Times Free Press Wrapping Paper Design Contest now open for student submissions

Staff File Photo by Matt Hamilton / Cora Stowe, 11, shows off her winning design in the 2021 Lin C. Parker Wrapping Paper Design Contest at home on Signal Mountain.

This story has been updated to correct the date the gift wrap will be included in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The wrapping paper will be in the  Dec. 11 edition.

If it's beginning to feel like Christmas at your house, give the kids a project.

Since 2002, the Chattanooga Times Free Press has sponsored an annual contest for students in grades 1-5 to design a sheet of wrapping paper that will be printed in the newspaper and used by readers to wrap their gifts.

Students create their design (one per child) on an 8-by-10 sheet of plain white paper. The winning entry, as selected by a panel of judges, will be expanded into a larger newspaper broadsheet, about 22 by 22 inches. Several runner-up designs will be printed on the reverse side.

The gift wrap will be included in the Sunday, Dec. 4, edition of the newspaper, along with a story about the young artist. Readers will be able to view the winning finalists and vote in a Readers' Choice contest at timesfreepress.com.

The deadline for entry is midnight Monday, Nov. 21. All entries must be submitted digitally.

Other sponsors of the contest are ArtsBuild, Creative Discovery Museum and United Way of Greater Chattanooga, which provide judges and prizes for a swag bag. The children's museum also will display the winning designs in December.

Known as the Lin C. Parker Wrapping Paper Design Contest, the competition took the name of its founder following her death in September 2017. Parker was an accomplished artist and a longtime writer and page designer at the newspaper.

Last year's winner was Cora Stowe, an 11-year-old fifth-grader at Thrasher Elementary. Her watercolor design highlighted a vintage vehicle toting home a Christmas tree. Additional Christmas trees, zigzagged in red garland, and merry messages were among the other features of her original artwork.


-- Who can enter: Students in grades 1-5 in public, private or home schools

-- What to enter: An original, holiday-themed design created with crayons, paint or markers on an 8-by-10 sheet of plain white paper (colorful designs that fill the space often catch the eye of judges)

-- How to enter: Upload a computer scan or close-up photo of the original artwork at timesfreepress.com/wrap-2022 (one per child)

-- Don't forget: Include the student's name, age, school and a parent's contact information on the online form

-- Deadline to enter: Midnight Monday, Nov. 21