What if I told you that young people have an opportunity to capture the attention of the world (and win a good amount of cash!) simply for expressing their thoughts about peace through art?

Omg, it’s totally true. Lol! (That was my ridiculously lame attempt to sound like a young person:)

What About Peace? is an international arts contest for youth ages 14 – 20 to express ideas and thoughts about peace by responding to the question, “What About Peace?” through artistic expression, with $1500 in prize money to be given out.

The accepted mediums are:

  • Telling a story (up to 500 words)
  • Writing an essay (up to 500 words)
  • Creating a poem (up to 200 words)
  • Painting a picture or collage (up to 18” x 24”)
  • Taking a photo (up to 11” x 14” on photo paper)
  • Designing a graphic, poster or comic strip/cartoon (up to 18” x 24”)

Honorable Mention: Anjali Chandrashekar 18 years old, Tamil Nadu, India "Peace! Is It Out There?"

Past What About Peace? entries have blown me away. Whether official winners or not, there have been some really incredible submissions in past years, like this honorable mention from last year. (I couldn’t create something 1/10th that good!)

Last year Global Exchange’s Kirsten Moller was the What About Peace? grand judge and shared her reflections in this blog post about the contest winner.

A great way to get a feel for the contest is to check out previous year winners, so here are some:

2011 What About Peace Winners

2010 What About Peace Winners

2009 What About Peace Winners








If you know youth between 14 – 20, please encourage them to enter this special contest. An easy way to spread the word is to download the flyer and hand out to teachers and others who work with youth ages 14-20. (That’s what I did; I gave one to my sister who is a high school history teacher, and she passed it on to a colleague who teaches art at the same school.)

Download contest flyer to share with teachers here.

Download entry form here.


  • You must be between 14 and 20 years of age to participate.
  • One entry per person…One person per entry.
  • Entries won’t be returned. What About Peace? has the right to use any and all entries on our website, in displays, and in publicity for the contest. Copyright belongs to the entrant.
  • Be sure that you and your teacher/sponsor understand our stance on copying and plagiarism.  They are not allowed.
  • Send your entry and the form to What About Peace ? at 2017 Mission Street, 2nd floor, San Francisco, CA 94110;  All entries must be received in our office on or before February 15th, 2012.


  • The sponsor/teacher of each winner will be notified of their winner(s) by US Mail.
  • All winning entries will be posted on our website, www.whataboutpeace.org on April 20th, 2012.
  • Sponsors/teachers will present What About Peace? awards in our name.
  • All winning entries will be posted on our website on April 20th, 2012.


I got a call the other day from a guy named Ian. He told me about another contest aimed at youth called the Eco-Hero Awards which is happening around the same time as the What About Peace contest. I figured 2 ways for youth to get involved in making the world a better place are better than one, so here’s more about the Eco-Hero Awards from Program Coordinator Action for Nature Ian:

Every year Action For Nature sponsors the Eco-Hero Awards, which recognize accomplishments of young people (ages 8 – 16) whose personal projects have significantly improved the environment. The young people who contribute their stories, pictures, insights, and achievements are at the heart of what Action For Nature stands for. The Eco-Hero Awards give young people both the motivation and the means to continue creating positive change for the natural world.

Award recipients receive up to $500 cash, an award certificate, and other forms of recognition. The application deadline is January 15, 2012. Visit their website for application requirements or contact ian@actionfornature.org for more.


Please help us spread the word about the What About Peace? contest. Here are some resources to help you:

As Whitney Houston sang back in the 80s: “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.” Watch for yourself if you really want to cheese out on nostalgia!