In a recent blog post, Start.Write.Now: Fantastic Journeys, we featured the 2013 Gold Medal-winning Science Fiction/Fantasy story, The Lions’ Den. After reading and relishing it, we couldn’t help asking ourselves once again: how did she do it? Seeking a satisfactory answer, we went right to the source: 18-year-old author and Texas native Mary Elizabeth Dubois. Check out our Q & A with her below. And flex your fantastic imaginations and fingers, because the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards launches on Monday, September 16!
What inspired you to choose this genre to write Lions’ Den?
I am usually inspired to write when I am in the middle of a crowd. The idea for my submitted piece, “The Lions’ Den,” came to me in the middle of a crowded pizza shop in New York City. I don’t need time, space, or comfort to write. All I need is an idea and my iPhone notepad app. Coffee and Earl Grey tea don’t hurt, either.
As far as the science fiction genre goes, I knew this theme needed to come across as futuristic in order to appear relevant and be understood. I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of the marching man. The man who continuously strives to better himself and create a peaceful world in which to live, and yet, comes to the end of his life realizing he has created nothing. Read More
What makes a video game not just fun, but addictively amazing? We asked Glitchbusters, a team of 4 high school students from Hillsboro, Oregon whose game earned a 2013 Gold Medal in our Video Games Category and a $1,000 AMD Game Changer Award. Almost as impressive as this recent achievement is that fact that they designed it as a team: they’ve been studying and designing games together for 4 years—and they’re still friends! Check out our Q & A with them below.
What is Glitchbusters? How did the group come together?
We’re Ashwin Datta, Andrei Blebea, Kyle Hiebel and Justin Mellott. Besides being friends and avid gamers ourselves, we have been programming for about 4 years. Our original games were all made in Game Maker while our latest game, Modern Health Care, was made in XNA, which is a programming framework based on C#.
What’s your 2013 Award-winning game about?
Building Spree: Mars Edition is an intricate tycoon game in which you must build and manage a colony on Mars. Read More
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!
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