Cody Castro, "Practice, by chance." START.WRITE.NOW. on Flickr.

Today, September 15, is the day you’ve been waiting for all summer long – the 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are now open for submissions! Have you been working on a short story this summer or perhaps trying a new type of art form or maybe you made your first video game or produced a film or fabricated a piece of jewelry or took photographs or drew a beautiful picture or wrote a play? Well, we can’t wait to see what you’ve done!

We expect everyone’s creative juices are still flowing into the school year, because today we are open for submissions to the 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards! Last year we had 185,000 entries from talented students across the nation. This year, we anticipate even more. There are 28 categories to fulfill your every artistic and literary whim, and this season, we’ll give away over a quarter of a million dollars in scholarships and awards! So what are you waiting for? Learn how to submit by clicking here.

Still have questions? Check out our FAQ. Every year we have the honor of recognizing our nation’s most talented teens and you could be one of them! Join the ranks of alumni such as Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath, Ned Vizzini, Zac Posen and many more. Let your creative voice be heard, submit your work!

PLUS! The opportunities don’t end there. There’s still time to submit your original works of art to our summer fun contest – where we encouraged you to keep up your creativity over the hot summer months and show us what you made. Artists ages 13 – 18 have until 12:00am EST to submit their works to the People’s Choice Contest. The public has a week to vote and help choose the winner. One People’s Choice favorite will receive a $50 Amazon gift card and a tote filled with Alliance swag. Judging from the work we saw on START.WRITE.NOW., it looks like many of you stayed artistically tuned in this summer. The collaborative story took a few different turns as a young man named Patrick finds out he is a character in a mysterious woman’s story. As he is left to write his own story (and in turn, his life), Patrick encounters an estranged brother, has his sister kidnapped, finds out a famed actor dated his mother, and has an altercation with a ninja. As Patrick’s life spins out of control, it’s clear you should be careful what you wish for. Click here to view the full, unedited, crowd-sourced story, “Welcome to the Neighborhood,” in PDF form.

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