The 2023 I Am Texas Contest


Calling all student writers and artists! The 2023 I Am Texas contest is now open. Each year our “I Am Texas” theme encourages contestants to use Texas historical artifacts and resources found in The Bryan Museum’s collection (which over 70,000 pieces that tell the story of American West and Texas) as inspiration for their writing. This year, middle and high school students are asked to write fiction and nonfiction pieces inspired by the museum’s collection, and elementary aged students will focus on writing letters to Texans past and present. Student artists are asked to get creative by using art and their unique perspective to interpret the theme, I Am Texas. Top winners in each category will receive cash prizes!

See contest guidelines below. 

For additional opportunities, check out our literacy
partner’s annual publishing contest here!


Contest Opens:

Contest opens on December 1, 2022

Deadline:

Submission deadline is April 30, 2023

Winners Notified:

Semi-Finalists notified on May 15, 2023
Public Announcement of winners in September of 2023

Winning Writers and Artists will have the opportunity to experience the prestige and excitement that comes from being a part of the professional museum industry!

~ Prize Money!

~ Publication in the “I Am Texas” Historian’s Journal

~ Become a Permanent part of The Bryan Museum Library

~ See your Art on the Cover of the Historian’s Journal

~ PLUS Featured Artist Winners could even have their work exhibited and auctioned next to Famous Texas Artists at the annual Art Untamed Event! 

Writing

Grades 2-5: Letter (typed or handwritten)

Length: 1 page (Max 500 words)
Prizes: Top 3 highest scores –   $50 gift cards and the opportunity to be published in the “I Am Texas” Historian’s Journal which will become a permanent part of The Bryan Museum’s Library Collection

Write a letter to someone, past or present, who has contributed to Texas history or culture. The letter can be business or personal and can be about any topic; however, it should show that you understand the importance of this individual’s contribution. 

Examples:

  • Thank someone for their contribution to Texas history 
  • Request information about a specific part of a famous Texan’s life 
  • Reveal a connection between your life and the life of the person you are writing to 

Grades 6-8: Fiction or Non-Fiction (typed)

Length: 250 – 1000 words
Prizes: Top 3 highest scores –   $100 gift cards  and the opportunity to be published in the “I Am Texas” Historian’s Journal which will become a permanent part of The Bryan Museum’s Library Collection

Use an *artifact from The Bryan Museum collection as inspiration for fiction or non-fiction writing, such as literary, informational, argumentative, or correspondence. Click on some of this year’s featured artifacts to begin your research.

Grades 9-12: Fiction or Non-Fiction (typed)

Length: 250 – 1000 words
Prizes:
1st – $1000 
2nd – $500 
3rd – $250 

Winners will also have the opportunity to be published in the “I Am Texas” Historian’s Journal which will become a permanent part of The Bryan Museum’s Library Collection.

Use an *artifact from The Bryan Museum collection as inspiration for fiction or non-fiction writing, such as literary, informational, argumentative, or correspondence. Click on some of this year’s featured artifacts to begin your research.


Writing Contest Rules & Guidelines: 

  • All writing must be original, unpublished and written by the submitting student. Writing deemed to be plagiarized will be disqualified.
  • All writing submitted becomes the property of The Bryan Museum to use in marketing and/or advertisements for the contest or for other purposes.
  • If a student’s writing is in consideration for a monetary award, he or she will be notified by the submitted contact email.
  • If a student’s writing is in consideration for a monetary award, a parent / guardian release must be signed within two weeks of receiving the notification. If the release is not signed, the writing will be taken out of consideration for an award.
  • All writing must be submitted through the Submittable platform by the student, teacher, or parent except for students in grades 2-5 who may submit through Submittable or through the mail. (The Bryan Museum is not responsible for submissions that never arrive or that arrive late.)
  • Teachers may submit multiple students’ writing by mail for grades 2-5 only. Submission must include a student information form downloadable here. (The Bryan Museum is not responsible for submissions that never arrive or that arrive late.)
  • Please proofread your work before submitting. Remove all editing marks by teachers.
  • All writing should be double-spaced in an 11-point readable font.
  • Stories that contain offensive material or language will be disqualified.
  • Stories must be written primarily in English.
  • Submissions in both Submittable and the mail must be received by April 30, 2023.
  • Be careful to provide accurate contact information in Submittable, so that we can contact you if your writing is eligible for a prize.
  • The Bryan Museum does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, or religion in its programs and contests.

Art Contest Rules & Guidelines: 

  • Artwork should focus on the “I Am Texas” theme; however, we understand that there are many ways to interpret this idea. Be creative! 
  • Hand-drawn illustrations and paintings may be submitted for all age categories. Digital art may only be submitted by high school students. (NO other types of artwork such as photographs or sculptures may be submitted.) 
  • Size requirements: 8.5” x 11” for Elementary (2nd – 5th). For Middle School (6th – 8th) and High School (9th – 12th) the minimum size is 11”x14” and the maximum size is 18” x 24”. 
  • Artwork may be submitted in either a portrait or landscape orientation. 
  • All writing must be submitted through the Submittable platform by the student, teacher, or parent except for students in grades 2-5 who may submit through Submittable or through the mail. (The Bryan Museum is not responsible for submissions that never arrive or that arrive late.) 
  • Teachers may submit multiple students’ artwork by mail for grades 2-5 only. Submission must include a student information form downloadable here. (The Bryan Museum is not responsible for submissions that never arrive or that arrive late.) 
  • Pictures of artwork that are submitted need to be a minimum of 300 dpi.  All preliminary judging will be online with the picture of your artwork. Make sure you take the picture in a well-lit area. Double check to make sure the photo is not blurry before uploading it.  
  • KEEP YOUR ORIGINAL ARTWORK. Winning artists may be asked to submit their original artwork to be professionally scanned for the final round of judging. In addition, top scoring artists may be invited to participate in an art auction through The Bryan Museum. 
  • Clean it up. Erase any stray pencil marks thoroughly.  
  • Artwork that contains offensive material will be disqualified.  
  • Any entries not created solely by the student will be disqualified. 
  • If a student’s artwork is in consideration for a monetary award, he or she will be notified by the submitted contact email.  
  • If a student’s artwork is in consideration for a monetary award, a parent / guardian release must be signed within two weeks of receiving the notification. If the release is not signed, the artwork will be taken out of consideration for an award. 
  • Subject matter should include things that are related to Texas, the Texas experience, and the “I Am Texas” theme. If the theme of “I Am Texas” is not immediately obvious, please explain the connection to Texas in your artist statement.  
  • All artwork must include an artist statement, the size of picture, and the medium the work was created in.  
  • All images of artwork submitted become the property of The Bryan Museum to use in marketing and/or advertisements for the contest or for other purposes. 
  • Submissions must be received in Submittable by April 30, 2023. 
  • Be careful to provide accurate contact information in Submittable, so that we can contact you if your artwork is eligible for a prize or the art auction. 
  • The Bryan Museum does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, or religion in its programs and contests. 

If you have any questions regarding the contest, please contact us at education@thebryanmuseum.org