2024 Trail Mail Design Contest – New Guidelines

Attention 5th – 12th Grade Artists,  Teachers, & Parents

We have a special art contest just for you & your students!

It’s time again for our student art contest to create the 2024 Iditarod Trail Mail envelope design.  The official design will be selected by official Iditarod artist Jon Van Zyle and artist Jona Van Zyle.

What is Trail Mail?

To honor the Historic Iditarod Trail’s use as a mail trail, each musher will carry a cachet of mail down the trail as a part of our Educational Trail Mail project. 

What is the Educational Trail Mail Project?

The Educational Trail Mail project will give classrooms the chance to send a piece of mail in a musher’s sled along the Northern Route in the 2024 Iditarod. Details on how to get your class involved in sending mail on a sled will be announced in early November…. stay tuned!

What are the Trail Mail Art Contest details? 

 We are looking for student artwork to print on the envelopes that will carry the Educational Trail Mail down the trail.

  1. The theme for the artwork this year is “25 years of Teacher on the Trail”. The design must include the word “Iditarod” and the year “2024”.  The words of the theme do not have to be in the design, but it must reflect the theme. Entries missing these components will not be considered in judging.
  2. Any visual medium is acceptable. A clear, high res scan or photo of the artwork will need to be submitted along with the student’s name and age and the teacher or parent contact information. If you are submitting multiple student designs, each must be submitted separately – separate PDFs, separate scans, in separate emails, etc.  This is to keep the artwork and student information clearly together.
  3. Artwork will be printed on the left side of each Trail Mail envelope. The total printable space for the artwork is approximately 5”x4”. Please take into consideration that the artwork will need to be scaled down to fit this space.
  4. Iditarod EDU staff will narrow down the entries to up to 10 finalists. The winning piece of art and two runner ups will be chosen by Jon and Jona Van Zyle. 
  5. The winner will receive a prize package featuring a copy of the official Trail Mail that has traveled down the trail, a 2024 Iditarod T-shirt, a race guide, and other treats.
  6. The top three finalists will have their designs published in the 2024 race guide. Finalists may also be requested to send the originals of their work to Alaska to be displayed at the Musher Gala Banquet on February 29, 2024.

A Note About Copyright:

While it is certainly acceptable to be inspired by a piece of artwork or photograph you have seen, it is not appropriate to sketch directly from another source. Many artists, when they are learning, trace images or copy famous works of art. Many times, students go to museums and sketch in art galleries. However, in a situation like this contest, it is not appropriate to submit copied artwork as your own. Even if the student hand draws it, but it is directly copied from another source, copyright concerns would not allow us to choose the design for the Trail Mail. Instead, let your imagination be the inspiration for your work!

Deadline for Submissions: November 1, 2023

Email submissions or questions to: trailmail@iditarod.com