In 2011, our first year as a Scholastic Awards Affiliate Partner, we displayed a quote from the awarded works along with the students’ certificates. It was a crowd pleaser, but too labor-intensive to continue as submissions increased.

In 2013, our first year as a Scholastic Awards Affiliate Partner, we displayed a quote from the awarded works along with the students’ certificates.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ national office in New York City is dedicated to growing and supporting our Affiliate Partners across the country. Our Affiliate Partners are doing great work in their communities, and we love hearing about their outreach efforts, their students, and their programs. This month, we shine the spotlight on Writopia Lab Westchester & Fairfield in New York State, which manages the HudsontoHousatonic Writing Region. Here’s what the staff at Writopia Lab had to say about Awards activity in their region:

The H2H Writing Region is flanked by the Hudson and the Housatonic Rivers, and encompasses nine counties in New York and Connecticut. It covers a socioeconomically diverse population of four million, and includes numerous microcities: White Plains, Yonkers, and Kingston in New York State, and six of Connecticut’s seven largest cities, including Bridgeport, New Haven, and Stamford. Much of the region falls within the suburbs of the New York City metropolitan area, but we also reach the rural countryside of Connecticut’s Berkshire Hills and New York’s Hudson Valley.

Our more recent ceremonies feature writing quotes from each student which are projected during the ceremony check-in and printed in the programs.

Our more recent ceremonies feature writing quotes from each student which are projected during the ceremony check-in and printed in the programs.

Mission and Scope

Every day at Writopia Lab, we witness the transformative power of being heard. Because of this experience, we are dedicated to giving teen writers the opportunity to be read—and celebrated—as part of the broader literary community. To help make this possible, Writopia Lab has served as a regional affiliate of the Scholastic Writing Awards for the past four years, during which submissions have increased from 700 to 1,900.

The diversity of communities we serve is reflected in the diversity of the instructional environments from which we receive submissions:

  • 47% public schools
  • 32% private day schools
  • 10% public arts magnet schools
  • 5% private boarding schools
  • 5% religiously affiliated schools
  • 2% home schools
  • 28% of student works also cite an OEP (Other Education Program)
For this year's ceremony, a student performed an original song as a cold-open to the ceremony. That immediately got the crowd's attention!

For this year’s ceremony, a student performed an original song as a cold-open to the ceremony. That immediately got the crowd’s attention!

Our Regional Ceremony

To give focus to our community’s regional achievements, we hold our regional ceremony prior to the announcement of the national Scholastic Awards each year. We invite all Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention recipients to our regional ceremony, and have made a tradition of bestowing bronze star pins upon our Honorable Mention recipients. We highlight the successes of our older writers, especially outgoing seniors, to give their younger peers a model upon which to build their newfound success.

Our region’s rich literary landscape has also allowed us to energize our young writers with keynote addresses from such authors as Emmy Laybourne, Wendy CorsiStaub, Rachel Vail, and Gail Carson Levine.

Finding our keynote speaker is one of our first tasks every fall. The region is fortunate with the number of notable authors that live nearby, including Gail Carson Levine (pictured above), who wrote Ella Enchanted. We want to inspire students to keep writing, and the keynote is essential to that goal.

Finding our keynote speaker is one of our first tasks every fall. The region is fortunate with the number of notable authors who live nearby, including Gail Carson Levine (pictured above), who wrote Ella Enchanted. We want to inspire students to keep writing, and the keynote is essential to that goal.

Our Writers

Over the past four years, the H2H Writing Region has seen a number of students receive national accolades, including Gold Medal Writing Portfolio recipients, Best-in-Grade recipients, inclusion in the annual The Best Teen Writing anthology, and a recent National Student Poet.

Our region awards the Madeleine L'Engle Senior Writing Portfolio Scholarship each year, funded by the Crosswicks Foundation. The recipient of that prize serves as a prominent speaker and role-model for the younger students attending the ceremony.

Our region awards the Madeleine L’Engle Senior Writing Portfolio Scholarship each year, funded by the Crosswicks Foundation. The recipient of that prize serves as a prominent speaker and role-model for the younger students attending the ceremony.

Going forward, our goals for the H2H Writing Region focus on not only expanding submissions from underrepresented rural and urban populations within our communities, but also on finding ways to give those students access to ongoing instructional support to help improve their submissions.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are proud to work with organizations like Writopia Lab Westchester & Fairfield to help talented students receive recognition for their creative efforts. By partnering together, Writopia Lab Westchester & Fairfield and the Scholastic Awards give our youth the support they need to become lasting members of their art and writing communities.

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