Sean Pettiford, "Celedon." Age 17, Grade 12. 2010 Art Portfolio Gold Medal, Ceramics & Glass.

This delicate category is one of the most exciting and challenging of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. One of our 2010 Portfolio Gold Medalists even submitted a portfolio made entirely of ceramics. Read More

Here at the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, we’re always on the look-out for exciting ways to encourage creative thinking. We recently stumbled upon Whyville, an online island off the coast of Southern California that offers visitors and residents access to virtual tropical reefs and ski slopes, games, theaters, museums, community centers, art projects and shopping. Users can go SCUBA diving, start their own fashion labels, organize events, and even learn math and science through playing games. Even better, earn clams along the way. Read More

High School Art Teacher Larry Taguba with his student, Kayleigh Waters, at Carnegie Hall in June 2010. Kayleigh won a 2010 National Silver Medal for a drawing, Right Between the Eyes. (Credit: Stuart Ransom).

Almost 5,000 miles away from our main headquarters in New York City, students in Larry Taguba’s art classes are submitting work to the Scholastic Art Awards (and winning!). In addition to teaching high school art at Leilehua High School in Oahu, Hawai’i, Larry is also the President of the Hawai’i Art Education Association. One of the toughest challenges he’s faced over the course of his 33-year career, however, was temporarily losing his passion for teaching. Here’s how he recovered it and established a nationally competitive high school art department.

About nineteen years ago I returned to the island of Oahu to teach at my alma mater, Leilehua High School. But it wasn’t long after I started my new position that I lost my passion for the job. Read More

Skye St. James. "The Girl's Picture Book." Grade 7. 2010 Gold Medal, Photography.

Brittany Murnahan, a high school English teacher, sent in a question about book publishing for the classroom.

Brittany asked:

Good morning!

I teach English at a private school. For my January Term (J-Term) course, I am planning a two-week workshop in which my students will work on writing and publishing a children’s book collectively. Do you have any advice for us that may be any different than advice for the normal author? Should we raise money to pay for the publishing? Read More

Kerri Schlottman, Director of External Relations at the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, shares some of her favorite reads.

Primary role: Kerri Schlottman oversees the External Relations Department at the Alliance offices in New York City. Besides working hard to get exposure for Scholastic Award winners through exhibitions, publications and press, she’s also responsible for securing funding for our programs and organizing events to engage the public with Award-winning works and their talented creators.

Secret fact: Kerri writes novels in her spare time. In fact, she’s participating in the November National Novel Writing Challenge.

Kerri: A very wise woman once told me, ‘You’re going to be many things.’ It was during my first semester of college and I had to declare a major and, typically, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Many (and I won’t tell you how many) years later I can honestly say that she was right: I’m going to be many things. Read More

Image: Cover for Havemercy. Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett. (Spectra, 2008).

The books Havemercy, Shadow Magic and Dragon Soul are part of a fantasy trilogy written by 2004 Scholastic Writing Portfolio Gold Medalist Jaida Jones and her co-author Danielle Bennett. The books begin with a tale of two cities, Volstov and Ke-Han. Amidst warring magicians, macho dragon riders and their mysterious mechanical steeds, these rich characters must ultimately work together to find lasting peace. How did Jaida and Danielle publish three books (with a fourth on the way!) and conceive a rich fictional world with original characters? Like many epic sagas, it started out with a Scholastic Award, a story about firefighters, and a sensitivity training class at a summer job. Read More