Teen Talent Contest Ideas

EDMOND—The deadline for this year’s Teen Talent Contest deadline is June 1! This means that you have time, because school is out and the deadline isn’t here yet; you have a catalyst, because you must finish and mail your entry on time; and you have an incentive: cash prizes! You also have all the details and rules on a single webpage: https://pcg.church/teen-talent-contest.

But you don’t have an idea.

If that’s the case for you, this is the place to be. Here are some ideas, organized by official categories, that you can use or that can spark some ideas of your own. You may submit up to three entries per primary category (photography, art, writing, performing arts, graphic arts and video editing).


Creation: Hike the woods, walk the park, go to the zoo, visit a garden store or tree plantation, stop by a farm, walk around your neighborhood, look in your yard. Put out some birdseed. Look into the water. Look into the sky. See your everyday surroundings with fresh eyes: roots, branches, petals, cats, cows, crickets. Take something you see every day and photograph it from up high, down low, up close, through something else, straight down, straight up, through something else, through its reflection.

People: People love looking at pictures of God’s greatest physical creation. Take a simple portrait using dramatic lighting. Capture the quality of trust, of ambition, of peace, of bravery, of wisdom. Depict someone at their cobbler’s shop, or at their studies or at a record store or at a soccer match. Depict the relationship between two people. Show three different people with one thing in common. Go to an event and capture a crowd.

Design: Notice how much of the world around you is the product of man’s creation. See the pattern in the envelope liner, the texture of the dress, the repeating lines of the iron fence, the curve of the rocking chair, the intricacies of the clock, the vastness of an empty sky. Perhaps you can partially disassemble a broken gadget to reveal how it works. Photograph something that to you symbolizes simplicity, complexity, rarity, delicacy or strength. Cook something delectable and arrange it perfectly for a picture.

Travel: Taking a trip across the ocean or just across the county? Travel can be by plane, by boat, by car or even by foot. It doesn’t have to be exotic, extensive or expensive. Capture the sense of movement, of journeying, of here versus there, or the road ahead. Capture the destination in panorama, in macro, from 20,000 feet in the air or from two inches above the ground.


Drawing: Depict a construction project, an everyday act of bravery, a dramatic rescue. Portray someone with an expression of determination, forgiveness between two people, or an act of gratitude. Show a scene from the life of Noah, Abraham, Paul, Jochebed, Ruth or Priscilla. Draw dry land rising from the waters, Elisha crossing the river, the abundance of Abraham’s blessings, or a representation of a Christian soldier. Draw a cartoon that makes a good point.

Painting: Show a sunset in an exotic place, or your hometown. Lay it on thin with watercolors, with oils so thick they make a texture, with acrylics or with another medium, like coffee. Convey a young person with powerful future potential. Paint a scene with a subtle detail (like a child petting a tiger) revealing that it depicts the World Tomorrow. Choose a quote from the Bible or a book you’ve read and experiment with calligraphy or lettering (artistic drawings of words).

3-D: Make something that represents how each PCG youth is literally one in a million. Sculpt from clay a miniature city carved from rock, like Petra. Use materials of your choice to make a kinetic (moving) sculpture depicting the passing of time. Render a quotation, an archaeological artifact, or a PCG, HWAC, SEP or other emblem in pulp board, foam, or other material.


Lesson From History: Share a simple, practical lesson from the life of a somewhat lesser-known historical figure: Abraham’s servant, Benaiah, Epaphroditus, a scribe from the Middle Ages, a captain during the Age of Exploration, a soldier at Valley Forge, a leader during the Civil War, a Russian mother, a Chinese artist, a South African curator, an American astronaut. Or choose a well-known figure and select a well-known (or lesser-known) decision or quality of his or hers and show how it truly has changed the lives of others and perhaps your life. In your mind, if not on paper, you should be able to summarize the lesson in one simple sentence.

Lesson From My Life: Share a simple, practical lesson from your life. You have made thousands of choices in your life. You have been affected by the choices of others. What are some of your earliest memories and your earliest choices? When did you make a good choice when babysitting? When did you make a poor choice on the ballfield? When were you fearful or scared? When did you choose to do something you didn’t think you could do? When did you change your attitude or perspective toward your teacher or boss or brother or parents? When did you begin to think of the Church as “my religion” and not only “my parents’ religion”? You should be able to summarize the lesson in one simple sentence.

Short Story: Tell us a story that teaches a lesson or enhances our gratitude, wonder, unity, ambition or knowledge. Tell us the story of an archaeologist from the future discovering the artifacts of today, the story of a deaf child hearing for the first time, the story of a mother making an unseen sacrifice for her children, the story of a World Tomorrow pioneer arriving at a ruin he has been assigned to rebuild. Personify an inanimate object like a building, a fountain pen or a bicycle that gives its perspective of how it was made or how it is used. A story has a main character that the reader cares about, a challenge, a turning point and an outcome in which the character changes in some way. This story, like the lessons in the two other categories, should include one main, vivid, illustratable moment that the reader will remember.

Performing Arts

Sing! Play! Dance! If you are taking music or dance lessons from a teacher and have a piece memorized, you are eligible to enter a video of your song, instrumental or dance performance. You may enter more than one of these categories, but only one entry per instrument. Whether you are learning fine art songs, the flute and/or taking Irish dance and/or ballet, submit your memorized entry with your teacher’s approval and according to the official rules.

Graphic Arts

2D Computer Graphics: Illustrate that concept of one in a million, the concept of beauty in the everyday, the concept of untapped potential. Design a cover for TrueEducation,Royal Vision or the Trumpet. Depict that pioneer removing the ruins of the past evil world and building the World Tomorrow. Imagine the buildings, the bridges, the parks, the orchards, the restaurants, the transportation, the farms of the future. Show a museum exhibit from the future. Portray multiple moons and planets in the sky. Digitally paint a stylized portrait of a plant, an animal or a person at your home. Portray someone wearing glasses and an interesting reflection in those glasses. Use online and built-in tutorials in your software for even more ideas.

3D Art/Animation: Bring a biblical, biography or other literary quote to life with text treatments and other special effects. Show something ageing. Create a coat of arms. Build a ground vehicle, a garden cottage or a spacecraft. Render ancient or future Jerusalem. Make a low Earth orbit view of a planet with unique colors and patterns. Animate a map of Solomon’s kingdom, the British Empire or your home state or country. Animate a diagram of facts about an animal, a famous article of clothing, a boat or an ancient artifact. Depict calligraphy being applied to a parchment. Illustrate two concepts in one with double exposure.

Video Editing

Summarize 2020, or the 20th century. Contrast the before and after of a certain world event. Make video about the beauty of brotherhood, sisterhood, marriage or family. Tour a museum—or your yard from the height of the grass blades. Depict your local park from a drone viewpoint. Video your sibling playing an instrument (with their permission). Demonstrate the steps of maintaining a car or arranging a bouquet. Depict bark, sand, blooms, and as many other different natural textures on your street as possible. Make a video about your favorite holiday. Recreate a moment in history. Do a skit. Do a short with a stop-motion figure. Create a news segment about a recent development. Show a conversation between current you and future you. Interview your grandfather. Make a prime-time inspirational ad for The Key of David or news ad for The Trumpet Daily. Make a promotional video for a book you like, a song you like, SEP, or the SEP of the future.

You can select one or more of these ideas if you like: Hopefully they will spark even better ideas even better-suited to your interests—and even more likely to convey something neat to your family, friends and PCG family. Look for your entries and those of your friends at SEP 2021 and possibly on PCG News!