You may have heard about a little contest called BeadDreams. For the past 13 years, Bead&Button has been celebrating bead artistry by inviting beaders from around the world to submit their masterpieces to our competition.You can see galleries of the finalists, including "Branwen" by Susan Horine (shown above), for the past seven years here. Each year we offer prizes for the winners in several categories (this year we have prizes totaling $12,700 across 10 categories!), and we display all the finalists at a jaw-dropping exhibit at the Bead&Button Show in June. It is an amazing contest and I feel truly honored to be able to see first-hand all the amazing pieces that arrive at our offices in May in preparation for the Show.
BeadDreams may have been the first contest of its kind (though I don't know that for sure - if you know of previous ones, please comment below), but it's not the only one. Lots of beading groups hold design challenges, some offering prizes, some offering just bragging rights. Fire Mountain Gems holds an annual contest as do some of the other beading magazines. And there are occasional contests by various bloggers and bead suppliers.
One contest that was announced recently is a little different than others I've seen - York Beads is specifically looking for jewelry designed for men. This is definitely an overlooked population as far as jewelry designs go, so if you are interested, I encourage you to check out the contest guidelines and start beading for the men in your life!