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On October 22, we celebrated the exceptional young writers of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards with some very special guests. Awards Alumnus Chris Bannon of WNYC, the 2014 National Student Poets, writers from The Best Teen Writing of 2014, and fellow alum and BTW editor Hannah Jones were all in attendance on a rainy fall evening in New York City.

More than 100 people celebrated with us at Scholastic Inc.’s 11th-floor aerie, The Greenhouse, where the written words of these teens took center stage. Chris Bannon recalled his Awards experience and encouraged the evening’s stars by affirming “You’ve found your starter voice… That’s an amazing thing.” Scholastic president and CEO Dick Robinson reminded guests that “The heart and soul of the Art & Writing Awards is reaching the creative ability of kids and bringing it alive.” and the work certainly came to life!

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Awards Alumnus Chris Bannon of WNYC

Hannah Jones, 2004 Gold Portfolio recipient and 2004 and 2014 Best Teen Writing editor reflected on her experience editing these anthologies and established that one thing remains the same: the authentic voice of these young writers, and how relatable they remain even a decade after her first experience as editor.

The 2014 National Student Poets continued to impress, just a month into their year of service, and the audience was treated to original poems read by Madeleine LeCesne and Cameron Messinides. Following their special appearance, the #5poets headed to the Dodge Poetry Festival for a reading with the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English and a panel discussion for educators where they discussed what appeals to students in terms of classes, lessons, activities, and the teachers that had reached and inspired them.

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2014 National Student Poet Madeline LeCesne

We think Executive Director Virginia McEnerney summed up the evening well by stating “It’s our privilege to help these young people pursue their creative dreams.”

The Best Teen Writing 2014 is on virtual shelves at a computer, phone or tablet near you! Please click here to purchase your copy—and let us know what you think!

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