This year, in honor of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ 90th anniversary, we released a special, limited edition commemorative book, The Great Encouragement.
We wanted to provide our community with the chance to get their hands on a free copy, so we held a contest asking people why art and writing are important. Quite simply, we loved the responses we received! Below is the winning response, followed by a selection of some of the other outstanding answers (many are from Scholastic Award winners!). Get your own copy of The Great Encouragement here. Your contribution will ensure the continued growth and future of the Scholastic Awards, and encourage the work of creative teens everywhere!
Well, because they are flowering fields of screaming and fighting. They burst in reflected fireworks I held on, I will not stop shouting into even blankness, and I will spirit through time for centuries coloring in this Earth with the pastels of truth. Oh, and it inks so much passion, defiance for happiness, and uncurtaining of our souls to the point where so many would rot without it. Yet, hey, what’s the big deal?
- Darcy Stack, Texas, Age 16 (2013 Gold Key and Silver Key winner for Poetry)
Other Outstanding Entries
Art and writing is for me to express my feelings into paper and colors are the medium to see them alive. Whenever I got sad or happy I used to express them in the form of poems, stories and paintings. Then I feel better. When you see your creation got form you feel good and happy.
- Jyoti Goyal, Punjab, Age 37
So easily put, art and writing are the only accurate way to express oneself. Through these mediums, intriguing bodies of work are created and the world begins to thrive! Art and writing are pulse of the world that keeps the heart beating!
- Gabrielle Ward, Florida, Age 19
As an artist, art is important to me to be able to relax and explore my mind. Art is a vessel that allows me to release my emotions onto paper or onto canvas. By doing what I love, I can relax and ventilate all the bottled up emotions hiding within me. Art is not only my passion; it is my sanity.
- Tanner Gauvin, Massachusetts, Age 16 (2013 Silver Medalist for Painting)
The arts are a means to deconstruct reality. Thinking like an artist lends you the tools to lay bare pretensions, and to create new perspectives that might transcend preconceptions. We are groomed to accept the world’s dogmas with little protest, but art is one of the few mechanisms we have to break down the barriers of docile tradition. Technology might create material progress, but the arts give us the understanding to appreciate and to resolve the greater questions of human existence.
- Nachiketa Baru, California, Age 17 (2013 Writing Portfolio Silver Medalist and 2012 Gold Medalist for Dramatic Script)
By identifying ourselves as an artist or a writer, we carve out a little niche in the world for ourselves. The skills we have help us develop and recognize who we are; but more importantly, they help us articulate our character and our thoughts to others. In this manner we add our voices and thoughts to the constant, ever-present human dialogue which continues to shape the past, present, and the future.
- Jackie Yang, Florida, Age 16 (2013 American Voices Award for Personal Essay)