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AMA Student Essay Contest Enters Final Week

High School and College Students Can Win Cash Awards

Submissions for the 9th annual A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words Ends on Feb 29 

The submission period for the 9th annual A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words essay competition is in its final days. High school and college students have until midnight on Feb 29 to submit their essays to the Albany Museum of Art.

“We have a total of $1,000 in prize awards, and the first-place essayists in the high school and college divisions will each be awarded $250,” AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said.

To participate, a student must visit the AMA, where six works of art are designated for the competition. The student views the designated artworks and writes an essay inspired by one of them. The submission can be prose or poetry, whether factual or fictional. There is a limit of 1,000 words.

For the 9th annual contest, the six art objects include two from Gold Soundz, works by Rob Matre, in the Haley Gallery, two from Educators as Artists in the McCormack Gallery, and one each from Andy Warhol: Hand-Colored Flowers in the East Gallery and Old Master Drawings from the Shaffer Collection in the Hodges Gallery. The artworks have labels showing that they are designated for the competition.

“The essay should be based on what the art object the writer selects brings to mind, whether that’s a memory about an experience or a thought that sparks the imagination,” Vanoteghem said.

There is no entry fee, and the AMA has free admission, so there is no cost to participate. The museum, located at 311 Meadowlark Drive, is open from 10 am to 5 pm Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Once the submission period concludes, each essay will be assigned a numeric ID, and all identifying information regarding the writer will be removed before the essays are submitted to a panel of judges. Dually enrolled students taking high school and college-credit classes compete in the college division.

The judges will read and rank the essays, with the combined scores determining the winners. The first-place writer in each division will win a $250 award, with $150 for second place and $100 for third place. Honorable mentions may also be awarded but do not receive cash awards.

The winners will be announced at the awards reception scheduled for 6 pm on Thursday, March 7, at the museum. The recognized essayists will be invited to read their essays at the event.

Middle school students are also encouraged to participate. There are no cash prizes for middle school essayists, but the young students will receive certificates.

Entries should be emailed HERE by midnight on Feb 29. Guidelines and frequently asked questions may be found HERE.



The Albany Museum of Art is located at 311 Meadowlark Drive in Albany, Ga., adjacent to Albany State University West Campus just off Gillionville Road. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Albany Museum of Art is open to the public 10 am-5 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free.

For more information about the AMA please visit our website, or call 229.439.8400. Be sure to follow the Albany Museum of Art on Facebook and Instagram.