Readers' Choice: Vote now in the Times Free Press wrapping paper design contest for young artists

Staff File Photo by Robin Rudd / Seven-year old Kariyana Donev of Ocoee, Tenn., was the 2020 winner of the Chattanooga Times Free Press' Lin C. Parker Wrapping Paper Design Contest.

Original story:

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas, and it won't be long until signs of the season are everywhere.

To see what area schoolchildren envision about the big day, the Times Free Press is launching its annual Lin C. Parker Wrapping Paper Design Contest, now in its 20th year.

To participate, students in grades 1-5 are asked to create a wrapping paper design on an 8-by-10 sheet of plain white paper. The winning entry, as selected by a panel of judges, will then be expanded into a larger newspaper broadsheet, about 22 by 22 inches, and printed on premium paper on the TFP press. Several runner-up designs will be printed on the reverse side. Readers can wrap gifts with that page of original artwork.

The personalized gift wrap will be included in the newspaper in early December, along with a story about the young artist. Last year's winner was Kariyana Donev, a home-schooled second-grader from Ocoee, Tennessee. Taking her inspiration from the pandemic, the 7-year-old drew gingerbread kids with a measuring stick to convey a reassuring message: "6 feet apart but still in my heart."

The contest is open to area public, private and home-school students. Finalists are determined by popular vote from judges representing the Times Free Press, ArtsBuild, Creative Discovery Museum and United Way of Greater Chattanooga.

The wrapping paper contest has been a tradition for the Times Free Press since 2002 and was renamed to memorialize its founder after her death in September 2017. Parker was a longtime writer and page designer for the newspaper, as well as an accomplished artist.


- Who can enter: Any student in grades 1-5 (public, private or home school). One entry per child.

- Deadline extended: 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28.

- To submit: Scan the image or take a photo and upload it here. Be sure to keep a physical copy of the artwork in case it's the winning design!

- How to enter: Use an 8 1/2- by 11-inch piece of unlined paper. On the back, print the child's name, age, address, telephone number, grade and school. A teacher's name is also helpful.

- Helpful hints: Be original. Use bright colors. Fill the entire page. Use paint, crayon, chalk, markers, pens, construction paper or other creative material.

- Judges will represent the sponsoring organizations: the Times Free Press, ArtsBuild, Creative Discovery Museum and United Way of Greater Chattanooga.

- Where to see the designs: The winning design will be enlarged to the size of a newspaper broadsheet and printed on premium paper, with several finalists' designs on the reverse side. The page will be inserted in the newspaper in early December and on view at for the Readers' Choice voting.

- Grand prize: The winner will be featured with a story and photograph in the newspaper and also receive a cash prize of $25 plus an arts package and goody bag from the sponsors.

- Information: Call Lisa Denton at 423-757-6281 or email