Hey, all! The news I have for you today is SOOOO BIG that I thought it merited its own special blog post. Its aim is to celebrate our amazingly talented cookie community and to spread the love of cookie art to every nook of our country, if not the world!
First, some history . . . As you may know from some of my posts last fall, I moved my namesake cookie competition from the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show (when it was retired in October) to its new home at the Show Me Sweets show, closer to my actual home in St. Louis, Missouri. It's now called Julia M. Usher's Cookie Art Competition™ to reflect that the competition isn't just about "decorating"; it's about creating truly memorable works of edible "art". It's also been expanded to include two categories: 2-D/Flat and 3-D Cookies.
Anywho, with that brief background aside, here's the amazing news in poster form. I think the poster pretty much speaks for itself (though I do have a few more points to add , so please read on after checking out the poster)!
I AM SO EXCITED, AND I HOPE YOU ARE TOO! I love this concept, because it allows people to bring their A-games to a competition without the often unreal time constraints imposed in other reality-based TV challenges.
To flesh this out a bit more for you . . .
(1) The network plans to follow a select subset of entrants in the 3-D cookie category (who they will cast) from design process and showpiece preparation through to the final competition in St. Louis. If you want to be considered for casting OR the chance to win $5,000 (or more) in prizes (being cast in NO way ensures you will be a winner), then you must enter the 3-D category of my competition first. The competition will be judged as rigorously and fairly as ever (judges will be announced in the next couple of weeks). The network is simply following the competition as it was planned in order to create a fabulous TV documentary that casts the spotlight on cookie artists - at long last!
(2) If you want to enter but aren't interested in being cast (followed on TV throughout your process), that's fine too. Enter away! This is an equal-opportunity competition!
(3) Further, you don't need to be a pro 3-D cookie artist to participate. Even if you're new to 3-D cookies or primarily another type of sugar artist, we want to see what your unique perspective brings to the table! There are no skill level or age requirements in this competition.
(4) For more info about how to enter both the 3-D and 2-D categories, please visit my competition page on the Show Me Sweets site. I encourage you to register early, especially for the 3-D category. The casting process will start in April or May, and the production company will be drawing from those registered to make their selections. Early regs will also help me, the show, and the network plan the best possible experience for you!
(5) IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ ALL COMPETITION REQUIREMENTS CAREFULLY EVEN IF YOU'VE READ THEM BEFORE, AS SOME HAVE CHANGED ON ACCOUNT OF THIS GREAT NEWS. Most notably, the theme for the 3-D Cookie category changed and there is now a tasting requirement. We have also introduced a size (footprint) constraint for both categories.
Some other background: This opportunity came about through the generosity of my mentor and very good friend Kerry Vincent, retired Director of the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show (OSSAS), and so she deserves a HUGE thank-you! Back in July or August of last year, she urged this production company to check out my competition at the OSSAS. I sent them a demo reel with some of my cookies on it, they liked it, and they decided to follow Kerry's advice! While they loved all the cookies they saw at OSSAS in October, they were particularly enamored with the 3-D ones. They filmed me and some of the entrants at that time, and then pitched the idea of this documentary to the network about a month later. The network then greenlighted the production in January of this year, and here we are! While I'm clearly an advocate for all forms of cookies - 2-D, 3-D, decorated, and undecorated - I can't help but to think that the network's decision to feature 3-D cookies will have spillover benefits for us all!
I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT YOU CREATE OUT OF THIS OPPORTUNITY! I REALLY, REALLY HOPE YOU'LL MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, AS THE SAYING GOES!
AGAIN, HERE'S THE LINK TO MY COOKIE COMPETITION INFO.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to leave them below, and I will answer those that I can.