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"Inspired By" Arts Showcase

"Inspired By" Arts Showcase is one of several student-based competitions open to high school and college students to create a work of visual, literary, or musical art that connects with a theme from Saint Louis University's 2022 Campus Read book.

The “Inspired By” Student Arts Competition 2022 Submission Guidelines

This year’s Campus Read featuring "Stardust" and our “mini” Campus Read novel, "The Graveyard Book" by our 2023 St. Louis Literary Award recipient, Neil Gaiman. In order to provide opportunities for students to explore their creativity and emphasize connections to our broader, local community, we will, once again, include an arts competition as a part of the Campus Read programming. The "Inspired By" Arts Showcase is open to students in area colleges and universities and is part of the St. Louis Literary Award series of programs. Full details (including prize opportunities!) are listed below: 

What We’re Looking For

To participate in the Showcase, please read "Stardust" or "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman (Gaiman, 1997, 2008). The following task will then be to create a work of art inspired by a theme in the novel. Students are encouraged to submit more than one work. We are accepting submissions in the following categories:

  • Written works: poetry (long or short form), creative writing (fiction or nonfiction), scripts, etc. Submissions should be no longer than 1000 words.
  • Performance: Short films (animated or live action), dance/choreographic displays, original music/lyrics/compositions, etc. Submissions should be no longer than 12 minutes.
  • Visual and other non-digital submissions: photographs (digital or print copies), collages, paintings, sculptures, drawings, etc. 

Submissions and Deadlines

Submissions will be accepted starting October 10th, 2022 and will close at 12pm CST on March 22nd, 2023.  

Please include in your submission a brief statement describing the theme or message of your work and how it relates to "Stardust" or "The Graveyard Book". This statement should not exceed 400 words.

  • Digital submissions will be accepted via the Inspired By Arts Showcase form. Digital submissions can include the following formats: JPEG, MP3, MP4, PNG, Word, PDF.
  • Non-digital submissions will be accepted via contactless drop-off at Pius Library during normal business hours until March 22nd, 2023. These submissions also require filling out the Inspired By Arts Showcase form


The Arts Showcase will select 1 finalist in each of the three categories (Written, Performance, Visual/Non-Digital); submissions from high school and college students will be judged separately and only against others in the same category (total of 3 college finalists and 3 high school finalists). Pieces will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Expression of theme
  • Quality
  • Creativity

Finalists will be notified of their status via email and will be asked to provide a brief autobiography. Final pieces will be displayed on the Pius Library website and upstairs in the gallery space at Pius. An additional location off campus may also be included.

Finalists will also be acknowledged in the St. Louis Literary Award ceremony program on April 13 and acknowledged during the author craft talk with author Niel Gaiman on April 14.

Awards are given to the winning submissions in each of the following categories

Colleges and Universities Division

  • Writing Award: $250
  • Performance Award: $250
  • Visual Arts Award: $250

High Schools Division

  • Writing Award: $150
  • Performance Award: $150
  • Visual Arts Award: $150

We thank you in advance for sharing this opportunity with your students, and we look forward to reviewing submissions!