Spotlight on the Arts

GRADES 6-9, email submissions to:
GRADES 10-12, email submissions to:

See the 2018 winners here!

Thank you for your interest in our contest and event, SPOTA, which was held on January 28, 2018 at the Arts Center of Saint Peter! Winners of the contest presented their works at the Arts Center’s annual membership meeting.

The Contest

Split between Junior and Senior divisions, the contest includes five different categories in art, photography, music, writing, and film. Prizes are given for each division.

Entering the Contest

Students are encouraged to enter anything to the SPOTA contest that is a creative work. We define a “creative work” as an original piece in any of the following categories: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, short film, song, photography, or artwork. Artwork includes but is not limited to pencil drawing, painting, sculpture, or ceramics. Any pieces that have previously won awards or contests are not eligible. If you have any questions regarding the eligibility of your work, please do not hesitate to contact us here!

In order to remove any bias from the judging, all entries went through a third party before being forwarded anonymously to the Outtakes team.

If a creative work has more than one person who deserves recognition (for example: a short film with multiple creators), please give us all names after the judging has been completed in order for us to remain unbiased. An email will be sent out after judging to collect this information.

For Audio Pieces: Please make sure to upload an .mp3 file. All submissions under 15 minutes will be considered.
For Visual Art: Please make sure to upload a .jpeg, .jpg, .png, or .pdf file. If your work is a series of pieces, feel free to upload them all, but make sure they are included on the same file and labeled chronologically. Though not required, we request a short artist’s statement be included in the submission. If you wish to submit a sculpture, please take an picture of your piece in good lighting in front of a blank background (unless the background is a part of your piece).
For Photography: Please make sure to upload a .jpeg, .jpg, .png, or .pdf file. Feel free to upload as many as five photographs, but make sure they are all included in the same file. Note that all photographs submitted by one contestant will be judged and displayed as a single entry.
For Written Pieces: Please upload a .pdf file. Fiction and creative nonfiction must be written in Times New Roman font, double spaced, and must have 1-inch margins. We limit only one entry for fiction and creative nonfiction with a maximum of 12 pages.
Poetry must be written in Times New Roman font, but does not need to be double spaced nor must it have 1-inch margins. We will accept 3-5 poems per submitting poet. Make sure the poems are included in one .pdf file. Note that all poems submitted by one contestant will be judged and displayed as a single entry.
For Filmed Pieces: Please upload your piece as an .mp4 file. We will consider all pieces under fifteen minutes long.

For Junior Division submissions, please email them to
For Senior Division submissions, please email them to

Please indicate which category you are submitting to in the subject line of your email. Within the email, please include your name, grade level, and city of residence.

Once the judging has been completed, an email will be sent out with additional information for all competitors. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at