Vinnie Ream Medal – Call for Submissions

The Vinnie Ream Medal Competition

Entries accepted August 19-September 30, 2019

To honor the legacy of Vinnie Ream, harp pendants in sterling silver with zirconia accents will be awarded to each 1st place winner in Art, Letters, Music and Multi-Media at the Vinnie Ream Banquet at the 2020 Biennial in Washington, D.C. One goal of the medal competition is to challenge participants to follow Ream’s sterling example of elevating one’s artwork to the highest level.


General Guidelines:

To enter the contest, you must be an active member of NLAPW in good standing. Materials entered in previous Vinnie Ream competitions will not be accepted.

1. Outside judges will select a first-, second-, and third-place winner and, at their discretion, up to three honorable mentions for each category: art, letters, and music.

2. Each first-place winner (or a designated representative) must attend the Biennial to receive the award.

3. The entry fee is $50 for each submission. You may submit for any category in which you are a qualified member.

4. Entries may be new or created at any time in the past. You retain all rights to your work.

5. Entries accepted beginning Aug. 19; postmark deadline no later than Sept. 30.

6. Winners will be notified by March 2020 before the Vinnie Ream banquet at the Biennial.

7. A one-page artist statement (not to exceed 250 words) must accompany each entry in response to the following quotation from Vinnie Ream: “The pen in my hand moves of its own free will.” [Letters from Vinnie, “Friday, April 14, 1865,” Maureen Stack Sappéy.] Your artist’s statement should consider and discuss the meaning of how your own artistic medium sometimes “moves of its own free will.”


Guidelines for Art Category:

1. Entries may be in any of the following categories:

a. Painting: all mediums, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, encaustic, mixed media

b. Drawing and graphics: all mediums

c. Photography

d. Printmaking (original prints only)

e. Pottery (hand-formed or wheel-thrown)

f. Sculpture

2. Entries will be by online jpg submission. No CDs accepted. All images must be saved as a BASELINE JPG at 300 ppi, maximum of 1,200-1,500 pixels on the longest side. The image file size must be 1 MB or less. The file name should be the title of the piece only. The image should be of the artwork alone without matt or frame. Please submit 1 image of each 2-dimensional entry; 3 images (front, back, and side views) of all 3-dimensional entries. Your artist statement required by the competition should also be as an attachment to your email. Please include your contact information, art category, medium, and title of your piece in your email.

3. Email your entries to Subject of your email should read Art Submission Vinnie Ream.

4. Submission fee should be paid first and may be paid via PayPal (below), or by check made out to NLAPW and mailed to Mary Lou Griffin, National Art Chair, NLAPW, 1300 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-1973. Include your contact information and title of the piece with your check.

5. Entries may be used in a slide show during the Vinnie Ream Banquet and shown on the League’s website in low resolution, along with the artist’s contact information.

If you have questions, contact Mary Lou via email to


Guidelines for Letters Category:

1. The letters competition will cover three specific areas: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

2. Fiction categories include a short story (25 pages max.) or a screen/stage play excerpt and synopsis (a total of 30 pages max.); a chapter from a children’s, young adult, or adult novel, plus a detailed synopsis (a total of 30 pages max.); or a manuscript of a young children’s story (30 pages max.).

3. Nonfiction will include an article or an essay (25 pages max.), a chapter of a nonfiction book plus detailed outline (a total of 30 pages max.), or a chapter of a memoir plus detailed outline (a total of 30 pages max.).

4. Poetry will include a chapbook (manuscript form only) or a series of linked poems (10 max.).

5. Submissions may be published or unpublished.

6. Entries must be typed on 8.5-by-11 white paper unless submitting via email attachment.

7. Prose should be double-spaced.

8. Poetry should be single-spaced with double spacing between stanzas.

9. Only the title of the work should appear on the manuscript. Do not include your name.

10. On a separate cover sheet, include your name, your contact information, and the category and title of your work. Example: Fiction—short story: Title.

11. Manuscripts will not be returned.

12. A preliminary judge for each of the three letters categories will select the best pieces in that category; a final judge will consider the selected pieces and choose the winners.

Send entries to Nancy Dafoe, National Letters Chair, NLAPW, 1300 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20036-1973.

Contact Nancy by email at with any questions. If submitting via email attachment, first pay the entry fee by PayPal (below).


Guidelines for Music:

1. Original musical composition must be between 3 and 12 minutes.

2. Entries can be for solo or small ensembles (up to five players). Any instrumentation is acceptable. Choreography can be for up to five dancers.

3. Entries will be considered for possible performances in 2020-’21. Possible venues include the 2020 Biennial plus individual branch meetings throughout 2020-’21.

4. Submission formats (select the format appropriate for your composition):

a. For nontraditional, submit two lead sheets with melody, lyrics and chord symbols, along with two CDs of the composition.

b. For traditional composition, submit two legibly scored copies of the musical composition, and two accompanying CD recordings of the composition performed.

c. For choreography, send choreography notation, with a DVD recording of the choreography being performed.

d. Only the title of the composition must appear on all written and recorded materials. Do NOT include your name. CDs will not be returned.

5. On a separate cover sheet or a 3×5 index card, include your name, contact information, and the category and title of your work.

6. Be sure to include a one-page statement (not to exceed 250 words) to accompany your entry as per #7 under General Guidelines above, to discuss the meaning of how your musical process sometimes “moves of its own free will.”

Send entries to Kathy Pate, National Music Chair, NLAPW, Inc., 1300 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20036-1973.

Email questions to

Pay Entry Fees Online via PayPal

Vinnie Ream Medal Entrant Name