Top Tips from a former Selector and First Prize Winner

Kathryn Maple, 2017 selector and 2016 First Prize winner, shares her top tips for entering art competitions in the July issue of Artists & Illustrators.

‘No tip will guarantee you a place in a competition because there are many things beyond your control. After many failed attempts, I’ve learned you should never see being unsuccessful as a rejection of the quality of your work.’

Kathryn Maple, ‘Sandy Shoes’, First Prize 2016


Keep trying to reinvent or push your ideas and mediums so the work feels fresh.


Working alone in the studio can feel isolating at times but your self-belief will allow you to recognise if a work has the potential to be shortlisted.


I find it refreshing to have chats about my work with friends who aren’t artists because they can see something obvious that doesn’t work. Fresh eyes with no bias can be useful.


Creating opportunities for work to be seen and working to deadlines keeps your work energised. This translates into your voice and forms the heart of your practice.

Kathryn Maple, ‘Hiding in the Woods’

The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2018 is now calling for entries. Open to all UK-based artists, the competition offers a generous range of prizes including a First Prize of £6000, Second Prize of £3000 and Third Prize of £1000. Apply online by 5pm on Monday 25 June:

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