Various birding clubs, magazines, and other organizations offer photo, art, and essay contests. These can be a fun way to receive feedback for your work, as well as sometimes get cool prizes.

Semipalmated Plover. Sketch by Hope Batcheller.

Semipalmated Plover. Sketch by Hope Batcheller.

Young Birder of the Year Contest: This contest is sponsored by the American Birding Association, and in 2014, runs from April 15 to October 1. Winners receive excellent prizes, and all participants receive feedback from the judges. This can be a great way to get critique on your work from birders highly experienced in that subject.

Junior Duck Stamp Contest: This well-known annual art contest selects winners for several age categories in each stage, as well as a federal winner. Plus, the duck stamp program supports the National Wildlife Refuge System and environmental education programs! For most states, the deadline is in mid-March. Check with your state’s coordinator, though, to confirm your local deadline.

Indiana YBC Guide Giveaway: An essay contest for a free copy of the Kaufman Guide to Birds of North America by Kenn Kaufman. The program runs through 31 December 2013.