Abigail Carney won an American Visions Award for her glazed earthenware Sculpture entry, Turtle. In this guest blog post she shares one of the secrets behind her work: vivid dreams and Clive Barker.

I have always enjoyed creating things. As a child I would spend hours making crafts on my bedroom floor. I mostly create because I enjoy the challenge of making the vision in my head available to other people to see. I also sometimes feel as though the art has a life of its own, and it wants to be revealed and shared.

Abigail Carney at the 2010 Throw-A-Thon, an annual 12-hour ceramics marathon hosted by her ceramics teacher. All works produced at the event are sold and proceeds are donated to charity.

I actually got the inspiration for Turtle, my American Visions Award-winning piece, in a dream. I was at an aquarium and he was in a tank, munching on some underwater grass. Read More

Courtney Vassar. "Grumbacher Red." Grade 12, Age 17. 2010 American Visions Medal, Painting.

The Mixed Media category of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is one of our oldest: it’s been around since the mid-1950s and has made an appearance in our program every year since then. You might be wondering: “What’s so special about that?” Well, we’re glad you asked. It was around the mid-1950s that the company sponsoring this category launched one of the most revolutionary art mediums of the 20th century. Read More

Magic City. Drew Lerman. 2007 Gold Medal, Novel Writing. Published by PUSH, 2007.

NaNoWriMo! November 1st marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month. Each year, professional and aspiring novelists around the country unite with one mission: to complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

Here at the Alliance, we’re also encouraging you to get started on your novel. In fact, research tells us that 81% of all Americans think they have a book inside them. But unlike National Novel Writing Month, we’re not challenging you to complete the entire book. Instead, we’ve teamed up with Scholastic Inc.’s PUSH imprint to present the novel writing category of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Read More

If he could describe his art in a single word, he would say: “Grape.” If he could have a superpower, he would want to be like a hydra so that he could have two heads and sing while simultaneously playing the melodica. Meet our guest blogger and Brooklyn native Joshua Krieble, a young filmmaker whose Landscapes within Landscapes won a 2010 National Gold Medal. In addition to film, Joshua also won a Gold Medal in video game design (“The Walls”) and a Silver Medal for Poetry (“6.796 Billion Tiny Shapes”).

JOSHUA KRIEBLE: I got the idea for Landscapes within Landscapes when my film teacher told me to film something in five minutes. Read More

Image: Madeleine L’Engle. Juror for The Scholastic Writing Awards, Short Story Division. Literary Calvacade, 1973.

Sci-fi author Madeleine L’Engle enjoyed careers as a librarian and an actress by the time she judged short stories for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in the early 1970s. But like the young writers whose work she evaluated, she was no stranger to criticism. L’Engle’s best known work, the sci-fi children’s classic A Wrinkle in Time, was initially rejected by dozens of publishers in the early 1960s. Why? According to Madeleine L’Engle: “A Wrinkle in Time had a female protagonist in a science fiction book, and that wasn’t done.” Read More

Tiffany asked: I’m seventeen 17 and I’ve finished a Young Adult book that measures in at 256 pages and somewhere around 80,000 words. I’ve been trying for months to find an agent to represent me because I want one of the bigger publishing houses to find my book. Random House would be awesome, but that is but a dream, a fancy of a teenager. Read More