We hope you’re all enjoying the final weeks of summer and that you’ve found some time for beaching, barbecuing and being lazy.

Here at the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, summertime means we’re in full swing preparing for the next cycle of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. This year, we open the registration system on September 15 and we anticipate more than 200,000(!) submissions from talented young visual and literary artists across the country and in U.S. schools abroad.

In addition to the Awards program, we have some exciting new plans this season. Beginning in October, we’ll be traveling a segment of our 2010 National Teen Exhibition to five states where audiences will get a personal glimpse at the magnificent works of art and writing being created by the country’s top students. We’ll also be holding video game design workshops in key locations between September and November, thanks to the AMD Foundation and our buddies at E-line Ventures. Students and teachers will be invited to learn about the elements of game design, the educational value of game play and what tools are available to create games. And last but not least, the Alliance and our partners, the Poetry Society of America and the National Writing Project, will present our first-ever Institute on Teaching Poetry. The Institute will convene middle and high school English teachers and a roster of renowned poets and will focus on craft, classroom and community with a goal to empower teachers to cultivate their personal poetry writing, invigorate curriculum on teaching poetry in classrooms, and generate poetry projects that can be implemented in communities nationwide.

We look forward to sharing news with you on all of these projects over the course of the coming year. And, of course, we can’t wait to see what remarkable works of art and writing are submitted to the 2011 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

~From Kerri Schlottman, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers’ Director of External Relations

Image, above: Wish. Grace Lee. Sculpture. 2010 Scholastic Art Awards, Gold Medal.

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