Today, the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers has announced its 100th annual class of National Medalists in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards—the nation’s longest running and most prestigious program for creative teens in grades 7-12. Student participation is up 15% from 2022, with more than 100,000 teens from U.S. territories, Canada, and every state in the nation participating in this year’s Awards, submitting over 300,000 works of art and writing. Works by more than 40,000 teens received regional recognition, and nearly 2,000 works earned national awards.
In celebration of the Award’s 100th anniversary, the Alliance, which administers the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, has announced that it will be recognizing writer Joyce Carol Oates and fashion designer Tracy Reese as this year’s Alumni Achievement Award recipients. This annual accolade is given to esteemed alumni whose innovative careers have influenced their industries and who credit their Scholastic Art & Writing Award as a pivotal moment in their teenage years, providing confidence and encouragement to explore their creative pursuits. Over the past century, other distinguished alumni who received some of their earliest validation from the Awards include Ken Burns, Derek Fordjour, José Parlá, Kay Walkingstick, Sylvia Plath, Andy Warhol, Charles White, Amanda Gorman, and Tschabalala Self.
A Scholastic Writing Award recipient in 1956, Joyce Carol Oates is the recipient of the National Book Award, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN America among other honors. She is the author of over 50+ books, short stories, novellas, and essays.
Tracy Reese earned a Scholastic Art Award in 1981 and is best known for her namesake fashion brand, which was sold at Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Anthropologie. Tracy’s new brand, Hope for Flowers, is responsibly designed using only sustainable textiles and is available at Anthropologie, Saks 5th Avenue, and many specialty stores across the U.S. Reese is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and serves on its Board of Directors, she also serves on the board of NEST Artisan Guild and Detroit’s College for Creative Studies’ Fashion and Accessories Design Program.
Joyce Carol Oates shared, “A Scholastic Writing Award in 1956, in my senior year of high school at Williamsville High, was the very first award of any kind I’d received in my life—it was totally, wonderfully, memorably a great surprise, inestimably encouraging. I had been writing for years—mostly for myself—and this award helped to confirm that I could be a ‘writer’ of the kind I so admired. I see now with much pleasure that Scholastic Writing Awards have expanded their program in a most generous, ambitious way, providing financial assistance for countless young writers. I could not have foreseen that I would indeed become a ‘writer’—but looking back now, I am so grateful to the judges who perused my short story and saw merit in it. Thank you!”
Tracy Reese shared, “I am extremely honored to be chosen to receive the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards’ Alumni Achievement Award in the 100th anniversary of this prestigious program! When I received the National award in 1981 it was a wonderful and meaningful validation of my choice to pursue a career in an artistic field. I hope this year’s student recipients go on to embark upon careers as rich and fulfilling as mine has been thus far. Thank you to everyone at the Alliance for choosing to honor me both in 1981 and today.”
Chris Wisniewski, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, said: “Since its inception 100 years ago, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has been a one-of-a-kind program that encourages the passions, talents, and perspectives of millions of teens from across the nation. Every year, we at the Alliance are ceaselessly amazed and impressed with the creative output of our country’s teens, and this year is no exception. Today, we are making Awards history by welcoming our centennial class of national medalists, who will be celebrated for their creative prowess, candor, and ingenuity. They’re worthy successors to the visionary alumni of the program who came before them, while pointing the way toward the future of American creative life.”
Among the more than 7,000 portfolios that were entered for adjudication at the national level, sixteen portfolios earned the program’s highest honor, the Gold Medal Portfolio Award, which includes a $12,500 scholarship, an increase for the centennial from $10,000 previously. Educators of the sixteen Gold Medal Portfolio Award winners will receive $1,000 awards. Additionally, this year’s 24 Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolio Award recipients will receive a $2,000 scholarship, an increase from $1,000 previously. Educators of these award recipients will receive $250 awards. These Gold Medal and Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolio Award recipients, alongside this year’s national medalists, will be honored at Carnegie Hall in New York City this June.
