WAR THROUGH CHILDREN’S EYES

CHILDREN CREATIVE COMPETITION

This initiative aims to raise awareness of the impact of wars and violent conflicts on communities worldwide, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable members of these communities: children. As there are currently 89.3 million forcibly displaced individuals worldwide, with almost half of them being children, this competition offers an opportunity for creative expression for young individuals aged between 7 and 17 residing in the UK to raise awareness and highlight the problems confronted by their peers globally, or even themselves.

The competition was organised for the very first time, by the Azerbaijani Community in the United Kingdom, in 2022 as a tribute to the 30th anniversary of the Khojaly massacre that took place on the night of February 26th, 1992 in Azerbaijan, claiming the lives of 613 civilians, including 106 women and 63 children.

It encourages children to express their experiences through creative works and contribute to a better understanding of the struggles faced by those affected by war and conflict.

Forced to leave their homes, schools, friends, and families, many of these children will spend their entire childhoods away from home, grieving lost relatives, or experiencing the trauma of witnessing horrific acts of violence. By highlighting the impact of war and conflict on children, the competition aims to raise awareness, to cultivate tolerance and empathy for children whose lives are threatened, regardless of their origin, and provide a platform for these young individuals to share their experiences and contribute to a better future.

Our ultimate objective is to empower children to speak out, take action and share the stories of their peers who have no voice.

We welcome aspiring artists and writers between the ages of 7 and 17 to join us in our pursuit to end wars and violence and to raise awareness of the need for all children to have safe and peaceful childhoods. This year, we have partnered with Beyond Conflict UK and encourage all participants to make a donation to their cause. Your contribution will go towards providing vital mental support and services to children affected by war and conflict.

Please visit the "Donate to Beyond Conflict" page to make your donation.

Our mission

Our mission is to teach a greater understanding of the appalling effects of war and violent conflicts on families and communities, and the plight of the refugees that such conflicts inevitably produce. We aim to create a platform where young people in the United Kingdom can learn tolerance and sensitivity towards children whose lives have been made unsafe, wherever in the world they may have come from, and to inspire them to find ways to help those in great need. This year’s competition is the first of its kind; we hope to hold it annually from this year forward. We want to build War Through Childrens’ Eyes into a stage from which children can stand and speak to all of us, reaching out hands to one another and telling the stories of those children who do not yet have a voice.

If you are between 7 and 17 years old and if you would like to join us in our call for an end to wars and violence, and through your creativity to advocate for children everywhere being able to enjoy safe, peaceful childhoods, we would love you to become a part of this project.

This year we have chosen to support the Beyond Conflict organisation and we would like to encourage everyone who participates in the competition to make a donation to Beyond Conflict UK (please go to the “Donate to Beyond Conflict” page for donations).

Prizes

There will be prizes awarded for both the Art and Writing competitions in each age category, based on the following criteria:
  • the extent to which submissions address the competition theme,
  • the demonstration of originality and imagination,
  • the quality and skill in the chosen medium,
  • attention to detail,
  • accuracy in communicating issues,
  • and adherence to category requirements such as length and file type.

Art competition

1st place winners

will receive an Amazon voucher worth £100 and a £200 voucher of art supplies will be awarded to a school, if the entry is submitted by a school.

2nd place winners

will receive an Amazon voucher worth £70 and a £140 voucher of art supplies will be awarded to a school, if the entry is submitted by a school.

3rd place winners

will receive an Amazon voucher worth £50 and a £100 voucher of art supplies will be awarded to a school, if the entry is submitted by a school.

Writing competition

1st place winners

will receive an Amazon voucher worth £100 and if entry is submitted by a school, the winning school will be entitled to an online creative writing workshop/Q&A session with one of our judging panel writers, as well as book supplies for their library.

2nd place winners

will receive an Amazon voucher worth £70 and a £140 voucher of book tokens will be awarded to a school, if the entry is submitted by a school.

3rd place winners

will receive an Amazon voucher worth £50 and a £100 voucher of book tokens will be awarded to a school, if the entry is submitted by a school.

