Scholastic Awards winners from the 1920s!
While this year’s Gold and Silver Medals (and Keys!) are still shiny, and the artists and writers who earned them float on cloud nine, we can be sure of one enduring fact: the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have delivered this kind of validation to creative teens for 90 amazing years! To celebrate this milestone, we dug into our vast archives and turned to esteemed colleague Bryan Doerries to tell the story that started in 1923 with just 7 submissions and is now the largest, most prestigious awards program in the U.S. Here’s a sneak peek at The Great Encouragement with Bryan as your guide!
We recently had the chance to catch up with Scholastic Awards alum Ned Vizzini and talk to him about his upcoming book, House of Secrets, (coming out April 23) which he wrote together with director Chris Columbus who began the Harry Potter film series! It’s the first novel in their exciting fantasy trilogy. Check out what he had to say about it below and take a peek at the artwork inside the book! You’ll also find some helpful advice for young writers at the end of our interview.
SA: What is House of Secrets about? And, what makes this story epic?
NV: House of Secrets is about three kids – the Walkers – who move to a creepy old house in San Francisco that used to be owned by an even creepier writer: Denver Kristoff. Kristoff is like an H. P. Lovecraft cult figure who wrote pulp tales of pirates and warriors and dark magic. When the Walkers anger the wrong person in their new home, they get banished into the world of Kristoff’s books, where all his mad creations come to life!
Figure + Square by Joseph Parra. Screen print and digital print. 29 x 40.
Scholastic Awards alum Joseph Parra knew at an early age that he wanted to be involved in the art world. In 2007, Joseph won the American Visions Medal. A few months after receiving a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, he was chosen as 1 of 3 alums to participate in the Alliance’s 2012 Atelier Artists-in-Residency program – and the youngest one of them too! If that’s not enough, his work will be featured in two shows this month: at the Adah Rose Gallery on January 12 and the Current Space Gallery on January 18. Here’s his backstory!
When did you first become interested in art? I went to an art middle school and high school, so I’ve always been making art. I decided in high school that I wanted to become an artist, so going to an art college was the only answer for me. Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was there that I started to focus more on the importance of process, and to choose one that best fulfills the concept of a piece. Read More
Three of Hannah Jones’ books, which she co-wrote with Danielle Bennett
Hannah Jones (aka Jaida Jones) earned a Scholastic Portfolio Gold Award in 2004. She has published four fantasy books, Havemercy, Shadow Magic, Dragon Soul, and Steelhands, as well as a collection of her poetry entitled Cinquefoil—all garnering critical acclaim. And she’s done all this by the age of 26!
We recently had a chance to chat with Hannah to learn more about her love for reading and writing fantasy. She also provided us with some great advice for all the young fantasy writers out there. Check it out!
When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
The first time I read a good book and it ended. I don’t cope well with separation.
What do you like about the fantasy genre? What opportunities does it afford you as a writer that you don’t have when writing “realistic” fiction?
One of the assignments I remember vividly from a college writing workshop was as follows: all the assembled students were given a first line to write a short in-class piece of fiction over the course of fifteen minutes. The first line was ‘She looked at the dinosaur in the room.’ After fifteen minutes, we went around the room reading our pieces out loud. All the dinosaurs in the room had been metaphors–for old men, for difficult situations, for people they no longer wanted to be with, obsolete lovers and childhood friends. My dinosaur was a dinosaur. It spoke. Read More
“I’ve experienced very few moments in my life that have brought me to hand-over-mouth, throat-gone-dry silence. One occurred on a weekday evening after babysitting, when I learned that I’d won the novel division of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards,” says Anna Waggener in an interview with Scholastic recently. The Novel Writing category judges of the 2008 Scholastic Awards spotted budding talent in Anna, and her Award-winning work went on to become her first novel, Grim, published by Scholastic Press and currently on the shelves of bookstores everywhere! Anna credits the Awards for “making it all possible”, and says that “the amazing thing about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is that they inspire teens to master form and technique and then push things farther.”
Check out the interview below!
Jeremy Madl designs art toys that are coveted by collectors around the world. (Image courtesy of Jeremy Madl and Mad Toy Design)
Interested in a career as a toy designer? 1996 Scholastic Awards winner Jeremy Madl recently talked to Scholastic Art Magazine about his work as a toy designer and running his own company. Check out the interview below!
SCHOLASTIC ART: What is your job?
Jeremy Madl: I design collectible toys— or art toys. I have my own company, Mad Toy Design. I’m a one-stop shop from concept to delivery of the final product.
SA: How do you design a toy?
JM: First, I sketch out my idea on paper. I do all the different views—front, back, side, top, and bottom. I might make 100 sketches. Then I enter my sketches into my computer and create the control drawings to send to the manufacturer. I work with the manufacturer to get every aspect of the toy right, including the size, color, and even the cost. The process can take six months to a year and a half. Read More