Junior Sketch for Survival 2022

A global art initiative in aid of conservation.

You can be a part of Junior Sketch for Survival 2022 by entering our art competition which is open to everyone up to the age of 16. There are three age categories.

The short-listed art selected from all submissions will be exhibited in London & Manchester, as well as competing for our awards.

The submission phase runs from 1 February to 30 June. The selection phase is July-August. Exhibitions run September-October.

How does it work?

Junior Sketch for Survival helps to raise vital awareness about species extinction and biodiversity loss while also raising funds for projects around the world. 2022 is the first year we have run a Junior Competition – previously its been a category of our successful Sketch For Survival initiative.

We have three age groups and two categories in each – Wildlife and Wild Spaces. A shortlist in each of the six sections will be selected by our panel of judges and will be displayed in exhibitions across the UK. They will then be sold to raise funds for frontline conservation worldwide.

In 2021 entries came from all over the world – China, South Korea, Russia, Iran, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Malaysia, Australia & NZ, Canada, the US, Brazil, Dubai, Qatar, Turkey, Tanzania, South Africa and most countries of Europe.


Competition Guidelines in Brief:

There are three age groups: up to 7 years old, 8-12 years old & 13-16 years old;

Online Submission – no need to post/mail your artwork to us unless it is selected for one of our shortlists.

There are two categories: Endangered Wildlife and At-risk Wild Spaces (please see guidelines below);

The closing date for submissions is 30 June 2022;

Our expert selection panel is led by Internationally renowned artist Gary Hodges;

A shortlist for each category in all three age groups, as chosen by the panel, will be exhibited at our exhibitions in London & Manchester.

The category winners will also be displayed in our main Sketch For Survival Exhibition in both London & New York.

These shortlisted artists are eligible for our annual awards, selected by our panel;

Schools & Colleges can enter using our Bulk Upload Spreadsheet. (See below)

All participants will receive a digital Certificate of Participation.


Full Submission Guidelines

The competition is open to anyone aged up to 16 years old.

You can live anywhere in the world.

There are three age categories:

Up to 7 years old

8-12 years old

13-16 years old

First of all, please read these submission guidelines carefully. If you have a question that is not answered on this page you can email us at [email protected]

To enter, simply follow the ENTER HERE link on this page and follow the instructions on the submission form.

You will be asked to attach a good quality image of your completed artwork to the submission form (please ensure the JPEG file is 1MB-5MB in size.)

The first round of selection is done electronically using this uploaded image so please make sure it is in focus!

Young Artists selected by the judges to move on to the second round will be contacted by Friday 15th July, requesting that they send the original artwork to us by mail in time for the next phase of selection which takes place in August.

By submitting an artwork to Junior Sketch For Survival you will be helping to make a stand against extinction – you will help us to raise awareness about threats facing wildlife and wild spaces.

Shortlisted art will be sold by us to raise funds for conservation.

Every artwork submitted will be displayed in our Junior Sketch For Survival 2022 online gallery.

Every Artwork submitted will be included in our 2022 Sketch For Survival Mosaic.

Every participant will receive a digital Certificate of Participation.


There are tangible benefits for the short-listed artists:

Your artwork will be:

exhibited in London & Manchester;

digitally displayed in New York at the Explorer Club;

seen by a wide audience.

Benefits for winning artists:

Your artwork will be additionally displayed alongside our Professional Sketch For Survival Collection in Central London.

Your art will be sold by online auction or in our gallery alongside our main collections.

Every year the standard of artwork goes up and deliberations take longer!

The panel is tasked with selecting a minimum of 3 entries each for the following categories:

Shortlist for Under 7 Wildlife category

Shortlist for Under 7 Wild Spaces category

Shortlist for 8 – 12 year olds Wildlife category

Shortlist for 8 – 12 year olds Wild Spaces category

Shortlist for 13 – 16 year olds Wildlife category

Shortlist for 13 – 16 year olds Wild Spaces category

The shortlisted artworks are displayed in London & Manchester ( as well as other venues) where they are sold to raise funds for frontline conservation.

The winning artworks from each category are additionally exhibited with our main Sketch For Survival Collection in London as well as being shown digitally in New York. They are auctioned in our annual online art auction.

