Young Artists and Authors Showcase

The Young Artists and Authors Showcase

Each year, the Young Artists and Authors Showcase (YAAS) encourages youth from around the globe to express the mission of Sister Cities International through original artwork, literature, film, and photography.

Showcasing their imagination, creativity, and passion for world peace, students interpret a designated annual theme into works of art and literature. The work is sent from sister city member communities to Washington, DC, where a panel of judges selects Grand Prize Winners and Finalists based on originality, composition, and theme interpretation. Each Grand Prize Winner is awarded $1,000.

This program is a great opportunity to reach out to the community and engage local English and art teachers, and reach a student audience that may not already be included in sister city programming. After the finalists for art, literature, film, and photography have been announced, their works embark on a yearlong tour hosted by local sister city programs on a monthly basis. This opportunity is available to any sister city program and can help expand local youth programming.


In partnership with Cinequest, students are encouraged to create a short film as their submission piece. Voted “Best Film Festival” by USA Today Readers, Cinequest fuses creativity with technological innovation to empower youth and emerging artists.

In addition, students are now invited to share original photography on Instagram as their submission piece.

The 2018 Theme: The Art of Diplomacy

Sister Cities International aims to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time. This year’s theme, “The Art of Diplomacy” showcases the importance of both institutional and citizen diplomacy efforts to achieve peace.
How do students see the positive effects diplomacy in their everyday lives? Students are encouraged to draw inspiration from their experience with sister cities, travel, exchange, international friendships, and their goals to present their vision of the art of diplomacy. Students are encouraged to think beyond the traditional images of shaking hands to represent diplomacy and peacemaking.

Guidelines and Entry Forms

Download the 2018 YAAS Flyer

Download Author Guidelines & Entry Form

Submit a film entry (access code: sistercities)

Download Artist Guidelines & Entry Form

Download Photographer Guidelines

Download the Plagiarism Policy

At a Glance: Specifications



  • Artists should be between 13-18 years old as of the application deadline. See the Artist Guidelines for more information.
  • One (1) piece of artwork will be accepted from each U.S. member community and one (1) from each of their sister cities. Artists should contact their local sister city contact for more information. 
  • Find out if your city is a member here.
  • Members with multiple entries are encouraged to form their own local competitions and submit the winner to Sister Cities International’s national competition. All media is encouraged.


  • Authors should be between 13-18 years old as of the application deadline. See the Author Guidelines for more information.
  • Entries are limited to one (1) per student and five (5) per classroom.
  • Essays should not exceed 500 works and poetry should not exceed 200 words.


  • Artists should be between 13-22 years old as of the application deadline. See photographer guidelines for more information.
  • Original photography should be submitted via Instagram.
  •  Multiple entries are allowed per student.
  • Essays should not exceed 500 works and poetry should not exceed 200 words.

Short Film

  • Artists should be between 13-22 years old as of the application deadline. 
  • Submit the film to Cinequest by the submission deadline
  • Films should be 1 - 10 minutes in length.

The deadline to submit entries to the showcase is March 1, 2018.

Questions? Email

Take Action

This year marks a pivotal moment during which Sister Cities International is celebrating 60 years of peace through people. Get involved in this momentous year.
More Information


As the world becomes smaller, and connections online become more frequent than face-to-face interactions, multicultural understanding at the community level is more important than ever. Sister Cities International enables citizen diplomats in communities across the world to develop relationships with communities in other countries that are based on cultural understanding and mutual cooperation.Donate