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

On May 31 2011, the Alliance will honor John Baldessari with an Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award. John Baldessari has become one of the best-known figures in American conceptual art. As a student in National City, California, Baldessari experimented with pastels and watercolors, but it wasn’t until he picked up a camera in high school that his art finally became noticed. “I guess I was good, because there was something called the National Scholastic Art Award in the US, and my art teacher encouraged me to enter. At that time I was experimenting with photography, so I put in a photograph, and I won. That’s where it all began,” John Baldessari remembers in a 2009 interview with European art magazine Tate Etc. Read More

Author and Scholastic Writing Award alumnus Ned Vizzini’s first novel, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, is being adapted into a movie by Focus Features and will be released this October. The story is inspired by events in the author’s own life.

ONE READER ASKED: Can writers choose the actors who appear in movies about their books? Did you get to choose the actor who plays you in your movie?

NED SAID: No, writers do not get to choose the actors who appear in films based on their books. Those decisions are made by a casting director, whose name you see in the credits of the film — and that’s okay! It’s the writer’s job to write a good book. It’s the casting director’s job to pick the best cast. Read More

Swing by the Brooklyn Museum to see two solo shows bought to you by alumni of The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Abdi Farah and Andy Warhol are two generations of artists – one established, one emerging – whose works will inspire you to go running after for YOUR fifteen minutes of fame. Read More

Scholastic Award alum Andy Warhol got his early start in Soho. And by Soho, we don’t mean the New York City mecca of culture and style that’s become synonymous with high fashion and world-renowned galleries. Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in the working-class suburb of Soho in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From childhood he loved to draw, attending free classes at the Carnegie Institute and later becoming the first in his family to graduate from college by earning a degree in pictorial design. Through out his life, Warhol interacted with other notable Scholastic Award alumni. Read More