Junior Sketch for Survival raises much needed funds for frontline conservation but it also raises crucial awareness about a whole range of issues from the Illegal Wildlife Trade to habitat loss. This is why all the species and wild spaces included in our collections have a conservation story to tell.

There are two categories within the competition:

  • Wildlife

Your artwork must depict an animal, bird or any species that is at risk of extinction, either from your country or anywhere else in the world.

How do I know if it is endangered? The IUCN Red List is the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. If your chosen species is listed as Vulnerable / Endangered or Critically Endangered then it is at risk of extinction in the wild  (visit www.IUCNredlist.org and use their species search if you want to check). 

  • Wild Spaces 

Your image should depict an at risk landscape/seascape (from anywhere in the world), or a species of plant (see below).

For example, an ancient woodland, rainforest, a coral reef, mountain range, coastline, wetland – any wild space threatened by environmental factors such as a global warming or by human activity. Please tell us why you have chosen the wild space and the threat it faces.

We also welcome artwork featuring a specific species of threatened plant/flower/tree/coral. To qualify,  they must be categorised as Vulnerable (VU), Endangered (EN), Critically Endangered (CR) or Extinct in the Wild (EW) on the IUCN Red List (visit www.IUCNredlist.org and use their species search).

Please use your submission form to give your artwork context (exactly what have you depicted and why). This is very important as we refer to the submission form during selection and the information you provide is used to caption your artwork should it be selected for exhibition.

According to the IUCN Red List, more than 37,400 species are threatened with extinction.

All submissions to Junior Sketch for Survival must be A4 or A3 in size. Artworks can be up to an additional 2cm in width/length but please note this additional area will not be visible once mounted/framed in our reusable exhibition frames so please make sure anything important including your signature is within the visible area.

A4: Minimum size and visible area -21 cm by 29.7 cm. (Paper size permitted in the range 21cm- 23cm by 29.7cm – 31.7cm)

A3:Minimum size and visible area – 42 cm x 29.7 cm.  (Paper size permitted in the range 42cm- 44cm x 29.7cm -31.7cm)

Artworks must not be any smaller than the dimensions given.  **If you are cutting down your artwork,  please ensure you leave a 5-10 mm margin all the way around over and above the minimum sizes given above for A4 or A3 so that it can be mounted in our exhibition frames **

For unusual mediums/materials/two dimensional shapes such as circles, artwork will be accepted so long as pieces are in the size range A4 to A3 and are ready to hang (e.g. box canvas). Ready to hang means it must have hanging fixtures (hooks and wires) and is ready for the wall.

All artworks must be original. All mediums, techniques and styles are welcome. As well as paper and canvas, we accept artwork on any flat base – we have had metal, stone, wooden panels and elephant dung paper in the past. Sorry, no sculptures. Digital art is accepted.

Some young artists submit sketches, while others submit more complex (studio style) artworks. All are accepted and will be judged side by side on their artistic merits including originality, accuracy, composition, skill and impact.

Why do you have size restrictions?

  1. We use reusable exhibition frames to display the shortlisted artist’s artwork – this cuts down on plastic and packaging and helps our exhibition display look consistent.
  2. Having two set sizes gives us a level playing field and allows us to more fairly evaluate the merits of one artwork against another during the selection phase – this would be more difficult to do if we were comparing a huge artwork with a tiny one. Having a range of sizes would also increase the challenges we already face when hanging the exhibition at different venues.
  3. Our initiative is all about raising awareness about species extinction and habitat loss while raising funds for projects – we champion affordable art – feedback from regular supporters and buyers tells us that A4 and A3 artworks are very desirable as they fit into homes more easily than huge artworks and are more likely to be purchased spontaneously.
  4. Large artworks take considerable time and money for the artist to produce and transport – since these artworks are donations to a charitable cause we felt the A4 to A3 size range was most appropriate.

One work per category per artist.

We are accepting online submissions until Thursday 30th June.

To enter, please complete our online submission form.

Please do not send your artwork to us – the first stage of judging is done using the JPEG images sent to us with the submission form.

Those junior artists selected to move forward to the second stage of judging will be contacted and given full instructions on where to send their artworks in July.

