WAC 2020 Postcard Front crop 890x300

Remember. Inspire. Take Action. The Writing, Art, and Film Contest challenges students to explore the history and stories of the Holocaust and to consider how individual actions, big and small, make a difference.  Open to students in grades 5-12 from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. Stay tuned for information on the 2021 contest!


Congratulations to our 2020 winners!

Check out this short video showcasing the creativity and talent of this year's winners, with a special opening message from Holocaust survivor Henry Friedman.


Special thanks to Stefan de Villiers for creating this video. Thank you to everyone who entered this year's contest! We received hundreds of entries from schools throughout the region.


Film – 5th/6th Grade

1st Place - Samara Nagel, 6th Grade, Lakeside School, Seattle

2nd Place – Karenna Stone, 5th Grade, Lakeridge Elementary, Mercer Island

3rd Place – Ziva Levin, Anna Kernish, Rainey Rosenwald, 5th Grade, Herzl-Ner Tamid Frankel Religious School, Mercer Island

Film – 7th/8th Grade

1st Place – Grace McIntyre, 8th Grade, Inglewood Middle School, Sammamish

Film – 9th-12th Grade

1st Place – Marissa Carper, 10th Grade, Pullman High School, Pullman

2nd Place – Parum Misri, 11th Grade, Tesla STEM High School, Redmond

3rd Place – Eli Trepte, 11th Grade, Tesla STEM High School, Redmond

Art – 5th/6th Grade

1st Place – Julie Zhang, 6th Grade, Islander Middle School, Mercer Island (Art Piece; Artist's Statement)

2nd Place – Ariella Milner, 6th Grade, Torah Day School, Seattle (Art Piece; Artist's Statement)

Art – 7th/8th Grade

1st Place – Nidhi Achanta, 8th Grade, Maywood Middle School, Renton (Art Piece & Statement)

2nd Place – Aubrey Beeson, 8th Grade, St. Brendan, Bothell (Art Piece; Artist's Statement)

3rd Place – Samantha Jones, 8th Grade, Key Peninsula Middle School, Lakebay (Art Piece; Artist's Statement)

Honorable Mention – Luna Wilmarth, 8th Grade, Key Peninsula Middle School, Lakebay (Art Piece; Artist's Statement)

Art – 9th-12th Grade

1st Place - Cherilynne Gacasan, 9th Grade, Charles Wright Academy, Tacoma (Art Piece; Artist's Statement)

2nd Place - Zahra Merchant, 11th Grade, Tesla STEM High School, Redmond (Art Piece; Artist's Statement)

3rd Place - Zoe Beer, 10th Grade, Seattle Preparatory School, Seattle (Art Piece; Artist's Statement)

Honorable Mention – Taylor Rice, 11th Grade, Tesla STEM High School, Redmond (Art Piece; Artist's Statement)

Writing – 5th/6th Grade

1st Place – Ethan Self-Lobosco, 6th Grade, Chimacum Elementary, Chimacum

2nd Place – Seth Absalonson, 6th Grade, Westview Elementary, Spokane

3rd Place – Maya Delcau, 5th Grade, Jewish Day School, Bellevue

Honorable Mention – Abigail Palanuik, 6th Grade, Westwood Middle School, Spokane

Writing – 7th/8th Grade

1st Place – Abby Fisher, 8th Grade, Catlin Gabel, Portland, OR

2nd Place – Donald Reuther, 8th Grade, Catlin Gabel, Portland, OR

3rd Place – Tyler Rubenstein, 7th Grade, Maywood Middle School, Renton

Honorable Mention – Noora Butorac, 8th Grade, St Luke School, Shoreline

Writing – 9th-12th Grade

1st Place - Shrilekha Bhat, 11th Grade, Tesla STEM High School, Redmond

2nd Place - George Zhang, 11th Grade, Tesla STEM High School, Redmond

3rd Place (Tie) - Spencer Sandberg, 10th Grade, Mead Senior High School, Spokane

3rd Place (Tie) - Joshua Venable, 11th Grade, Tesla STEM High School, Redmond

Honorable Mention - Emmit DeHart, 9th Grade, Pullman High School, Pullman

Honorable Mention - Grace Nesbit, 9th Grade, Peninsula High School, Gig Harbor

Honorable Mention - Spring Chenjp, 11th Grade, Tesla STEM High School, Redmond


About the Contest

Topic | Categories | Prizes | Rules | Resources & Rubrics 


Choose from one of the two prompts below:

Option 1: Creative | Respond in Writing, Art or Film

Over the last 70+ years, the Pacific Northwest has provided a new home for survivors of the Holocaust. Look through the Survivor Encyclopedia: Washington State and explore the video clips, photos, and artifacts. Choose one local survivor to focus on for your entry. Show how a local survivor’s story (or part of their story) impacts, affects, or inspires you through your creativity in writing (narrative, poetry or explanatory), art, or short film.


Option 2: Argumentative | Respond in Writing or Film

Effective July 28, 2019, every Washington State middle, junior and high school is “strongly encouraged” to teach about the Holocaust. By December 2022, the State will consider whether to require Holocaust education in middle and high schools. In a cohesive paper, write a letter to Governor Jay Inslee arguing in favor of mandating (requiring) Holocaust education in Washington State schools. (See suggested resources.) 
Your response should include:

  • An analysis of why Holocaust education should be taught in all Washington schools.
  • (Optional) A counterclaim for your argument.
  • Reference to three or more credible sources that provide relevant information. One of these sources should be a local survivor's story from the Survivor Encyclopedia: Washington State. 



Winners in each category will receive the following prizes: 1st Place - $200 | 2nd Place - $100 | 3rd Place - $50

Prizes will be awarded by category. Winning entries will be displayed at the Holocaust Center, at events, and in publications throughout the year. Winners will be announced in late July 2020 and an awards ceremony will be held later in the summer.


Students can enter more than one category in their grade, but they can only win in one category. 

5th/6th Grade (3 categories): Writing, Art, Film
7th/8th Grade (3 categories): Writing, Art, Film
9th - 12th Grade (3 categories): Writing, Art, Film 


OFFICIAL RULES: All entrants must review the Official Rules. 

ENTRY FORM: Every entry must be submitted with an ENTRY FORM. The online form will ask you to upload your entry or provide a link to your entry.  If you are mailing your entry, please print and attach the Entry Form.

  • Submit entry online (complete the online entry form and upload your entry)
  • Download and print entry form
  • Mail entry, with entry form attached, to: Holocaust Center for Humanity, Attn: Writing, Art, and Film Contest, 2045 2nd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121


  • 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. 

WRITING ENTRIES: Writing can be prose, essay, poetry, play, fiction, non-fiction, etc. 1000 words or less.

ART ENTRIES: Art piece must include an artist’s statement, no more than 100 words, describing your piece. Art piece must be size 18”x24” or smaller and must be flat. We cannot accept sculpture or 3D art.  Please use fixatives on charcoal and pastel. 

FILM ENTRIES: Film must be 3 minutes or less. Film may be dramatic, documentary, story, animation, etc. We cannot accept Powerpoint or Prezi. Do not use copyright images or music without permission or giving credit. 

JUDGING: 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.
  • If you want your entry returned, you must enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
  • Entries that do not follow the guidelines or that do not include an entry form or artist’s statement 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.


Resources & Rubrics



Survivor Encyclopedia: Washington State (Stories, videos, photos of local Holocaust survivors)

See the 2019 Winners

Resources to support prompt "Option 2: Argumentative":

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

For some excellent free teaching materials, also check out:

Teaching Tolerance - Southern Poverty Law Center
Facing History and Ourselves
Echoes and Reflections
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum