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!

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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

Photo Credit: Iñigo Sesma. Taken at Harrison Love's Compressed Culture show at the Greenpoint Gallery on April 6, 2012.

The art world can be a very daunting place, especially if you’re in New York City. There are surprisingly few places in New York that provide opportunities for young artists to show their work. Even with the resources that are available, exhibiting anywhere in this big city is a hard earned privilege.

This was no different for artist and illustrator Harrison Love, who won a Scholastic Art & Writing Award in 2004. Looking for the right opportunity to exhibit his work without feeling the bite of a gallery’s commission or percentage was no easy task. After looking for a year, Harrison was starting to become discouraged by the long wait list and huge commission percentage of galleries around the city.

Then, in the winter of 2011, there was finally a sign of light at the end of the tunnel. Read More

Chic and multitalented fashion designer and photographer Esther Boller has won Scholastic Awards the past four years in a row, including a Gold Medal for her gorgeous Masking Tape Dress earlier this year (shown above). Her dress caught the attention of BurdaStyle, which did a wonderful feature on her. Check out the interview below.

We are so excited to chat with designer, artist, and long-time BurdaStyle member Esther Boller (aka: Melonhead), who has recently won a National Gold Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her Masking Tape Dress – an amazing creation made entirely out of masking tape!

First of all, congratulations on winning the award. Thank you!

What gave you the idea for the dress? About a month before I started working on the dress my mom and I took a train into downtown Chicago for a visit. I was blown away by all the beautiful architecture everywhere I looked. When I got home, I went online and researched different architectural buildings. I loved the way some architects played with circular movement in the creation of their buildings. I wanted to transfer that same style of circular motion into my dress. Read More

Sophie Friedman-Pappas. Uncertainty. 2011 Gold Medal, Painting.

Sophie Friedman-Pappas applied her Award-winning artistic skills to a fascinating internship this fall. Teen artists and writers take note: According to Sophie, an internship can deepen your creative perspective! Read on to learn about Sophie’s approach to art and her internship at New York City’s Educational Alliance.

When did you first become interested in art and painting? Growing up, I was exposed to art galleries and openings because my mother was a painter. Due to my early experiences with the art world, my work originally consisted of drawings of fairies and dragons.

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