Martha Hughes, Rooms #1, acrylic on panels, 27 panels, 40 x 114″

Deep in the heart of Texas, Awards alum Martha Hughes has a new show at the Marfa Book Company in desert and artist’s oasis Marfa, Texas. The show, called “New Paintings: Scenes and Rooms” runs through the end of March and it’s a big, bright installation that started small: the canvases that inspired it measure 12 inches square. But for the show itself, housed in the minimalist gallery at the Book Company, boasts canvases that measure 6 feet by 6 feet—and Martha would have painted them larger if she had her druthers!

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Photo Courtesy of Writopia Lab. Scholastic Awards alum Angelica Modabber with Writopia Lab founder Rebecca Wallace-Segall (left) and Writopia Lab instructor Danielle Sheeler (right) at the induction of the inaugural NYC Literary Honors.

Guest post by Alliance staffer Lisa Feder-Feitel

It’s rare to say “we knew you when” about someone who’s just 17, but Manhattan-born writer Angelica Modabber has been submitting writing to the Scholastic Awards and earning accolades since middle school!

Therefore, it was not a surprise but a lovely honor to gather under a tent outside Gracie Mansion last month to see Angelica inducted in the inaugural class of the NYC Literary Honors. Stellar city scribes from Robert Caro (author of The Power Broker and LBJ biographies) to award-winning young adult author Walter Dean Myers were called to the stage to read and receive glittering statuettes. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg served as emcee, and perhaps because the event took place on “Poem in Your Pocket Day,” he read this rhyming tribute to one of the honorees: “I think that I shall never know, a poet as fine as Marie Ponsot!” Read More

Photo Credit: South Bend Tribune/SANTIAGO FLORES

January’s Writing of the Month comes from Ava Tomasula y Garcia of South Bend, Indiana. Ava won a Gold Medal for Short Story in 2011. She can’t imagine not writing because she is fascinated and inspired by the ways that people communicate. Her winning piece, Terra Obscura, was featured in The Best Teen Writing of 2011, a student-edited anthology of prize-winning pieces from The Scholastic Writing Awards that expresses the thoughts and aspirations of our nation’s youth. Ava recently appeared in South Bend Tribune‘s, where she talked about her work. Check out her short story after the jump!

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What does the holiday season mean to you? To many, the holidays are a time for family, love, giving, and hope. Sixteen-year-old Will Newman’s Believe Again Project encompasses all of these themes. Will won a Scholastic Gold Key for Poetry as well as an American Visions Award and Creativity & Citizenship Award for Photography in 2011. Now, he is helping others through his gift of music.

When Will was 11, he visited a cancer center where his father was being treated for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and met the president of CLL Global Research Foundation. He wanted to help the doctors and researchers who were determined to find a cure for his father’s disease and, together with his father, wrote Believe Again.

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Image source:

Zac Posen won for both Textile Design and Personal Essay in 1998. Since then he has gone on to become a world-famous fashion designer, whose designs have become the preferred fashions of celebrities such as Natalie Portman, Beyoncé, Kate Winslet, and so many more. Today we wish him a very special Happy Birthday!
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"Savannah Building," Bethany Gill. Grade 12, Age 17. Silver Medal, Painting.

October’s Writing of the Month comes from Roman Junceau of Brooklyn, NY. Roman is a 2011 Gold Medalist for Personal Essay.

My name is Roman and I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When you hear Williamsburg you might think of a bunch of young artists and fancy restaurants. But that’s not the whole story. Williamsburg is one of the oldest neighborhoods in New York City. Metropolitan Avenue divides it into two sides, the Northside, and the Southside. The North Side is undergoing an incredible change; a new generation of people has moved in, breaking the old traditions and destroying the old buildings. We call these new people “Hipsters.” Me, I was born here, and I’ve lived here 13 years, but when I was little, I never thought my world would change.
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