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Shoreline Arts Alliance Open Calls

Tassy Walden Awards for New Voices in Children's Literature

Are you an unpublished writer or illustrator of children’s books?  Have you dreamed of a chance to have your writing or portfolios reviewed by a literary agent or book publisher?

Shoreline Arts Alliance is presenting the annual New Voices in Children’s Literature: Tassy Walden Awards competition. 


This contest affords unpublished Connecticut authors and illustrators of children’s books the opportunity to have manuscripts and portfolios reviewed by literary agents and possibly by editors and art directors at some of the major publishing houses for children’s literature.

The New Voices in Children’s Literature: Tassy Walden Awards is a Connecticut statewide, juried competition opened to Children’s Literature writers and illustrators who are not published or under contract for publication.  Categories are: Picture Book (text only), Illustrated Picture Book (author and illustrator must be same person), Children’s Book Illustrator Portfolio, Middle Grade Novel and Young Adult/Teen Novel.  All submitted works that meet the contest guidelines will be sent to literary agents for the first tier of judging.  Works deemed outstanding will then be sent on to publishers and editors at major publishing houses for children’s literature. 


All submissions for this year’s contest must be submitted online by February 1, 2024. 

IMAGES: Connecticut's Oldest Photograph Exhibition and Competition

We have opened submissions for IMAGES, Connecticut’s oldest state-wide photography competition. Now in its 44th exhibition cycle, IMAGES is a jury-curated photography exhibition which is returning this year to being held in a physical gallery setting. Accepted artists are eligible for various awards, and there is exciting programming scheduled to accompany the show including a virtual gallery talk and jury panel.

Submissions for Shoreline Arts Alliance’s IMAGES will be accepted online until August 7th, 2023.

Shoreline Arts Alliance encourages all Connecticut Photographers of all ages and skill-levels to submit their work to IMAGES. The show will be up from September 9th through September 30th.

Future Choices Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition

We are seeking high school artists grades 9 -12 in our 24-town region to participate in our annual Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition. Students whose work is selected will have their pieces displayed in the Sill House Gallery in Lyme for three weeks, and select award winners will have work featured on Shoreline Arts Alliance’s social media pages.


High school students within SAA’s 24-town region - all of Middlesex County, Lyme, Old Lyme, East Lyme, Salem, Madison, Guilford, North Branford, Branford, and East Haven - are encouraged to submit artwork in person at the Sill House Gallery on February 26th or 27th, 2024.


Entries will be accepted in the following categories: Ceramics, Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting, Pastels, Photography, Prints, Sculpture, Digital Art, and Video. All entries must be submitted by either the artist or a teacher. Artists may apply in all categories with a three piece maximumen per category.

Cash awards will be given in each category. Other awards include the Ruth Baxter-Tagliatela Award, the Judy Streeter Outstanding School Award, which recognizes a school’s art department, Best in Show, and the Earl Grenville Killeen Founders Award, which recognizes the teacher of the Best in Show award recipient.

Shoreline Arts Alliance Internship Program

We are currently seeking driven students with an interest in the arts and non-profit organizations to apply for our internship program! As a Shoreline Arts Alliance Intern, you will be responsible for working 1-4+ volunteer or for-credit hours a week (depending on your preference and availability) during a set schedule worked out between yourself and the SAA staff. All work will take place virtually until further notice.


Internship tasks might include creating marketing materials for our various student programs, helping to brainstorm marketing strategies in Zoom and in person meetings, writing press releases and promotional articles/blog posts, helping with administrative tasks, and more. Interns become ambassadors for our programs at their respective schools and help Shoreline Arts Alliance leadership think of more ways to get their peers excited about what Shoreline Arts Alliance has to offer. 

While this internship is primarily designed for high school students, college students are also welcome to apply. Please send your resume and a cover letter to Eric at to submit your application. Internships will begin within 2-4 weeks of your acceptance.

Scholarships in the Arts

Since 1981, Shoreline Arts Alliance has offered arts scholarships to high school juniors and seniors in the following disciplines: creative writing, dance, instrumental music, musical theater, theater, visual arts and vocal music.


Winners receive $1,000 scholarships, and winners and special recognition awardees in each category are provided with professional mentorships. 

In 2019 The Jeffrey Dobbs Scholarship for Excellence in Painting was added to encourage young artists and provide support for future study. Eligible works must utilize paint as the primary focus of the piece. However, unique processes and unconventional works will be both accepted and encouraged.


Virtual auditions are held in dance, instrumental music, musical theater, theater and vocal music. Portfolios must be submitted in creative writing and visual arts. All judges are professional artists in their respective disciplines.  Participating high schools and community programs are highlighted for their commitment to excellence in the arts. Applications will be accepted until January 4, 2024.​

Mentorship Program: Stipend Available

We are seeking enthusiastic and qualified professionals in the arts to provide mentoring sessions to selected high school students for at least three hours over the course of three months. Small stipends are available to those who have experienced financial hardship or difficulties managing their mental health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Categories for mentorship include Visual Art, Dance, Instrumental Music, Vocal Music, Theatre, Musical Theatre, and Creative Writing. 

All mentoring sessions may take place virtually. The goal of this program is to guide young artists, dancers, musicians, actors and writers as they take their first steps into the professional world. Prospective mentors will have the opportunity to expand upon their personal philosophies and methods for supporting emerging creatives in the application. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

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