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Contest Rules

The Celebrate Utah Wildlife contest is part of a multi-year grassroots campaign to celebrate the diverse wildlife species that call Utah home.  Over the next four years, we’re planning to paint a unique wildlife mural in each of Utah's 29 counties, and accompanying activities to engage Utahns in the appreciation, education, and first-hand experiences with local species across the state.

To launch this initiative, we announced an all-ages wildlife contest for Utahns across the state. 

Designed to highlight the diversity of Utah’s wildlife and document this generations’ relationship to our wildlife, we're crowd-sourcing wildlife content across multiple mediums and offering prizes for the winning entries.  

We accepted submissions inspired by Utah-wildlife experiences in the categories of:

  • Handmade Art (2-D, 3-D, Mixed Media etc.)

  • Digital Art 

  • Writing & Stories

  • Photography

  • Videography 

  • Music, Spoken Word & Sound

  • Digital Storytelling & Animation


Digital categories

funded by:

All submissions must be accompanied by a short artist statement about the work (50 character minimum/500 character max).

Submissions will be judged by media category in three separate age groups: ages 4-11, ages 12-17, ages 18 and up.

Submissions will be open from March 10, 2023 to May 10, 2023.


Please read the following Rules, Terms, and Conditions BEFORE submitting any entries. By submitting to the Contest, the entrant agrees to abide by all contest rules. 

Who Should Enter

We welcome any Utahn, ages 5 and up (as of May 10, 2023). 

For individuals under 18 years old, the individual's parent or guardian must grant permission.

What to Enter

Submit your best creative or documentary work about the wildlife of Utah in one or more of the categories. All entries must be submitted electronically via the contest web page.

  • Handmade Art, Digital Art & Photography entries may be submitted in photo format format.

  • Music may be submitted in MPEG format.

  • Writing entries can be copied and pasted in the entry form or submitted as PDF’s.

  • Video, Animation and Digital Storytelling entries must be uploaded to a video site of your choice(Vimeo, Youtube, etc.) and the address pasted in the entry form. File size for any submissions can not exceed 3MB.

5 total entries accepted per person.

Additional information will be required during the submission process, including: the entrant's age, mailing address, email address, telephone number, and an artist statement.


Winners will be recognized in all Celebrate Utah Wildlife Contest announcements and recognitions.  All winners, runners-up and Honorable Mention winners of each category will be displayed on the website, and included in a traveling exhibit, available for display in each county.

Age Groups & Categories

Wildlife-inspired submissions are divided by age groups – 4-11 years, 12-17 years, 18 and up – and are accepted in the following categories:


  • Handmade Art (2D, 3D, Mixed Media)

    • This category includes drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, installation, woodburning, leatherwork, etc. 

  •  Writing/Storytelling

    • This category includes fiction and nonfiction writing, storytelling, poetry and written lyrics

  • Photography

    • This category includes any photograph of a Utah species of wildlife. All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization will be disqualified. Acceptable alterations include minor adjustments to color, contrast, brightness and sharpness, removal of sensor dirt, and cropping.

  • Videography

    • This category includes any video footage of wildlife, including trail cams and camera traps.

  • Music, Sound and Spoken Word

    • This category includes the recording or performance of any original piece of music, as well as audio files of wildlife -related sounds and spoken word stories

  • Digital Art

    • This category includes any digitally altered images.​

  • Digital Storytelling & Animation 

    • This category includes any video or animation that has been digitally edited to tell a story.

Each person may submit up 5 entries in any category.

All Entries Must Be Labeled Using The Following Naming Convention:

SubmissionTitle_Home County_ First InitialLast Name.

For example, a photo entitled : “Baby Cutthroat Trout”  by George Castanza from Logan Utah would be labeled:  BabyCutthroatTrout_CacheCounty_GCastanza.


The contest begins on March 10, 2023 and ends on May 10th. Entries must be submitted via online submission system by 11:59 pm EMST on May 10, 2023. The Celebrate Utah Wildlife Contest reserves the right to extend the deadline.


