The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program was developed to provide exceptionally creative students in grades seven through twelve the opportunity to share their talents with a global audience.The program dates back to 1923 and is managed by a non-profit organization called The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. The Alliance partners with affiliates in multiple regions to promote participation in the process. The primary donor to the program is the Scholastic Organization with presenting sponsors including the New York Times and Amazon.
Students are encouraged to apply in one of thirty categories including architecture, graphic design, digital art, drawing, video games, film and animation, and of course painting and mixed media. There are categories for ceramic and glass arts and jewelry making and the writing categories include novels, short stories, science fiction, poetry, personal essays, journalism, humor, and dramatic script.
To be eligible a student must be in grades seven through twelve in a recognized educational program. The competition is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. Students submit their work to be evaluated by a panel of judges. The work is blind judged, meaning the judges do not know the identity of the artist during the evaluation. The criterion judged is a combination of originality, technical skills, and the ability to demonstrate a personal voice or vision. No work is excluded for content allowing freedom of expression. Awards include scholarships ranging from full scholarships to one thousand dollar awards, exhibition and promotion of the work and artist, and publication of written work. Awards are given at the regional and national level and include three awards for teachers who acts as an exceptional mentor to their student.
Award alumni include Andy Warhol, Carlos Molina, Robert Redford, and Sylvia Plath to name a few. The judging is done by noted artists, writers, critics, educators and other creative professionals and often includes former Award winners.
To apply, students meeting the eligibility requirements submit their work to their regional affiliate and registering online for participation in the program. The student, teacher and parent must sign submission forms stating that the work is original and that the student owns all rights to it. Students and teachers are notified within one to three months if they have been recognized at the regional level. The National notifications are sent by a stated deadline each year.