Lauding homemade covers with a design contest

This edition of Canadian Stamp News contains a report on covers created by Ottawa’s Irv Osterer, a prolific collector with an artistic side.

Regular readers will probably have figured out this isn’t the first time Irv’s work has appeared in CSN, not even the first time this year. The reason is that Irv is prolific, and that I like the idea of collectors taking ownership of the hobby by creating their own covers. It is perhaps one of the big advantages of picture postage, and it can be a lot of fun.

It also occurs to me that Irv is nowhere near unique. I know of two other collectors who are doing the same, and I am sure there are plenty more, many of them CSN readers.

I find these sorts of covers fun and exciting, not just because they represent collectors taking ownership of their hobby, but because of the raw creative energy they exhibit. They are among my favourite pieces of mail.

I’d like to encourage readers to share their creativity, so I’m going to pony up a six-month subscription, or extension to an existing subscription, for the most attractive homemade cover I receive between now and Jan. 15, 2015.

The rules are simple: it has to be a homemade cover. It can incorporate a regular issue stamp, or a personalized postage issue, and it can be Canadian, or from any postal authority you choose, as long as it is a genuine postal authority and not some micro-nation or cinderella.

After that, cancels can be any sort you want, cachets are optional, and any theme in good taste is allowed. The envelope can be big or small, that doesn’t matter, and you can mail it as is, include it inside another letter, or even email me a photograph.

The judging process is even simpler; whatever the judges like.

I have appointed myself as head judge, and will seek input from my colleagues here at Canadian Stamp News. The winning design, and several honourable mentions, will be published in CSN. Covers submitted to CSN become the property of CSN and will not be returned. The decision of the judges is final.

Yes I have kept the rules, and even the judging, somewhat vague because I want this to be about fun, and not about meeting specific criteria.

There will be a junior category as well. Participants under the age of 18 will be judged separately, so make sure that you include your age and contact information with your cover.

Now, let’s have some fun with stamps.

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Although we cover the entire world of philatelics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

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