The 2023 Gold Medal Portfolio Award winners are:
Gold Portfolios Art:
- Marceline Castrillon, Arlington, VA
- Maya Dabney, Huntersville, NC
- Siann Han, Teterboro, NJ
- Joanne Hong, North Hollywood, CA
- Sooah Lee, La Crescenta, CA
- Jeffrey Wang, Coppell, TX
- Cherish Williams, New York, NY
- Bayan Yunis, Fort Wayne, IN
Gold Portfolios Writing:
- Taiwo Adebowale, Towson, MD
- Sophia Fratta, Chapel Hill, NC
- Maggie Hoppel, Noblesville, IN
- Shnayjaah Jeanty, Pembroke Pines, FL
- Elizabeth Keller, Interlochen, MI
- Sarah Fathima Mohammed, San Jose, CA
- Nora Sun, Chicago, IL
- Zoe Yu, The Woodlands, TX
In addition to the 28 eligible categories—including Painting, Novel Writing, Mixed Media, Poetry, Digital Art, Journalism, and more—students can also submit their work to a variety of sponsored award scholarships.
The 2023 Awards include:
- The Flaunt It Award: Developed in collaboration with Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It (DHIFI, Inc.), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to advance acceptance, tolerance, and mutual respect for people’s visible or invisible differences. The Award, underwritten by Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It, RBC Foundation USA, and Morgan Stanley, recognizes teens who look or feel different and who reflect and share their experiences (whether it be challenges, acceptance, or a celebration) about what makes them unique. The Flaunt It Award includes two $1,000 scholarships (one for art and one for writing) for teens whose outstanding work explores DHIFI’s theme: “The things that make me different make me, me.” This year’s recipients are: Chai Tuner, Abington, MA; and Suan Jeong, Teterboro, NJ.
- The Herblock Award for Editorial Cartoon: Underwritten by The Herb Block Foundation, the Editorial Cartoon category celebrates the legacy of four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Herb Block and his remarkable contribution to American history and free expression. The three teen artists who receive $1,000 scholarships for their outstanding drawings, illustrations, or animations offering commentary on current events or political topics are: Coralista Ruge, Camillus, NY; Gabe Santiago, Rockville, MD; and Matthew Yu, The Woodlands, TX.
- 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: California, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas. This year’s recipients are: Nicola Bailey, Santa Barbara, CA; Peony Gao, Richmond, BC; Emma Ray, Naperville, IL; Sophia Sun, Alpharetta, GA; Seungwan Yu, Langley, BC; and Isabella Zavalney, Austin, TX.
- Additional awards and scholarships for students are made possible through the support of the New York Life Foundation, The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, Command Companies and the Merson Family, Quad and The Windhover Foundation, Dav and Sayuri Pilkey, BLICK Art Materials, and The New York Times, among others.
For 100 years, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have been a safe space for teens to fearlessly explore their creative abilities and interests. The program has validated and championed teen voices and has served as a launching pad for bolstering students’ artistic and literary futures by providing them with access to scholarship programs and workshops, as well as the ability to have their work published and displayed in regional and national exhibitions.
To learn more, and to find a complete list of the 2023 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards national award winners, visit: artandwriting.org.
About the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and are made possible through the generosity of Scholastic Inc., New York Life Foundation, The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Command Companies, The Herb Block Foundation, Quad and The Windhover Foundation, BLICK Art Materials, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts, The New York Times, Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It, RBC Foundation USA, Morgan Stanley, ChangeCX, Lindenmeyr Book Publishing Papers, Garcia Family Foundation, and numerous other individual, foundation, and corporate funders; and, for the National Student Poets Program, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Hearthland Foundation, Poetry Foundation, and Academy of American Poets.
For more information about the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, visit www.artandwriting.org. Additional details about the Awards can be found in the Scholastic media room: http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/artandwriting.