Write on Art is a national writing competition for students aged 15 to 18 studying in the UK, sponsored by Art UK and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.
The 2024 cycle of Write on Art is now accepting applications until 11:59pm on the 30 June 2024. Winners will be announced in September 2024.
This year’s judges are Sally Shaw MBE and Enuma Okoro. Find out more about them under the “2024 Judges” tab.
Choose one artwork from Art UK’s website that fascinates you and write about it.
There are over three hundred thousand artworks from the UK’s national collection to discover on Art UK. Your writing could shine a light on under-represented artists, reinterpret famous ones or champion artworks local to you. See our “Tips for Writing” tab for ideas about how to choose an artwork and write about it.
There are two different age categories for this competition. Please enter the category for the year group in which you are currently at school/college. See below for more information about what is expected from each category, and our “Tips for Writing” tab for more guidance.
Years 10 and 11 (England and Wales)
S3 & 4 (Scotland)
Years 11 and 12 (Northern Ireland)
400 words maximum
– Focus on describing what you see in your chosen artwork and how it makes you feel.
– Tell your reader why you have chosen this artwork and why it fascinates you.
– Consider ways you can make your writing enjoyable to read. See our “Tips for Writing” page for ideas.
Years 12 and 13 (England and Wales)
S5 & 6 (Scotland)
Years 13 and 14 (Northern Ireland)
600 words maximum (excluding footnotes)
– Focus on what your chosen artwork makes you think of and how it makes you feel.
– Do some research about how it has made other people think and feel. Read books and articles or listen to interviews about it. Refer to these sources in your piece.
– Give credit to the sources you have referred to in your piece, either by using footnotes at the end of your writing or including hyperlinked words and phrases in your text.
The winners will win a cash prize and have their essays featured on the Art UK and Paul Mellon Centre websites. Prizes for the 2024 cycle will be awarded at a ceremony in September.
First place – £300
Second place – £200
Third place – £100
Write on Art was set up by Art UK and the Paul Mellon Centre in November 2017. Its mission is to encourage an interest in art history among young people.
“Art History is the study of power, politics, identity and humanity and we should be doing all we can – with projects like this – to get as many young people as possible excited by art history and involved in it,” Jeremy Deller, Turner prize-winning artist.