2022 WAC 1600x400

Celebrating Life: 2022 Holocaust Writing, Art, and Film Contest

We are no longer accepting entries. Winners will be announced in June. Thank you to everyone who entered the contest!

The Holocaust Writing, Art, and Film Contest challenges students to explore the history and stories of the Holocaust.  This contest is presented in memory of Jacob Friedman. 

Open to students in grades 5-12 from Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.  Entries will be accepted January 1 - May 13, 2022.  

Over 30 prizes awarded in different categories: First Prizes: $200 | Second Prizes: $100 | Third Prizes: $50  

Navigate directly to a subtopic: Resources | Rubrics for Teachers | Prizes | Rules & FAQs | Submit an Entry (Deadline has passed)

Contest Prompts:

Choose one of the options below. (Students may enter more than one category -- but they can only win in one category.)

Option 1: Art, Film, & Creative Writing 

"Being alive, it is a gift.  I use it, I love it, I am a happy person [but] with a memory I can never forget." -Noémi Ban, Holocaust survivor. 1922-2019
The lives of Holocaust victims who perished, and those who survived, are too often defined by their Holocaust experiences alone.  The Jews of Europe, however, led diverse and vibrant lives before the Holocaust era (1933-45) -- and survivors persevered post-war to raise families, continue their education, and contribute meaningfully in so many ways, living full lives.  

With fiction/story, poetry, or expository WRITING; visual ART; or a short FILM of your own creation, convey how a Holocaust survivor’s* post-war life experiences demonstrate the “gift of being alive." 

*Use one or more entries in the Survivor Encyclopedia: Washington State and/or the story of a survivor about whom you have learned in your class to inform your entry.

Option 2: Argumentative Writing

Next fall (fall 2022), the Holocaust Center for Humanity is required to submit its recommendation to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in the state of Washington regarding whether instruction about the Holocaust should be required in public schools, and if so, in which grades. 
The current law, which “strongly encourages” teaching about the Holocaust, indicates that, “The studying of this material is intended to: Examine the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and intolerance; prepare students to be responsible citizens in a pluralistic democracy; and be a reaffirmation of the commitment of free peoples never again to permit such occurrences.”

In a cohesive paper, write a letter to the legislature arguing in favor of mandating (requiring) Holocaust education in Washington State schools.  Use one or more entries in the Survivor Encyclopedia: Washington State, and/or the life story of a survivor about whom you have learned in your class, as well as at least one of the sources provided to inform your entry.


Suggested Resources: 

For all categories and prompts: Survivor Encyclopedia: Washington State (Stories, videos, photos of local Holocaust survivors)

Resources to support prompt “Option 1: Creative Writing, Art, and Film”

Within the Survivor Encyclopedia linked above, each survivor’s entry will have at least one resource or link that pertains to their post-war experiences. If you need guidance, the document linked here includes specific recommendations of content about the post-war era to explore, organized alphabetically by survivor’s last name. This is not an exhaustive list – and an entrant should not rely solely on these post-war resources -- but also more periods in the survivor’s life to build a full understanding. Unless otherwise noted, they are all in the Survivor Encyclopedia. 

Resources to support prompt "Option 2: Argumentative Writing"

Looking for more guidance or resources to complete an Argumentative Writing entry?  This document has links and tips that may be helpful. 

Where can I go to learn more about the Holocaust and to read/hear stories from survivors, rescuers, and others?

Rubrics for Teachers:

Prizes & Categories:

Entries will be judged in the following groups. Winners will be identified in each group.

Argumentative Writing: 5th/6th | 7th/8th | High School

Creative Writing: 5th/6th | 7th/8th | High School

Art: 5th/6th | 7th/8th | High School 

Film 5th-8th grade | 9th-12th grade

First Prizes - $200 | Second Prizes - $100 | Third Prizes - $50 

Winning entries will be displayed at the Holocaust Center, at events, and in publications throughout the year. Winners will be announced in June 2022.  


Rules & Answers to FAQs:

OFFICIAL RULES: All entrants must review the Official Rules. 

ENTRY FORM:  All entries must be submitted online via our online entry form. The form will ask you to upload your entry or provide a link to your entry.  (We are no longer accepting entries.) 


  • Cite your sources when you draw information from them: For instance, when you summarize, paraphrase, or quote, and when you refer to facts, figures, and ideas.
  • Provide complete publication information for each source in your bibliography or list of works cited.
  • Art—if you are making an artistic representation of an existing photo or piece of art, be sure to cite it.
  • Film—do not use copyright images or footage without permission and reference.  


A panel of judges will review the entries. Judges are educators, artists, writers of various faiths and backgrounds. They will be looking for creativity, thoughtfulness, and an understanding of the question. Judges will be looking for you to relate your knowledge and studies of the Holocaust to your own personal life. Judges will also be looking for proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, and artistic talent. 

Are there special considerations that you want the judges to know? If so, please include this in your essay, artist's statement or video.


  • Group and class projects are welcome.
  • Entries that do not follow the guidelines will be disqualified.
  • Entries will become the property of the Holocaust Center for Humanity.
  • The Holocaust Center reserves the right to publish and/or display all work.
  • A student may enter multiple categories in their grade (writing, art, film) but they can only win in one category.

See the 2021 WinnersSee the 2020 Winners | 2019 Winners