A couple of weeks ago, we uncovered a gem in our archive – 1956 Scholastic Writing Award winner Joyce Carol Oates’s winning short story which was featured in Scholastic’s Literary Cavalcade magazine in 1957! Oates wrote A Dawn You’ll Never See during her senior year at Williamsville South High School in Williamsville, NY.

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This edited post originally appeared in Scholastic’s On Our Minds blog on February 10, 2012.

Our lobbies and hallways are brimming with inspiration every day. When you visit Scholastic headquarters you are surrounded by brilliant pieces of art made by artists you don’t know – yet – because every piece was created by a creative teenager that has won a Scholastic Art & Writing Award. All of these students are destined for interesting and creative futures, and some are sure to become household names. In fact, many Award alumni have.

In anticipation of the 90th Anniversary of the Awards, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, which runs the program, has offered visitors to our building a sneak peek at a few inspiring items from their archives.

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Martha Hughes is an award-winning artist and photographer – and a distinguished alum of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards circa 1967! She is currently working on a couple of series of paintings and drawings called “Scenes” and “Grid”, which you can view on her website. Also, for the last 11 years, she’s posted a snapshot of her studio and work-in-progress on the website’s homepage every day. In March, her work will be displayed at the Thunderbird Hotel in Marfa, Texas.  Learn more about Martha in our interview with her after the jump!

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Sylvia Plath as a kid

Sylvia Plath was a poet, novelist, short story writer and Scholastic Awards alumna (1947 & 1948). Sylvia published her first poem when she was only eight years old. She attended Smith College on a scholarship, where she would write over four hundred poems. She is best known for her poetry and for her semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar.
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Maureen Daly's Award Certificate

Maureen Daly was one of the first authors whose work was aimed at a teenage audience. She is also a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards alum! Maureen won for her short story, Sixteen, in 1938. That same story was included in the 1938 O. Henry Collection, a rare honor for someone so young. She completed her first novel, Seventeenth Summer, before she was even twenty years old. Maureen also launched a teenage column for the Chicago Tribune, the first of its kind in the nation.
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East Tech Scarab. Cleveland, Ohio. Thursday, May 3, 1934.

Hughie Lee-Smith won a Scholastic Award in 1934. The talented artist would live through the Great Depression, World War II and the civil rights movement. He taught art, was employed by the WPA, and won a top prize for a painting from the Detroit Institute of Arts. After his move to New York City in 1958, Hughie taught at the Art Students League for 15 years. He was also the second African-American to become an associate member of the National Academy of Design. Retrospectives of his work have been exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the New Jersey State Museum, and his art can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Philadelphia Museum of Art collections, among others.

Hughie passed away in 1999, but his art and passion live on. In the letter below, he dispenses advice to young artists and shares what winning the Scholastic Award meant to him.
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