Only submissions made by current Utah residents are eligible. Previously published material for which non-exclusive rights were granted may be entered as long as you still maintain the right to grant us a license. (See “Contestant Rights” below). The contest entrant must be able to disclose, upon request, when and where the art/photo/video/music/writing appeared previously.

Submissions generated with AI software is not eligible for the contest. This project is about surveying the range of human responses to wildlife. We are not interested in what an algorithm says. If any winning entry is suspected of being AI-generated, we reserve the right to request original program layer files to verify authenticity before awarding any prize.

Photographs and videos that have been significantly enhanced or altered must be entered into the “Digital Art” or "Digital Storytelling" category. For photographs and videos, minor changes to an image, including spotting, dodging and burning, sharpening, contrast adjustment, and slight color change are acceptable, as are high dynamic range (HDR) adjustments and stitched panoramas. Images that, in the sole judgment of contest administrators, violate these enhancement/alteration criteria will be disqualified.

Except in cases of hunting or fishing, participants should use caution to protect the survival of the subject being photographed and make every effort to avoid action that might interfere with natural wildlife behavior. Except in cases of hunting or fishing, entries that appear to involve harassment of wildlife or damage to the environment shall be disqualified.

Plagiarism will result in disqualification. Inappropriate content is determined by the judges and will result in disqualification.


A panel of judges will review the entries and select the winning submissions. More information about our esteemed volunteer judges here.


Entries will be judged on their representation of wildlife, originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, and artistic merit. The judges will follow these guidelines:


  • Entries should represent wildlife found within Utah.

  • While we invite you to include people in your photographs or video shots, please avoid any close-up portraits. People in photos must have given their permission to be in the photograph/video, or be far enough away to not be identifiable. Please also avoid any trademarked products or logos in your photos/videos  


Celebrate Utah Wildlife Contest will determine winner eligibility at its sole and absolute discretion. All decisions by judges are final. The Celebrate Utah Wildlife Contest is not open to the contest judges, or to staff or board members of Utah Wildlife Federation or National Wildlife Federation.


The judges will select (1) $250 winner, (1) $150 second prize, and (1) $100 third prize per category. Utah Wildlife Federation may also recognize submissions with honorable mentions, or other prizes in any or all categories. Utah Wildlife Federation will also facilitate a Fan Favorite contest on social media among the first place winners.  Utah Wildlife Federation intends to notify all winners by May 25, 2023, but reserves the right to alter this timeline if needed.

Entries will be judged on four criteria:

  • Utah wildlife-inspired

  • Originality

  • Artistic merit/craftsmanship (in relation to contestant age)

  • Artist Statement

Contestant Rights

Each contest entrant retains all rights to any art, photographs, video, writing and music submitted -- including ownership, if applicable -- other than those rights licensed in the next sentence:


By entering Celebrate Utah Wildlife Contest, you hereby grant to Utah Wildlife Federation the following: (i) a non-exclusive, irrevocable, non-expiring, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display the art, photographs, video, writing and music you submit to the contest, and (ii) the right to use your name, city, state, and county of residence in promotions and other publications.

Winning submissions in the categories of handmade art and digital art are required to provide the physical work to UWF for inclusion in the traveling exhibit through 2026 by June 15, 2023. Upon completion of the exhibit program in 2026, these physical artworks will be returned to artists. 


All submissions in media publications will be credited with the caption "Submission Title by Name – Courtesy of Utah Wildlife Walls" whenever used by Utah Wildlife Walls. All submissions used on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) will be credited with the submitter’s name, website, and social media handles as provided and as space permits. Utah Wildlife Walls has final approval of any language that appears on its website with any of the submission photos.


Utah Wildlife Walls will not encourage downloads of any featured entries via our website or social media platforms. The contest site states that photos should not be used for any purpose without the express permission of the owner. However, we are not responsible for any such activity on the part of our website visitors and social media followers.

All entries are final. No revisions or replacements are accepted.


All questions about the Celebrate Utah Wildlife Contest can be directed here. Thank you!

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