Best International Art Entry

We're thrilled to announce the opening of a new prize category: the Best International Art Entry for Overseas Submissions! Now, young artists from around the globe can showcase their talent and compete for this prestigious award. Don't miss your chance to participate and make your mark on the international stage. Submit your Artwork before the deadline for a chance to win a £100 Amazon Voucher!

Our judges

This is the list of our awesome judges:

Arabella Dorman

Arabella Dorman

Award winning, internationally renowned artist and one of Britain’s leading portrait painters.

Arabella enjoys a prominent reputation as a public speaker, fundraiser, and has recently been awarded winner of the Oman Masterpiece 2021. She was listed as one of BBC’s Top 100 Women and Salt Magazine’s 100 Most Inspiring Women. Her humanitarian work has been profiled across national and international television, radio and print, including New York Times, BBC, CNN, Aljizeera, Radio 4, BBC World Service, and featured on the front cover of The Times, The Guardian and The Sunday Times Magazine.

Winner of the Global Mosaic Award 2019, and shortlisted for the Arts & Christianity Awards 2019, Arabella’s installations Flight and Suspended have been globally acclaimed in raising awareness about the consequences of war and the forced displacement of people. First premiered in St James’s Church Piccadilly, Suspended toured the UK, and was most notably hung in Canterbury and Leicester cathedrals (2017/18). Suspended is now on exhibit in Thomas’s School Battersea, London.

Edna Fernandes

Edna Fernandes

Author and Director/Co-Founder of Beyond Conflict

Edna is an author and Director/Co-Founder of Beyond Conflict, the mental health charity for victims of war. She was born in Nairobi before moving to London where she grew up. Her first book Holy Warriors was a finalist for the international 2008 Index on Censorship Prize and nominated for India’s Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Best Book Award. Her second book, The Last Jews of Kerala, was a finalist for India’s 2009 Vodafone Crossword Literary prize and a UK Sunday Times Travel Book of the Year. In 2018, Edna released her third book, The Hollow Kingdom: ISIS and the Cult of Jihad. It was whilst researching her third book that Edna came across the issue of the lack of mental health support for civilians in warzones like Iraq, which inspired the formation of Beyond Conflict in January 2018. In its first six years, BC has supported five mental health projects for: widows and orphans in Iraq; training Rohingya refugee camp frontline workers in Bangladesh; Ukrainian refugees; Palestinians in the West Bank impacted by the ongoing war and humanitarian crisis; and youngsters affected by the 2023 Hamas attack on the Nova music festival in Israel. Her work has been published in newspapers around the world.


Svetlana Quigley

Svetlana Quigley

Svetlana is a professional artist and educator with a BA degree in art from St.Petersburg Russia and PGSE teaching qualification in the UK. Having 20 years experience of teaching children in Russian Art Schools, Primary and Secondary art departments in England she has developed her own program of study, where she uses the best methods of 2 countries. Svetlana has organised and taken part in “Take one picture” The national gallery, London 2008; “Russian folklore through children eyes “, Hall Place and gardens, Bexley, Kent 2010; “Second World War in Bexley”, Hall place and gardens, Bexley, Kent, 2011; “Paralympic heritage”, Hall place and garden, Bexley, Kent 2012, and many others.

Kubra Aliyeva

Kubra Aliyeva

Artist and Social psychologist

Kubra Aliyeva is a 32 years old artist and Social psychologist born in Baku, Azerbaijan. Kubra studied Social and Cultural psychology at LSE. Throughout her life she has been passionate about art and painting in particular. She was taught by great Azerbaijani and British artists and had 3 years of education at London Fine Art Studios. Kubra’s focus is a figurative art. Her works are mostly in oil. She is always aspiring to evolve her skills as well as looking for new sources of inspiration.


Robin Stevens

Robin Stevens

Bestselling and award-winning author of the Murder Most Unladylike series.

Robin Stevens is the bestselling and award-winning author of the Murder Most Unladylike series. She was born in California and grew up in an Oxford college, across the road from the house where Alice in Wonderland lived.

