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Joshua Roth-American Bonsai Society New Talent Contest

The Joshua Roth-American Bonsai Society New Talent Contest is intended to recognize and promote new bonsai talent in North America.

The first stage of the competition requires each entrant to submit photographs of three trees they have personally designed and styled. Those entrants selected will then be eligible to compete in the second stage, which consists of the production of a bonsai from provided raw material, on Friday May 26, 2017 during the ABS/BSF “Moving American Bonsai Forward” Convention being held at The Florida Hotel and Conference Center, Orlando, FL.

Eligibility requirements

Any person living in North America is eligible, providing he or she has been involved with the art of bonsai for fewer than ten years. Past winners are ineligible and no individual may participate in the contest more than twice. Former stage two contestants who wish to compete for their final time need not submit tree photos again, but must complete and submit the declaration form.

Stage One

Each new potential contestant shall submit (either by e-mail or U.S. Mail) photographs of three bonsai he or she has personally styled. More than one picture of each bonsai is preferred. The photographs do not have to be of publication quality, but should show the talent of the artist to best advantage. A brief description and history of each bonsai should be enclosed. Please also include a signed copy of the declaration form with your submission.

Entries should be sent to: Dave Hodgetts, NTC Coordinator, at: djhodgetts@aol.com   or: 365 S. Main Ave., Albany, NY 12209

Submissions must be received by February 26, 2017. Those entrants whose photographs indicate the most promise will be selected to participate in the second stage of the competition. Contestants selected for Stage Two will be notified by March 26, 2017

Stage Two

As noted above, stage two of the competition will take place on Friday, May 26, 2017, during the ABS/BSF Convention.

Each contestant shall:

1.     Pay his or her expenses to register for the seminar and attend the contest.

2.     Be provided with pre-bonsai material by the contest organizers. (Special effort will be made to ensure all of the trees are of similar size and quality.)

3.     Furnish his or her tools, wire, supplies and turntable. (Power tools are permitted.)

4.     Have from 9:00 AM till 5:00 PM on May 26, 2017 to work on their tree.

5.     Have the option of purchasing their tree after it has been displayed and judged. (Non-purchased trees will remain the property of ABS/BSF and will be sold at auction.)

Contestants are not permitted to receive advice regarding their work on May 26 and shall not repot their trees during the contest.


Three appointed bonsai artists will judge the completed bonsai. In addition, conference registrants will be permitted to vote for their choice of the winning tree, the entire "popular vote" being equal to one judge’s vote. The artist whose bonsai receives the highest number of first place votes will be the winner. The results will be announced at the banquet on Saturday night. The winner will receive $1,000 towards study with a bonsai professional of his or her choice and a check for a $500. The runner up will receive $500 in credit towards bonsai tools and supplies from the Joshua Roth catalogue and a $500 check.

Any further questions may be directed to Dave Hodgetts, NTC Coordinator, at the above address. 

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