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Submission Deadline Extended until May 4th at midnight PST


Fresh Wood is an industry-sponsored competition intended for the next generation of serious woodworking students who are anticipating a career in the wood and related industries.The contest is open to students in North America. There is no entry fee.



  • Full-time, degree, diploma or certificate seeking students, in an accredited high school or post secondary woodworking or related program (Post secondary schools include colleges and universities as well as trade, art and union apprenticeship schools.)
  • Part-time,degree or certificate seeking students, in an accredited post secondary woodworking or related program who are transitioning into a career in woodworking or design.
  • Students must be at least 16 years of age by July 19, 2017.
  • All students, including those who have graduated, must have the support of their instructor and school where the work was completed.
  • Those that make their living (or substantial income) from woodworking careers are not eligible.


  • Entries are restricted to ten (10) per school and two (2) per student.
  • Projects must be composed of at least 50% wood or wood composite, except for pieces in the “Open” category and upholstered pieces which may have a higher ratio of material.
  • Project must have been built between May 2015 and April 2017; projects must not have been previously entered in any other national competition.
  • Project construction must be complete at the time of entry. The project may be lacking the finish coating, but student must specify in entry questions what finishing processed will be used. If selected as a finalist, the project must be completely finished in time for shipment to the AWFS®Fair (approx. July 1, 2017).
  • Projects may be entered in only one category.
  • If you are submitting a prototype, it must be fully functional and finished.
  • Students are expected to have created their own plan of procedure.
  • Glass components must be tempered and properly secured when assembled (e.g., may not be “perched” unsecured as a table top).
  • Students must disclose if they have used manufactured parts or if they have involved any other persons or companies in their process (such as for upholstery, veneering, metalwork, turned pieces, instrument components, etc.)
  • A student may submit a maximum of two (2) projects, but must complete a separate submission for each project.
  • AWFS ® reserves the right to limit the amount of entries weighing over 500 pounds due to space constraints and a limited shipping budget.


The competition is divided between High School and Post-Secondary levels. The entry categories are as follows:
  1. Seating - Includes chairs and other seating pieces such as ottomans, benches and settees. Piece may be upholstered. Comfort, stability and aesthetics are primary. NOTE: Seating pieces must function as such. Judges WILL test the strength of joints by sitting on chairs (however, general public access to all pieces on display during the AWFS®Fair will be restricted). 
  2. Tables - Includes functional, decorative occasional tables, gaming tables, stands. Emphasis is on design integrity, craftsmanship, joinery, and aesthetics.
  3. Case Goods - Includes bedframes, shelving and storage systems, dressers, desks, cabinets.  Choice of materials, construction methods and joinery will be considered.
  4. Design for Production - Calling all design students! Do you have a product or concept that you are ready to introduce to market? This category is for all designs intended for manufacture, including mass-produced commercial or residential furniture, office furniture, universal designs, RTA, public seating and more. CNC production designs and methods are encouraged but not required. Prepare to describe your concept through marketing-themed questions and finalist illustration board, addressing topics such as price point and market intent.
  5. 2017 Special Theme: Lighting - This is the category for lamps, task lights, accent lights, hanging lights, outdoor lighting...if it makes light, you can enter it! All lighting needs to plug into a 110/120 volt North American electrical outlet.
  6. Open Category - Anything Goes! No restrictions on style, materials or percent of wood used. Pieces should have originality and be functional. This is the place for projects that don’t easily fit other categories, such as musical instruments and clocks.


  • Judging is done by panel of professionals representing various sectors of the industry.  All entries are reviewed by the judges prior to the AWFS®Fair to determine the finalists to be exhibited at the show. Judges reserve the right to reassign an entry to a different category if they deem it appropriate.
  • The Judging Process:
        1)     Judges receive anonymous online submission consisting of images and the students' responses to the online questions.
        2)     Judges score projects on a scale of 1-5 for each of the 5 criteria listed below. 
        3)     Scores are tallied and projects with the highest scores within their category are selected as finalists.
        4)     Finalist projects are judged in person at the AWFS®Fair on a scale of 1-5 for the criteria below.
        5)     Scores are tallied and projects with the highest scores within their category may be selected as winners as agreed upon by the judging panel.
  • Judging Criteria:
        1)     Design innovation on original pieces; or quality of execution of a known style or variation.
        2)     Craftsmanship of the piece including construction quality, material choice and use, detailing, sanding quality, finishing quality.
        3)     Functionality, stability, comfort, and if applicable manufactuability and marketability. 
        4)     Construction techniques, appropriateness of the technique, joinery, lamination veneering, or upholstery.
        5)     Aesthetics, scale, proportion, balance, rhythm, emphasis and unity. 
                ***One additional point will be given during final judging if the Presentation Board is completed following the instructions correctly. One point can make the difference for a win!***
                NOTE: Judging criteria and emphasis will vary for the “Design for Production” category, with a higher emphasis on particular criteria


