Just a Little Laughter, Maggie Gillette, Grade 12, Age 17.

Just a Little Laughter, Maggie Gillette, Grade 12, Age 17.

This past summer, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards teamed up with Studio 360 to present Funny Ha Ha!: The High School Humor Challenge. We received hundreds of hilarious submissions from teens across the country and spent several laughter-filled weeks selecting the finalists. Guest judge BJ Novak chose the winner, Emma Callahan, age 16, and Studio 360 took some time to talk with Emma about her submission. Here are the other nine pieces that made into our Top Ten. Enjoy! Read More

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Still of DC Pierson as Duncan in the film Mystery Team

DC Pierson is busy. His Alex Award-winning first novel, The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To, is now being made into a movie. He’s part of an acclaimed improv team called Derrick Comedy which performs regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles, and with whom he made a 2009 movie called Mystery Team that was featured at Sundance. And he’s only 27!

Pierson joined us as a National Juror in the Humor category for the 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards; earlier this year, blogger Brendan Bourque-Sheil interviewed Pierson about his writing process. Check out an excerpt of the interview below! We’re positive that he’ll get you to Start.Write.Now!

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Mary Harvey. Are You Kitten Me? Grade 12, Age 17. 2012 Silver Medal with Distinction, Art Portfolio.

On his deathbed, actor Edmund Gwenn was said to utter the now-famous phrase: “Dying is easy…comedy is difficult.” What makes a great humor piece—and why is it funny? Often, the best examples, like this one from 2012 Scholastic Awards Gold Medalist Abigail Hartley, hold a mirror up to readers. In that mirror we may see flickers of ourselves, but also can smile at the foibles of others. Humor also has roots in pain: the wallflower, the outcast, the misunderstood voice makes itself heard and it’s one with which most readers can also identify. National Scholastic Awards juror DC Pierson said of this essay: “Great combination of voice and subject matter and perfect length. Great work!!!” See what you think, and learn more about this category at the bottom of this post! Read More

Rachel Mizenko, "Panthera." Age 13, Grade 8. 2010 Silver Medal, Drawing.

The Annotated Puss in Boots, by High School Senior Jamie Miller, is February’s writing of the month. Jamie Miller won a Gold Medal in Humor for this piece in the 2010 Scholastic Writing Awards.

The Annotated Puss in Boots.

It’s all a load of garbage. Puss in Boots, I mean. You know, poor kid inherits cat, cat wins fortune and a princess for the kid? Well, I suppose you might say that’s true, but it’s rather misleading. The story, when told traditionally, would take up about a page and a half. Told properly, with correct details and explanation, it would take someone at least seven, maybe eight pages. Read More