On The Learning Network, we invite teenagers to write about their opinions daily, but it’s only during our annual Editorial Cartoon Contest that we ask them to illustrate those ideas.
With this, our fourth 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, 2016 and 2017 winners.
So if you have something to say about climate change, artificial intelligence, the NFL, immigration, college admissions or anything else The Times covers, try making an editorial cartoon that shows us what you think.
When you’re done, use the submission form below to enter the contest by Dec. 10. 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.”
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.
Editorial Cartoon Contest 2018 Submission Form
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, 2016 and 2017.
3. Your submission must link to at least one related Times source. Since 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.
Be advised that nytimes.com has a digital subscription system in which readers have access to five free articles each month, but after that you will be asked to become a digital subscriber. The Times also offers K-12 digital subscription plans for schools. But all Learning Network activities for students, including our daily writing prompts, as well as Times articles linked from them, are free, so you can access them without exceeding the five-article limit.
4. Only one submission per student is allowed. 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.
8. Create your cartoon by yourself or with a partner. If you are working as a team, just remember to submit both your names when you post your entry. But please submit only one editorial per student. If you’re submitting as part of a team, you should not also submit as an individual.
9. All entries must be submitted by Dec. 10, 2018, 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, or email us at LNfeedback@nytimes.com.
10. 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.
11. Follow these instructions if you need proof that you entered this contest. Within an hour of submitting your cartoon, you should receive an email from “The New York Times” with the subject heading “Re: Learning Network Editorial Cartoon Contest.” If you don’t receive the email within an hour, even after checking your spam folder, then you can resubmit your entry. Be sure your settings allow emails from nytimes.com.
After two attempts and waiting over one full day, if you still have not received a confirmation email, you can contact us at LNFeedback@nytimes.com with the email address you used in the contest form. Use the subject heading “Please send me an email confirmation for my editorial cartoon contest submission.” Be sure to include your name and cartoon title in your email. You may have to wait up to a week for a reply.
12. The children and stepchildren of New York Times employees are not eligible to enter this contest. Nor are teenagers who live in the same household as a Times employee.
13. Be sure to check your email in January to find out if your cartoon has been selected as a winner. If you are under 18, you’ll need to submit your parent or legal guardian’s written consent in order to have your cartoon published on NYTimes.com.
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 2019 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Visit this page for more information.