Convention Pin Contest

For each convention, a pin is selected and given to each participant. Convention pins illustrate the convention year and a bird species appropriate to the convention site. Pin designs are selected by competition and are highly treasured convention souvenirs. Many convention attendees proudly display their colorful collection of pins going back many years.


(Download these rules here)

  • Entrants must be members of MOS.
  • Designs shall include a bird and the phrases “MOS” and the year of the convention in four-digit format (i.e, 2024). No other wording may appear on the front of the entry (species, entrant’s name, etc.).
  • The bird must be a representative bird for the area for that time of year for the convention site – in 2024 the convention will be held in November at Grand Hotel in Worchester County, MD. Worchester bar charts can be found on eBird here.
  • The border or overall shape of the proposed pin shall be clearly indicated.
  • Each entry must be a photograph or digital scan of the original artwork. 
  • All designs should be in color.
  • The entrant’s name, email address, MOS chapter affiliation and the species of bird must be included with each entry.
  • Entrants may not use others’ work or material copyrighted by others.
  • An entrant may submit more than one design.
  • By entering the contest, the entrants agree that if their design wins it becomes the property of MOS, which has the right to use the design to promote the convention and for other MOS promotional and historical uses.
  • The winner will receive several of the finished pins for a personal portfolio.
  • The winner will not announce or mention the results of the contest until he/she is officially announced in the MD Yellowthroat, at the convention, or on the convention website.
  • The pin contest coordinator works closely with the pin company to ensure that the final pin is an accurate representation of the winning entry and of the species depicted. Minor changes in the design may be necessary to accommodate the manufacturing process. Decisions regarding the company’s draft design are made by the pin contest coordinator. If the entrant is unwilling to make these minor accommodations, we will select another design.
  • The pin contest coordinator is not one of the judges. The names of the judges are not revealed publicly, and a judge does not know the identities of the other judges or the submitting artists.

Additional information regarding the pins in general that may help you with your pin design but is not required:  The final design will be made in the cloisonné process. The pins are stamped in metal and then given a shiny gold finish. The colors, in the form of liquid enamel, are injected into pockets in the design and the pins are then baked to harden the enamel. As each pocket (and therefore each color) is separated from surrounding pockets by a metal ridge, it is difficult to have tiny details and tiny areas of color in the pin. Also, shading within areas of color will be accomplished by color blocks, implemented in the final design using two similar shades. The final size of the pin will be 1 1/8th inch in the largest dimension. Pins can be made in any shape so the final shape will be the shape of the winning design. Generally, the pins will be printed in 6 colors. See below for side-by-side photos of the winning design from the 2021 virtual convention contest and the resulting pin! Prior year pin designs are available here.

The deadline for entries for the 2024 Convention at the Grand Hotel is September 1, 2024. The deadline will also be announced in the Maryland Yellowthroat.

Submission will require logging into your MOS account. For help logging into your membership account please visit this webpage:

If you have any other questions please email We look forward to seeing your designs!

Pin designed by Sue Probst