The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative teens, are now accepting submissions from students across the country in grades 7–12. Presented by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the Awards have fostered the talent of millions of students since 1923 and feature a distinguished list of alumni including Andy Warhol, Stephen King, Kay WalkingStick, Joyce Carol Oates, Charles White, and Tschabalala Self, all of whom received recognition through the program when they were teens. In the 2019 program year, nearly 340,000 works were submitted for adjudication at the regional level, with more than 2,700 students receiving national recognition, including more than $300,000 in direct scholarships and millions in tuition support.
To learn more about the 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, visit http://artandwriting.org.
“It has always been the mission of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards to open the door for students to explore their artistic talents, pursue their creative goals, and express themselves while gaining national recognition,” said Christopher Wisniewski, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. “It’s remarkable to see how teens use art and writing to speak their minds and shine a light on today’s most critical issues, and we at the Alliance look forward to providing these teens with new opportunities as they set out on their creative journeys.”
Students ages 13 and above residing in the United States, U.S. territories, or Canada, or enrolled in an accredited American school internationally, are invited to submit original work in any of the Awards’ 29 art and writing categories, including architecture, painting, flash fiction, poetry, printmaking, and video game design. All works are blindly adjudicated based on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal vision or voice, first on a regional level by more than 100 local affiliates of the Alliance, and then nationally by an impressive panel of industry experts. Annually, the Alliance partners with individuals, foundations, and corporations to offer scholarship opportunities for students in certain categories or addressing particular themes.
The 2020 Scholarships and Special Achievement Awards include:
- American Voices & Visions Medal: The highest regional honor awarded to one artist and one writer from each region.
- Best-in-Grade Award: Underwritten by Bloomberg Philanthropies, this award provides 24 students (two artists and two writers per grade 7–12) with $500 scholarships and their educators with $250 Awards.
- Civic Expression Award: Underwritten by the Maurice R. Robinson Fund, this award provides $1,000 scholarships to six students whose art or writing promotes responsible civic life.
- New York Life Award: Underwritten by the New York Life Foundation, this award recognizes six students on the national level with $1,000 scholarships for their work exploring personal grief, loss, and bereavement, and their educators with $250 Awards. Additional $500 scholarships are also available for two students from each of the following states: Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and New Mexico. Select students previously recognized through the New York Life Award will have their work featured in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ newest publication, Healing Through Creativity: An Art and Writing Anthology and Discussion Guide, as well as in several locations around the country as part of the New York Life Exhibition.
- One Earth Award: Underwritten, in part, by the Salamander Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation, this award provides four students with $1,000 scholarships for creative works that encourage the awareness of, and meaningful responses to, pressing issues of human-caused climate change, and their educators with $250 Awards. Special awards are also available for students and educators from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
- Portfolio Awards: The program’s highest national honor awarding 16 high school seniors each with a $10,000 scholarship for his or her writing or art portfolio; 30 Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolio recipients each receive $1,000 scholarships.
- The Alliance/ACT-SO Journey Award: In partnership with NAACP Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO), this award provides travel stipends for up to ten ACT-SO scholars, who receive National Medals, to attend the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall.
- The Herblock Award for Editorial Cartoon: Underwritten by The Herb Block Foundation, this award provides three young artists with $1,000 scholarships for their outstanding editorial cartoons.
Deadlines for submissions vary by region, with Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Medalists announced in March 2020. In June, the Alliance hosts a week of celebration in New York City for students, families, and educators including a ceremony at Carnegie Hall. The Awards season will culminate in the summer, with the launch of the Art.Write.Now.Tour, a traveling public exhibition featuring select 2020 National Medalists’ works. Writing recipients may have their work published in The Best Teen Writing of 2020, an anthology showcasing stories, essays, and poetry of teen authors, and art recipients in The Best Teen Art of 2020, highlighting paintings, photographs, drawings, and other works by teen artists.