Lots of students look forward to college. For students (and adults!) who have an interest in learning new things, below are a number of cost effective (read: free!) resources that might help you satisfy your interest in a range of topics, from the origins of the universe to Painting and Journalism. Top universities like MIT and Columbia University have even begun putting their classes online. All you need is a little curiosity and an internet connection. Read More

George Lu and Tony Pan. Three Trials of Tito. Grade 8, Age 13. 2010 Gold Medal, Video Games.

You might already know the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have a video game design category (sponsored by AMD!). But did you know that now teachers have a place to go to online to find tools for their students to design their own video games? AMD Foundation, the Alliance and Scholastic come together thanks to AMD Changing the Game, to bring you video gaming excitement and education with a new online initiative – Level Up!

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Aspiring fashion designers discuss an assignment at Parson Pre-college Academy.

Being a fashion designer is more than just thinking up adorable outfits and reading fashion magazines all day. According to professionals working in the industry, entry-level designers can expect to work extremely long hours for low starting wages. There’s also a lot of competition in the field, especially for those just starting out. But fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there available for aspiring designers. Read More

Some people are Numbers People. Some people are Words People. But some rare individuals are both Numbers AND Words people…like Jack Silbert, today’s guest blogger and also the Associate Editorial Director of Scholastic’s MATH magazine. Not only does he fight math phobia everywhere, but he also writes books and essays, draws comics and is a pretty cool person. But enough from us…on to Jack.

Jack Silbert with MATH Magazine.

Right now I edit MATH Magazine, which is used in middle-school classrooms nationwide. But having some sort of outside writing also plays a very important role in my career. I can look at myself in the mirror and say: “I’m a writer.”

As an editor with MATH Magazine, the goal is to make students not hate math quite so much and understand how it’s important to everyday life. Read More

Tiffany Droke, "Me, Myself & I." Age 17, Grade 12. 2010 American Visions Medal, Painting.

One student asked a writer how to respond to criticism they didn’t agree with.

Anonymous: When my English teacher edits my short stories, sometimes I don’t always like or agree with her comments about the way I write. Do I have to listen to them?

Ned Said: There is such a thing as being too responsive to criticism. Writing isn’t like math — it’s never objectively “right” — so it can always be critiqued, and if you don’t stand up to the critics at some point your work turns to mush. You should listen to the edits of your teacher that ring true to you — especially the ones that 1) match comments other people have given on your work and 2) resonate with secret worries you had yourself (“I knew I used too many adverbs!”). But if your teacher suggests things that are really outrageous, like “needs more adverbs,” you’re within your rights to say “thanks for your opinion” and keep writing the way that feels right to you. That’s how you develop a style.

Have questions about writing, or the business of publishing? Ask a real writer! Ned Vizzini Vizzini is the author of three acclaimed young adult books: It’s Kind of a Funny Story (now a major motion picture), Be More Chill, and Teen Angst? Naaah…. Ned has spoken at over 200 schools, universities, and libraries around the world about writing and mental health. E-mail your questions to askned@artandwriting.org.

Rebekah Isaacs spends most of her days at her drafting table, hanging out with super heroes and her cat, Fantastic Doughnut. As a professional comic book artist, she works ten- to twelve- hour days creating art and layouts for a variety of titles and projects for major publishers like Marvel and DC Comics. Isaacs will be evaluating Comic Art entries in this year’s Scholastic Art Awards. We recently caught up with her to ask her about her secret origins, her work in the comics biz and her favorite superpower.

 

Rebekah at her desk with feline sidekick Fantastic Doughnut.

AYAW: You’re a comic book artist. Does that mean you really get to sit around reading comic books all day?

REBEKAH: You might think so, but I hardly get time to read comics, and I’ve heard other comics creators say the same. Our schedules are usually just too demanding to allow for a lot of reading time. Most artists work 8-12 hours a day (my average day is usually 10-12 hours). Although it’s lots of fun, I like to spend my few free hours with friends, since I work from home as many artists do. But that also means I can work in my pajamas! Read More