This post originally appeared in Scholastic’s On Our Minds blog on November 21, 2011.

Who is known for writing these words? Why, Sylvia Plath, of course! She became a famous poet, novelist, short story writer, and is known for writing her first poem at the age of eight. However, did you know that Sylvia also won an Art & Writing Award in her teen years?

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers has a long legacy of being the first to recognize the talent of future literary greats. On Monday, we made an exciting announcement about a new way to honor creativity in teens — specifically, America’s teen poets.

In partnership with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), we launched the National Student Poets Program. Each year, judges will select five outstanding high school poets from the pool of national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards winners in the category of poetry. They will receive not just the recognition, but also an academic award, the opportunity to work with poet mentors, and the ability to display their work across the country!

Even the most experienced writer can sometimes be intimidated at the thought of writing poetry, and we have to say, we’re excited about giving teens another opportunity to impress the world with their talent and be a powerful voice of inspiration for all ages. You can learn more about the National Student Poets Program here.

Start writing, teens!

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