Schools/colleges are welcome to enter multiple artists.

If you are a teacher wishing to enter students in the competition you are welcome to to do. Either complete the Submission Form for all students individually or complete the Bulk Entry Form – Junior Sketch For Survival for large numbers of entries. This spreadsheet will download onto your computer.

Don’t forget to send photos of all entries for us to judge.

After the submission deadline, all pieces will be judged by a panel of leading artists, including:

Gary Hodges is the UK’s best selling and most collectable wildlife pencil artist. He has been a judge for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Awards since 2008 and has won numerous awards in his own right.

Alison Nicholls lives in the US and is well-known for her field sketching – using pencil, ink and watercolour to quickly capture Africa’s iconic wildlife on paper. She leads Art Safaris for Africa Geographic, is a Signature Member of Artists for Conservation and the Society of Animal Artists and is a member of The Explorers Club and the Salmagundi Club in New York City.

Sevina Yates is a landscape and wildlife artist who has won the Wild Places category in the David Shepherd Artist of the Year Awards four times in the last eight years. Working primarily in acrylic she strives to translate into paint the sublime moments experienced in the high Alps – the moment the light strikes, the clouds obscure and the snow falls.

Sophie Green is an award-winning wildlife artist and conservation activist. She has dedicated her time and artistic work to raising awareness for issues surrounding animal welfare and the environment, as well as donating a percentage of her profits to conservation charities. Sophie has been awarded the Medal of Excellence by the Artists For Conservation Foundation for her work in the conservation sphere, was highly commended in the Wildlife Artist of the Year competition and was the winner of the Leisure Painter People’s Choice Award. 

Axel Scheffler is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed illustrator of some of the most well-loved children’s books. His books have been published in many languages and his work has been exhibited all around the world. Perhaps his most famous illustrated character is the Gruffalo.

Sara White and Robert Ferguson, founding trustees of Explorers Against Extinction will complete the panel.

The panel assess many different elements including artistic skill, originality and creativity, accuracy, overall composition and impact. You may find the Sketch for Survival archive at the bottom of the page a useful tool before deciding what to submit. The archive will give you some indication of the standard.

There is an award for each winner of our six categories. The winners receive engraved trophies.

They will be selected from our shortlists by our panel of judges.

We do not cover the cost of postage for those artists selected for the second round.

All shortlisted art is sold by us to raise funds for our conservation work. No artwork is returned.

Junior Sketch For Survival 2022: Full Terms and Conditions:

  1. The competition is open to artists worldwide who qualify for the age categories (i.e. 16 or under) except for employees of the Real World Conservation Trust (RWCT), their immediate families, agents, or anyone else associated with administration of this competition.
  2. Closing date for receipt of entries is midnight GMT on 30 June 2022.
  3. To enter, complete the online submission form by the closing date. Do not post/mail your artwork to us.
  4. Artists selected by the judges will be contacted by Friday 15th July with details of how to send/mail their artworks to us for the second round of judging. Failure to forward the original artwork to us will result in elimination from the competition.
  5. The shortlists for the Awards will be announced on Thursday 22nd September. Winners will be announced at our Awards night in November.
  6. The RWCT has the right to publish all entries on its website explorersagainstextinction.co.uk and selected ones on its Social Media channels.
  7. The RWCT reserves the right to publish as image of shortlisted artworks in its Sketch For Survival 2020 Book. They will not be reproduced elsewhere without the consent of the artist who retains all rights.
  8. The RWCT will sell the shortlisted artwork through its gallery, online gallery and online auction. All receipts from this the art will go to the Explorers Against Extinction Project Fund, supporting frontline conservation Worldwide.
  9. Entries limited to one per artists per category (Total 2 submissions).
  10. E-mail addresses will only be used by RWCT for updates on the competition in their newsletter which can be opted out of. They will not be disclosed to any other parties.
  11. The judge’s decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  12. The winner agrees to participate in any reasonable publicity required by the RWCT.

Promoter:    The Real World Conservation Trust. UK Charity 1177505. Registered Address: Happisburgh, Norwich, Norfolk, NR12 0QQ

Junior Sketch For Survival

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