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Fish Lips Photo Contest
Suggested Timeline

Fish Lips Photo Contest Home Page

          At least six weeks in advance:

Select a launch date and at least a tentative ending date for your contest.

Prepare a poster and other display materials. Do you need a dust cover from Parenting Press? Please e-mail us ASAP. Allow at least a week for the cover to arrive. Also see for promotional information about Janan Cain, the author of The Way I Feel.

Prepare a contest announcement for your newsletter, local schools’ newsletters (district-wide or individual schools), and your local newspaper and broadcast stations. We’ve written a press release draft for you to adapt.

You may also want to contact local preschools, child-care centers (especially those that provide after-school care), Cub Scout, Camp Fire and Girl Scout groups. If you are a library, contact your local bookstores. If you are a bookstore, contact your nearby libraries.

Send copies of your contest announcements to Parenting Press so that we can see what you are doing and announce your contest dates and contact people on our web site. This will also ensure that we prepare an autographed copy of The Way I Feel to send you for presentation to the contest winner. Our address is: P.O. Box 75267, Seattle WA 98175-0267.

If you are a bookstore, order your copies of The Way I Feel, which is available from all major wholesalers. If necessary, contact Parenting Press ((800) 992-6657, ext. 101) about a special order sent on a rush basis.

Decide when, how and where you will photograph your “Fish Lips” contestants. Will you take pictures at every Story Hour? Or will all the photos be taken on one special day? Who will take the pictures? You can use a member of your staff, a parent volunteer or even a professional photographer. Will you use an instant camera, a digital camera or conventional film? Will you create a simple background for the pictures?

Decide how you will select winners. Your staff can select its favorite or you can invite visitors to your library or bookstore to vote.

          At least four weeks in advance:

Put up your displays.

          At least two weeks in advance:

Decide who will assist the photographer. You will need someone to ensure that a photo release form is completed and signed for every child photographed. If a school or youth group is coming to participate in the contest, make sure the teacher or leader has the photo release form in advance, so kids can arrive with signed forms. For parents completing forms at the event, it will be helpful to have clipboards or a table. The form can be downloaded in PDF format or, if you cannot access PDFs, you can obtain the form via fax or mail by contacting Parenting Press.

Select a place to display the photographs of contest entrants. This might be a bulletin board or a large cardboard sheet on an easel. Or it might be the three-panel cardboard displays used by kids for science fair entries. (See your office supply store for ideas.) If you are inviting visitors to vote for the winner, you will need ballots, a ballot box and an easy way of identifying entrants. Whether you identify entrants by name or number, you may need adhesive labels to place near the photos. (Please do not write on the photos or put labels on them.)

If you want to create a media “photo op” out of the contest, invite the local newspaper and television photographers to attend your photography sessions.

          When the contest begins:

Announce when the winner will be notified.

Make sure you have enough film or camera memory.

Decide how you will code photos so that you can match up photos and photo releases.

Have a cup full of pens by your photo release forms.

Keep your “photo studio” area tidy, so that you have an uncluttered background for your photos.

Plan activities for children who are waiting to have their pictures taken. (If you are a library, this is an excellent opportunity to sign up kids for their own library cards.)

Take advantage of this opportunity to introduce other store or library activities to children and parents: pass out library card applications, bookmarks, newsletters, or Story Hour schedules.

          When you have selected a winner:

Make sure you have a completed model/photographer release for your favorite photo. Send the release and the photo to Parenting Press. If you are e-mailing the photo, you can mail the release or fax it to (206) 364-0702.

Select a date and time to announce your winner and present the prize book. Call the winner to ensure the child and his or her parents are available on that date. Do you want to make a ceremony out of the presentation, complete with cookies and punch?

Contact your local media (daily and neighborhood newspapers, parenting magazine, television stations, local Internet news site) regarding the presentation of the prize. Can a photographer join you for the presentation? Parenting Press can help you make sure the media receive at least a brief announcement of the presentation and the name of the prize winner. For more information, e-mail us or call (206) 364-2900, Ext. 105.

Create a poster with the winning photo to post in your store or branch. Include a photo of the prize book being presented.

Send a picture of the prize presentation along with any contest-related anecdotes to Parenting Press.

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Last updated May 05, 2008