Cagney Krzywosinski. You Do Dolls. Grade 12, Age 17. 2012 Gold Medal, Design.

Guest post by Alliance staffer Courtney Buckland

Design is one of my favorite categories, and it is sadly underrepresented in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. While I was studying graphic design, my dream was to design product packaging and book covers. The design of a product can be the one factor that makes me buy one product over another. Almost every time I grab a bar of chocolate, it is the design of the package that will grab my attention and get me to buy it. The same thing applies to my book purchases. I can’t even imagine how many good books I have passed over because the cover didn’t catch my eye.

Some of the most interesting design submissions I saw for the 2012 Scholastic Awards were handmade toys, beautiful stationary, calendars, and movie posters. Two of my favorites from this year are You Do Dolls by Cagney Krzywosinski (above) and a stationary set by Emily Collins (below).  There are so many things we use every day that need to be designed, making this category so much fun! Read More

Florence Ma. The Writer's Cage. Grade 12, Age 17. 2012 Gold Medal, Drawing.

What makes a great writer? Great writing evokes emotion, sparks an idea, and provides new perspective.

In Looking to Write, Writing to Look, art educators Barbara Bassett and Rebecca Mitchell of the Philadelphia Museum of Art believe that:

“Great writers are great observers. They consider the world around them, notice overlooked details, and make connections. Looking carefully at art helps us to develop these observation skills. Art encourages us to slow down, look closely, and reflect on what we see. When we accept this invitation, we are rewarded with new thoughts and perspectives. These ideas and insights provide rich material for writing.”  Read More

For the very first time, the Alliance is offering an Artist Residency program thanks to support from the Esther B. Kahn Foundation. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have an incredible legacy of past winners- Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath, Zac Posen… and that’s just naming a few! The Residency program will help foster the next great generation of artists to come from the Awards. Going beyond just a stipend and workspace, it also offers career development and guidance. Learn more about the program and how to apply after the jump.

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Brianna Drinsky, "Deeply Rooted." Grade 8, Age 13. 2011 Gold Medal, Digital Art.

Gold Key Winner Lydia asked Ned about comparing your work to others and having it shared with the world.

Lydia Asked:

I enjoy writing because it is my way of expressing myself and getting things out there.  I wrote a short story for the art and writing award and got a regional gold key.  As I was looking at all the winners, I got discouraged because how do I know if mine is any good?  I want to be published some day- and hopefully someday I can turn my short story into a novel.  How old do you have to be for all of that to work?  How does all of it work? Where did you start?  I really want my story to be heard by the world.
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Charlie Barber. Baggage. Grade 12, Age 17. Gold Medal, 2010.

Kris, a high school senior, asked Ned for advice on starting your career as a writer and getting published.

Kris asked:

I’m a high school senior and an aspiring novelist. I’ve gotten through my first novel (and a second), but I’m unsure where to go from here. I know I want to eventually get them published, but should I wait until I finish high school and/or college to try to pursue my career or maybe look for an agent now? How did you start out?

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Soomin Kim, "Dream2." Age 13, Grade 7. 2010 Silver Medal, Painting.

For many people aspiring to do anything, the wait for a big break can seem eternal. Author Rick Moody’s advice to recipients of the 2009 Scholastic Awards was: “Be patient.”

Rick Moody: If I had one bit of advice for all younger writers, all beginning writers, all apprentice writers, that advice would be as follows: be patient. There’s no rush. When I was writing my first novel I was still working at Farrar, Straus & Giroux in New York City, my boss, the estimable editor in chief at that particular house (himself a poet), and I were once talking about writing and trying to edit at the same time, and how work inevitably took a toll on the writing. Read More