  • High school/MIddle school (grades 6-12) and post secondary school entries are judged and awarded separately. Each student may only win one prize package.
    • First Place (Per Category) $1,000
    • Second Place (Per Category) $500
    • Honorable Mention (Given at the discretion of the judges) $250
    • Best of Show (Student receives the Best of Show trophy) $1,000
    • People’s Choice (selected by AWFS Fair attendees and exhibitors) $750
  • Judges reserve the right to skip an award level in any category if they so choose.
  • All finalists will receive a certificate of merit and are eligible to participate in the purchase guide and resume book for review by industry on-site.

Entry Instructions

 1.  Schools/instructors must complete the online School Registration Form before student entries will be accepted. Instructors may also request printed "Contest Rules and Information" for student distribution and Fresh Wood / Turning to the Future posters here. 

2.  Students must Register Online here at Artcall and Create a User Profile.

3.  After a User Profile is created, log back into the Artcall website. Once you are logged in, click on the Add New Submission button. Here you will choose either High School or Post Secondary from the Category drop-down menu. Next choose either Seating, Tables, Case Goods, Design for Production, 2017 Special Theme: Lighting, or Open Category from the Sub-Category drop-down menu. Type in the name of your project in the Title section. Type in the Dimensions of your project in inches and the Project Weight of your piece in pounds. 

4.  Students must answer the online questions. Do NOT include your name, your school’s name, your location, or any other information that may identify you, your teacher, or your woodworking program when answering the Online Questions. The questions are as follows:

    1.) What is your inspiration for this piece? OR If the piece is a reproduction, explain whether your intent was to make an authentic reproduction or if you have intentionally changed some details?
    2.) What are your project goals?  Did you use a unique process, design element, or construction method?
    3.) Did you experience any design or construction challenges? How did you solve them?
    4.) What type of wood(s) did you use? What wood products did you use? What type of finish did you use? (or intend to use if finish coat is not yet applied at time of entry)
    5.) Did you use of any special equipment, design software, jigs, or hardware? Were any of these new to you?
    6.) List if any manufactured parts were used, or if any other persons or companies were involved in the process (i.e. upholstery, veneering, metalwork, turned pieces, etc.), THIS MUST BE DISCLOSED!!!  

NOTE: It may be a good idea to type your answers in Microsoft Word first, then copy and paste your answers into the online form.

5.  If you are entering the “Design for Production” category there are three (3) additional questions

    7.) What is the intended market or client for this product?
    8.) How would you market this product? What is the price-point?
    9.) How has the piece been designed and engineered for production efficiency? How would this product be shipped?

6.  Photos: Upload four (4) photos of the completed project using the Add Attachment button on the Add Entry Attachments page of the submission. Three (3) from different views plus one (1) detail shot. Upload these photos as JPEG files. Note: Preliminary review by judges is heavily reliant on the photos. It is to your advantage to submit the best quality possible. (Many students hire a
     professional photographer or employ the services of their advisor or the photography department at their school for this task.)

7.  Construction Photos/Documentation: Upload at least one (1) additional image showing the project during construction, or project plans, drawings, or working sketches. (Judges will not score based on the quality of construction documentation, but will use them as reference). If submitting photos, crop or remove people from the images.

8.  Download the Fresh Wood Student Release Form 2017
     You, your instructor, and your parent or guardian (if you are under 18) must sign this form to enter this contest. After you get all of the signatures, scan the Release Form and upload it as a JPEG or PDF on the Add Entry Attachments page.  

NOTE: You should have six (6) total attachments in your submission.

9.  Only complete submissions will be accepted.  You may edit your answers and/or submission photos and documents at any time until the May 1, 2017 deadline. After the deadline no submissions or changes will be permitted. 


  • May 1, 2017: Application Deadline
  • May 19, 2017: Finalists notified
  • June 7, 2017: Deadline for coordinating shipping arrangements to Las Vegas Convention Center 
  • July 17, 2017: Day to personally deliver furniture to Las Vegas Convention Center
  • July 18, 2017: Final on-site judging
  • July19-22, 2017: AWFS®Fair; Finalists’ projects on display during the Fair, winners selected and announced

Questions? Contact Adam Kessler at (585) 465-9613;