Still from the documentary When I Walk by 2011 Scholastic Awards Juror Jason DaSilva

In 2011, documentary filmmaker Jason DaSilva helped choose the National Gold and Silver Medalists in the Film category as one of our many remarkable jurors that year. Five years earlier, at the age of 25, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis after suffering from a bad fall while at the beach with his family. Doctors told him that the disease could lead to loss of vision, muscle control, and many other problems over the years. But that didn’t stop Jason from pursuing his love of making films and working with the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards to recognize and encourage talented young filmmakers. In fact, he created a documentary about his affliction and the incredible things he encountered along the way. The film, When I Walk, is being shown this week in Utah 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and is a true inspiration. Read More

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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Caridad Svich was a National Juror for the Dramatic Script category during the 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Check out what she has to say about what inspires her as a playwright. We hope her words will encourage you to stay creative this summer and START.WRITE.NOW!

As a playwright, songwriter, editor and translator living between many cultures, including inherited ones, the idea of departure has always been not only an actual or metaphorical basis for writing the work, but also an idea made manifest through the enactment of writing, its performance, and my living of it. Read More

Photo credit: Barbara P. Fernandez for The New York Times

Guest blog post by Haris Durrani, Editor, The Best Teen Writing of 2012

Last week, I ventured across the river to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). The National Book Foundation-funded series at BAMcafé, Eat, Drink, and Be Literary, welcomed Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat to read and talk about her work, and the series’ publicity team graciously invited me.

Ms. Danticat is not only a recipient of numerous writing awards, but a special friend of the Alliance. In 1997, she wrote a letter of encouragement to young writers now on display in our lobby at 557 Broadway —stop by to read it! This year, she served as a National Writing Juror for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. But what made my visit to Brooklyn more magical? Just a few weeks ago, Danticat generously agreed to write the Foreword for The Best Teen Writing of 2012, of which I am the Editor—and I couldn’t wait to meet her in person! Read More

Horace Liveright

Horace Liveright (December 10, 1883 – September 24, 1933) was the founder of the Modern Library and Boni & Liveright Publishers. He was also the Scholastic Awards’ very first juror! Today, on the anniversary of his death, we celebrate his life and his contribution to the awards that are still around almost 90 years later.
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Tar Beach (Part I from the Woman on a Bridge series), 1988. Acrylic on canvas, bordered with printed, painted, quilted, and pieced cloth. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Artist Faith Ringgold is a professor, children’s book author and illustrator, and best known for her painted story quilts. She also helped choose the 2011 Art Portfolio Gold medalists as one of our 2011 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards jurors.

Faith Ringgold was born and raised in Harlem, NY. Her work with fabric and quilts was initially influenced by her mother, who was a fashion designer. View the video below to hear Faith speak about the quilt as an art form.
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