Special Announcement

OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters Annual Art Prize

OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation) and its imprint BUTTONHOOK PRESS are accepting submissions of visual art for the Annual O:JA&L Art Prize.

Entry fee: $25 (Payable through Submittable)

Blue Ribbon cash prize: 50% of Entry fees
Red Ribbon cash prize: 20% of entry fees
White Ribbon cash prize: 10% of entry fees


2021 Theme: “Image as Narrative: The Story of an Hour”
Interpret the theme in its broadest sense. (Includes all subject matter: landscape, portrait, still life, figure study etc.)

Contest Guidelines, Fees, and Conditions:

  • Artists must enter online.
  • Submissions must be made by or before 11:59 pm EST on December 1, 2021.
  • The entry fee for all submissions is $25.00 USD per digital file. Digital files may contain only one image.
  • Entry fees may be paid through Submittable.
  • Entry fees are not refundable.
  • There is no limit to the number of entries an artist may submit. The entry fee of $25.00 USD is required for each image.
  • All properly prepared entries will be viewed and judged.
  • Employees of O:JA&L and their immediate families are not eligible to enter.
  • All entrants will individually receive through Submittable either a notice of acceptance for publication or a message declining publication.
  • All accepted submissions are considered Quarter Finalists.
  • Long-list semi-finalists will be named and notified by December 10.
  • Short-list finalists will be named and notified by December 30.
  • The winners will be announced by January 15 and premiums will be paid through PayPal by January 20.
  • The decisions of the screeners and the judge are final.

Eligible Submissions:

  • · Submissions may come from both professional and emerging artists, illustrators, and graphic designers from anywhere in the world.*
  •  Submissions are open to visual arts as photography, painting, drawing, mixed media, print-making/lithography, and digital art.
  • Submissions should be original with the submitter, unpublished, and not available to an image search on the internet.
  • Submissions should not be under consideration elsewhere.
  • Submissions will be screened initially by O:JA&L editors.
  •  All accepted images will be published in O:JA&L.
  • Compositions based on published material or other artists’ works are NOT considered original and are not eligible. In cases of existing images used as elements in collage, eligibility of the work as a whole will be determined by the screening editors whose decisions are final.
  • Paintings or other images executed in a workshop or classroom setting under another artist’s supervision are eligible, provided such information is provided upon entry.
  • All entries must be submitted as digital files through our Submissions Manager.

Image requirements for entries:  Submit JPG files. Entrants should keep the file size under 5 MB to ensure proper uploading. The file as attached by the entrant is exactly as it will appear to the evaluators and audiences.

Artists should include a cover letter that provides a professional biography in third person of up to 50 words. Links to commercial sites where this art is available for purchase are welcome.

Artists should specify the image title, medium, series (if any), size, and completion date. Images selected for publication must be provided to O:JA&L as a .jpg that can be reproduced at 1,650 pixels wide.

Entry fees from the O:JA&L Art Prize support the annual cash prizes and O:JA&L’s publishing projects. O:JA&L reserves the right to reject immediately work that the screeners and the judge regard as unsuitable for publication or work that does not meet the published submissions guidelines or criteria.

Expedited evaluation of your submission for eligibility as a quarterfinalist is available for an optional fee.

Category opens: January 1.                              Category closes: December 1.


*Due to SEC/DHS restrictions, O:JA&L is unable to accept entries from Syria, Iran, or North Korea.