When she was twelve, her father handed her a copy of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and she realised that she wanted to be Agatha Christie when she grew up. She spent her teenage years at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, reading a lot of murder mysteries and hoping that she’d get the chance to do some detecting herself (she didn’t). She went to university, where she studied crime fiction, and then worked at a children's publisher.

Robin is now a full-time author, and lives in Oxford with her family. Her latest book is the Ministry of Unladylike Activity.

Abi Salvesen

Abi Salvesen

Abi Elphinstone grew up in Scotland where she spent most of her childhood running wild across the moors, hiding in tree houses and building dens in the woods. After being coaxed out of her tree house, she studied English at Bristol University and then worked as an English teacher in Tanzania, Berkshire and London. She is the bestselling and multi-award shortlisted author of Saving Neverland, The Unmapped Chronicles (Everdark, Rumblestar, Jungledrop, The Crackledawn Dragon), Sky Song, The Dreamsnatcher trilogy and, for younger readers, The Snow Dragon and The Frost Goblin. When she's not writing Abi volunteers for Beanstalk, speaks in schools and travels the world looking for her next story. Her latest adventures include living with the Kazakh Eagle Hunters in Mongolia and dog-sledding across the Arctic.


Lucy Strange

Lucy Strange

Lucy Strange is an award-winning children’s author who lives in the heart of the Kent countryside. Lucy’s critically acclaimed books capture elements of classic children’s literature in a style that is engaging and accessible for today’s younger readers. Often inspired by folklore and fairy tales, Lucy combines historical settings with touches of magic and fantasy to create utterly convincing worlds in which anything might happen.

How to apply

The War Through Children's Eyes Competition comprises an Art and Creative Writing Competition. Participants may submit an artwork or a short story, or both.

Art competition

To enter the Art Competition, you must create an artwork (drawing, painting, mixed media or digital) that is inspired by the themes of war and peace. Here are some suggestions to consider when creating your piece:

  • think about how your artwork can raise awareness about children who are affected by violent conflicts;
  • create a scene that depicts the struggles of children who are trying to escape or who are waiting to be rescued;
  • determine the message you want your artwork to convey to viewers; imagine a world without wars, where children can feel safe and secure in their own homes.

The deadline for submitting your artwork is September 30th, 2024. You can find our full terms and conditions on our website here. To enter the competition, an adult sponsor (such as a teacher, parent or mentor) must submit digital photographs of your completed artwork through our online form and donate on this page.

Writing competition

To participate in the writing competition, you must create a short story that depicts war through the eyes of a child. The story must be between 500 and 1000 words in length and should highlight significant moments in the child's life, as well as the impact of violence on their family and community. Additionally, it should showcase how war affects the child's life, while also exploring the powerful forces of hope and love that can counteract conflict and contribute to peace.

Your story should be written in English and demonstrate a clear, original voice with a strong imagination. It is important to keep in mind that your story must address the theme of the competition.

The deadline for submitting your artwork is September 30th, 2024. You can find our full terms and conditions on our website here. To enter the competition, an adult sponsor (such as a teacher, parent or mentor) must submit digital photographs of your completed artwork through our online form and donate on this page.

Who May Enter

This competition is open to all UK residents between the ages of 7 and 17. There are two age categories, namely the Junior Division for children aged 7 to 11, and the Senior Division for those aged 12 to 17. When submitting an entry, participants should ensure they select the correct division based on their age at the time of submission.

Participants are permitted to submit one entry per competition. Entries may be submitted either by parents on behalf of their children or by teachers. Schools have the option of submitting entries for either a single or multiple students.

Submit your work























Donate to Beyond Conflict

Join us in supporting Beyond Conflict UK, a charity dedicated to providing mental health support to victims of wars and conflicts worldwide.
By donating to this important cause, you can help provide vital support and resources to those who need it most. Let's work together towards a more peaceful world, where all children can thrive.

We strongly urge all those who submit their works through our online submission form to consider making a donation to the Beyond Conflict UK. By contributing, you can help them to continue their vital work of changing the lives of children affected by wars and violent conflicts. Every donation, no matter how small, can make a significant difference and provide a chance for a better future for these children. Let's come together to support this worthy cause and make a positive impact in the lives of those who need it most.