Hidden Pictures™ Guidelines


Inquiries regarding submitting Hidden Pictures should be sent to: Highlights for Children, Hidden Pictures, 803 Church Street, Honesdale, PA 18431. Telephone inquiries should be made to: (570) 253-1080. We prefer not to receive submissions electronically.

General Guidelines

The minimum size for a hidden picture submission is 7 1/4" wide by 8 1/2" high. The drawing may be larger, but must reduce in correct proportion to the required 7 1/4" by 8 1/2" dimensions.

A hidden picture may be of any subject or theme: fantasy, nature, historical, sports, or children involved in a safe, fun-filled or action-packed activity.

Hidden pictures should not include violence or weapons.

Proper safety equipment should be used when a character is involved in any activity where such equipment is recommended. Examples include bicycling, boating, and roller skating.

Drawings should not depict a character in a dangerous activity.

Drawings should not make fun of any ethnic or physical characteristics.

The drawing should include a good ethnic mix of children, but stereotypes should be avoided. Check good references when drawing ethnic characteristics.

The age range is approximately four to twelve. Consider drawing those in the upper age range. Children are more likely to be attracted to pictures of children who look a bit older than they are.

Drawings of licensed characters, such as Mickey Mouse, are not accepted.

Hidden Objects

A good hidden object is an optical illusion. It is something that appears to be something else.

There must be at least twelve items hidden in every hidden picture submission.

The hidden objects should be in different positions, such as upside-down or sideways, so readers will turn the drawing to look for the items.

Good hidden objects are simple items that readers will recognize easily. Avoid items that readers might have a hard time identifying.

Spread out the hidden objects over the drawing. Don't clump them together. Hidden objects may not touch each other.

Do not hide objects within 1/4" of the border of the drawing.

When submitting a hidden pictures sketch, include a tissue overlay on which you have outlined and listed the names of the hidden objects. Drawings without the tissue overlay will not be considered.

Unacceptable hidden objects include body parts, smoking implements, weapons of any kind, letters of the alphabet, and numbers.

Do not hide any objects in the rear end or crotch area of any character or animal.

Licensed characters may not be used as hidden objects.

Submit only one or two drawings at a time.

Drawings must be submitted first in pencil.

Attach the tissue overlay on which objects are outlined and listed.

Put your name, address, and phone number on each drawing.

Selected Items

Sketches that are selected will receive a contract number and the artist will receive a letter outlining the requested corrections.

The drawing then should be completed on a two-ply bristol or similar paper stock, using a waterproof black line.

Finished artwork should be crisp and clean.

When sending finished artwork, include one signed contract, and an invoice including name, address, phone number, and social security number.