2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Call for Submissions Opens with New Scholarship Opportunities for Creative Teens


Anne Sparkman

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers invites inspired students in grades 7–12 to submit original artwork and writing, and join the legacy of Awards’ alumni such as Lena Dunham, Stephen King, Sylvia Plath and Andy Warhol

New York, NY – September 16, 2015 – The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition initiative for creative teens, are now accepting submissions from students across the country in grades 7–12. For 93 years, the Awards, presented by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, have identified the early promise of some of our nation’s most accomplished visionaries and encouraged young artists and writers to pursue a variety of creative career paths and endeavors. In the 2015 program year, a record-breaking 300,000+ works were submitted for adjudication at the regional level, with more than 1,900 public, private and home-schooled students receiving national recognition. Each year, exhibition, publication and scholarship opportunities are made available to students honored through the program for their creative work in 29 categories, with opportunities expanding each year.

To learn more about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, visit http://www.artandwriting.org.

“By tapping into the imaginations of teenage artists and writers and encouraging them to share their visions, we are fostering the next generation of great influencers in the arts and beyond,” said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. “The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards provide a national platform to recognize and celebrate the deeply personal, innovative and thought-provoking creative work of today’s teenagers. Time and again, we hear that seeing the work gives viewers hope about the future of the arts.”

New Scholarship Opportunities for the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards:

  • A special Editorial Cartoon category sponsored by The Herb Block Foundation to promote awareness of the editorial cartoon medium and provide three young artists with $1,000 scholarships for their outstanding work;
  • The Neiman Marcus Fashion Award and The Neiman Marcus Jewelry Award to provide one artist in each category with $1,000 scholarships; and
  • The RBC Flaunt It Award to provide two $1,000 scholarships to students whose work showcases and celebrates individual differences.

How to Enter the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards:

  • Students in grades 7–12 in the U.S. and its territories, as well as American schools abroad, are invited to submit creative and original work to any of the Awards’ 29 art and writing categories, including architecture, photography, flash fiction, poetry, painting, video game design and more.
  • All works are evaluated through a series of blind adjudication, first on a regional level by more than 100 local affiliates of the Alliance and then nationally by an impressive panel of creative-industry experts. This past year’s group of distinguished jurors included artist Andres Serrano, poet Nikki Giovanni, Warhol Museum Director Eric Shiner, artist Wangechi Mutu and comic artist Dash Shaw.
  • At each level of judging, all works are selected to move on to the next stage based on the same three criteria that have represented the program since its founding in 1923: originality, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision or voice.
  • Students who submit their original work to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards walk in the footsteps of notable Awards alumni including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath, Stephen King, Richard Linklater, Zac Posen and Lena Dunham.
  • Deadlines for submission vary by region throughout the winter months, with National Medalists announced in March 2016. Void where prohibited or restricted. More information is available at http://www.artandwriting.org/the-awards/guidelines-deadlines.

Exhibition, Publication, and Scholarship Opportunities, and More:

  • Across the country, regional Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention, and American Visions & Voices Nomination recipients are honored locally through community ceremonies and exhibitions.
  • On the national level, 16 high school seniors are annually awarded the Portfolio Gold Medal—the program’s highest honor—accompanied by a $10,000 scholarship.
  • Additional cash awards are available for both students and teachers through the Alliance’s Sponsored Awards, and academic scholarships are available to National Medalist seniors through partnerships with various schools and universities.
  • Selected 2015 National Medalists’ works will be highlighted in the Art.Write.Now.Tour, a traveling exhibition publicly displaying stunning examples of teen-produced art and writing. The 2015–16 Tour will make stops in St. Petersburg, FL; Indianapolis, IN; Vermillion, SD; and Las Vegas, NV.
  • National Medal recipients in writing may have their work published in The Best Teen Writing, an anthology showcasing the stories, essays and poetry of teen authors, available at http://www.amazon.com/%20dp/0545942608.
  • In June 2016, students who receive National Gold Medals along with their families, teachers and celebrities, will congregate at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York City for a celebration of their artistic and literary accomplishments.
  • The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers partner annually to select five poetry ambassadors for the National Student Poets Program. Open exclusively to National Medalists in Poetry through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in grades 10–11, these students serve for one full year, each representing a different geographic region of the country.

The Alliance is grateful for its generous sponsors, who provide funds to support and produce all our programs, including the Awards: Scholastic Inc., The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, Command Web Offset Co., The New York Times, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, The Herb Block Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, Blick Art Materials & Utrecht Art Supplies, The Gedenk Movement, RBC Capital Markets, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Neiman Marcus, Golden Artist Colors, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, numerous other individual, foundation, and corporate funders; and, for the National Student Poets Program, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

To learn more about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and to read the full rules, visit the Scholastic media room online at http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/artandwriting.