, try making an editorial cartoon that shows us what you think.
As Mr. Chappatte says in the video below, the challenge for a cartoonist is in coming up with good ideas; artistic talent is secondary. So find an issue or topic that matters to you, either from current events or historical events covered in The Times, and make your own cartoon.
When you’re done, use the submission form below to enter the contest by Oct. 17. Our judges will then use this rubric (PDF) to select winners for publishing on The Learning Network.
For detailed rules as well as information about a chance to win a scholarship in a related contest, see below. And for step-by-step help in analyzing the elements of a good editorial cartoon and creating your own, use this related lesson plan, “Drawing for Change: Analyzing and Making Political Cartoons.”
1. For this contest, we are accepting drawings or illustrations, or a series of artworks, that offer commentary or criticism about current issues, political topics or historical events covered in The New York Times. Format examples include, but are not limited to, single-panel drawings with captions, sequential comic art, illustrations or digitally created drawings.
2. Don’t be afraid to take a stand or have an opinion. Editorial cartoons illustrate a point, prompt a realization or offer an example. For inspiration, you may want to look over the winners from 2015 and 2016.
3. Your submission must link to at least one related Times source, but because The Times has been publishing since 1851 and because content from any section or era can be inspiration for your work, that should be easy. If you’re stuck, try searching; you may be surprised at how much you can find in The Times.
Please remember that NYTimes.com has a digital subscription system in which readers have free access to 10 articles each month, but after that you will be asked to become a digital subscriber. However, The Learning Network and all Times articles linked from it are free. That means you can use any of the articles we have linked to on this site without exceeding the 10-article limit. (To learn about subscribing, visit this page.)
4. Please submit only one editorial cartoon per student. If you are submitting a series of illustrations or panels as your cartoon, be sure that your entry is contained in one image file to be uploaded.
5. To include a caption for your cartoon, wait until your image loads. Then you will see a new field appear that says, “Write a caption for this file.” You will also be asked to “Add a credit for this file.” Both of these fields are optional.
6. Be original and use appropriate language. Create your cartoon for a well-informed audience, but include enough background information to give context. Be careful not to plagiarize.
7. Submissions must be from students between 13 and 19 years old, although students can come from anywhere in the world. Feel free to post your name (first and last names, or first name and last initial) or to use a custom username. If your cartoon is selected as one of the winners, we will publish this name along with your cartoon.
8. All entries must be submitted by Oct. 17, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. If you have questions about the contest, please post them in the comments section, and we’ll answer you there.
9. We will use this rubric (PDF) to judge editorial cartoons. The top cartoons, as judged by The Times and professional cartoonists, will be featured on The Learning Network.
Good luck and have fun. As always, we welcome your questions and comments in case we have somehow omitted details that might be useful. Let us know how we can help.
We also encourage students in grades 7 through 12 to consider entering their cartoons into The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards’ Editorial Cartoon category, sponsored by the Herb Block Foundation. Three $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to students who earn National Medals in Editorial Cartoon in the 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Visit this page for more information.