2009 Cartoon Contest

November 20, 2009

Council for Secular Humanism Announces Free Expression Cartoon Contest

The Campaign for Free Expression is a CFI initiative to focus efforts and attention on one of the most crucial components of freethought: the right of individuals to express their viewpoints, opinions, and beliefs about all subjects—especially religion. As the great Danish cartoon controversy of 2005 and 2006 showed, few media can speak so eloquently – or so pointedly – on sensitive topics as a cartoon.

As part of its contribution to the Center for Inquiry’s Campaign for Free Expression, the Council for Secular Humanism is sponsoring a Free Expression Cartoon Contest . The Council – publisher of Free Inquiry , the first major U. S. publication to republish a selection of the Danish cartoons – invites professional and amateur artists to submit their sharpest, cleverest, and most ingenious creations touching on that most sensitive subject: religion. (Though secular humanism is not a religion, cartoons about secular humanists and other activists who live without religion are welcome, too.)

Let’s be clear what we’re not looking for: We’re not looking for cartoons that crudely mock a particular faith or engage in sacrilege for the fun of it. A well-conceived cartoon can do so much more than that. We’re looking for sophisticated, hard-hitting ideas and images that pose serious questions about belief and disbelief – cartoons that prod readers to think as they laugh (or maybe, cry).

How to Enter...and Win! The Free Expression Cartoon Contest is two contests in one. Amateur cartoonists (anyone who doesn’t get a regular paycheck to draw cartoons) can compete for prizes of $300 (grand prize), $125 (second prize), and $75 (third prize). In addition, the three winning entries will be published in Free Inquiry and on the Council for Secular Humanism and Center for Inquiry Web sites. Professional cartoonists will compete for grander prizes of $2500 (grand prize), $1250 (second prize), and $750 (third prize). Winning pro entries will also be published in Free Inquiry and online.

Entries will be judged a panel of volunteer judges led by Steve Benson. Benson is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for the Arizona Republic , an avowed atheist, a former Mormon – and grandson of the late Ezra Taft Benson, a president of the Mormon Church

Entries must be received no later than Friday, January 15, 2010. Winners will be announced on Monday, March 29, 2010 – just in time for Easter!

Recent cartoon by Steve Benson.


RULES: Entries may be submitted in either of two categories: Professional and Amateur. Professionals are defined as individuals who earn regular paychecks by drawing cartoons which are published in print, syndicated, or published online and for whom cartooning is their sole or principal source of income . All other individuals – including individuals who cartoon for publication but do not earn their principal income thereby – are to enter as amateurs. Proof of professional status may be required prior to bestowal of professional-level prizes.

Entries must be received at the Council’s offices in Amherst, New York, by or before Friday, January 15, 2010. Hardcopy entries should be sent to Cartoon Contest, P. O. Box 664, Amherst NY 14226-0664 . Online entries should be sent to cartooncontest@secularhumanism.org . Permissible formats for hardcopy entries include physical art or allowable graphics files on data CD, data DVD, or flash drive, Mac or PC format. (For allowable graphics file formats, see below). Online entries may be sent as a drawing embedded in the body of the email message, or as an attached file in any allowable graphics file formats. Allowable formats include .jpg, .tif, .png. and .pdf.. Cartoons embedded in files specific to a page layout program such as InDesign or QuarkXPress are not acceptable.

Who may enter? This contest is open to interested individuals age 18 and over residing in any nation. You need not be a subscriber to Free Inquiry in order to enter. Individuals barred from entry include employees of the Center for Inquiry, titled volunteers affiliated with Center for Inquiry operations outside the United States; employees of American Press Inc.; employees of the Arizona Republic ; and members of the families of any individuals listed above. Entries must be accompanied by the individual’s full name, postal address, email address (if entry was submitted electronically), and date of birth. Entrants certify that the cartoon submitted as their entry is their own creation, has not been published elsewhere in any printed or electronic form, and is not subject to copyright by any third party. By submitting their entry entrants agree to transfer copyright in the submitted work to the Council for Secular Humanism unconditionally.

How will prizes be awarded? Prizes will be announced on the Council for Secular Humanism Web site and by other means on Monday, March 29, 2010. The top three entries in each category (amateur and professional) will be published in Free Inquiry magazine and on the Council for Secular Humanism and Center for Inquiry Web sites. Monetary prizes will be paid by checks denominated in U. S. dollars and drawn on a U. S. bank. Tax liabilities associated with monetary prizes received shall be the sole responsibility of the winner. Any charges for currency conversion or other financial services that may be required by any winner living outside the United States of America will be the sole responsibility of that winner.

This contest is partly underwritten by a generous grant from the Andrew Norman Foundation.