We Are Safe by Taylor Leong for Start.Write.Now

We Are Safe by Taylor Leong for Start.Write.Now

This summer, we encouraged you to Start.Write.Now! Invited to share your out-of-school bursts of creativity with us, many of you sent poems, short stories, paintings, drawings, and photographs. Check them out here in an album on our Facebook page! We hope that these samples of summer writing and artwork will inspire you to submit your own original efforts to the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Be sure to also see the creative tips, categories, artists, and writers we featured here this summer to help get you going, and visit our online Student Showcase to view past Award winners’ work.

As of 4:30 PM on October 21, we have received 4,057 Awards submissions. These entries came from makers and breakers in 48 states and 13 other locations including Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Egypt, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand! We counted 2,463 works of Art, 1,589 pieces of Writing, and many more entries for our Sponsored Awards – Future New, Duck TapeGedenk Award for Tolerance and Creativity & Citizenship.

Now it’s your turn! Click here to register for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards today and share your creative vision (or voice)!

Sam Duffy (center) at the National Constitution Center, with his dad Christopher (left) and the Alliance’s Senior Manager of National Programs, Scott Larner

2013 Scholastic Awards winner Sam Duffy (center) at the National Constitution Center, with his dad Christopher (left) and the Alliance’s Senior Manager of National Programs, Scott Larner

In 1870, a distinguished gentleman from Mississippi was duly elected to the US Senate. But when he presented his credentials in Washington, he was less than warmly welcomed. Why? Less than 5 years after the end of the Civil War, Hiram Rhodes Revels was the 1st African-American to serve in this post!

On September 17, 2013, Revels made history again by becoming a high-tech “leaf” on National Constitution Center’s popular exhibit, The American National Tree. The 15-year-old young man who wrote an essay to honor him, Sam Duffy (2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Key winner), chose him precisely because of the obstacles Revels faced:

“It is fitting that Senator Revels is recognized here at the U.S. Constitution Center, because when Hiram Revels was being proposed as the first African American senator of the United States, his opponents challenged his capacity by making constitutional arguments about his citizenship because of his race. I was born in New York City in 1998, and I have boundless freedoms as a native-born American citizen, but when my great uncle John Kim was a graduate student in Missouri in the 1950s, he was not allowed to go into restaurants, hotels and bathrooms because he was not white.” Read More

Bri Sandoval. Art Day. Grade 12, Age 18. 2013 Gold Key, Painting.

Bri Sandoval. Art Day. Grade 12, Age 18. 2013 Gold Key, Painting.

Tom Berger is the Assistant Director of Continuing Education at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and runs the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ Cleveland Art and Writing Regions (aka the Cuyahoga County Region). He recently helped us organize our first summer Boys.Write.Now workshop, part of a 5-city series of FREE writing workshops for boys in grades 7-12 where they were able to tell and share their stories, experiment, and express their creativity in a fun and supportive environment.

We asked him to share some of his favorite tips for staying creative. Check them out below! We hope they spark some new ideas that can be turned into a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards submission. Learn how to enter today!

Create Original Work
Write, doodle, draw, sculpt, design, compose etc… I hardly ever meet successful artists or writers who don’t have a journal or sketchbook that they regularly work creatively in. Ideas take time to grow and finished products take skills that need to be developed. Read More

Deanna Miller. The line began to blur between her fantasy world and her real world. But sometimes, just sometimes, there was an air of symmetry between the two. 2012 Gold Key, Digital Art.

Deanna Miller. The line began to blur between her fantasy world and her real world. But sometimes, just sometimes, there was an air of symmetry between the two. Grade 12, Age 17. 2012 Gold Key, Digital Art.

In a recent blog post, Start.Write.Now: Fantastic Journeys, we featured the 2013 Gold Medal-winning Science Fiction/Fantasy story, The Lions’ Den. After reading and relishing it, we couldn’t help asking ourselves once again: how did she do it? Seeking a satisfactory answer, we went right to the source: 18-year-old author and Texas native Mary Elizabeth Dubois. Check out our Q & A with her below. And flex your fantastic imaginations and fingers, because the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards launches on Monday, September 16!

What inspired you to choose this genre to write Lions’ Den?
I am usually inspired to write when I am in the middle of a crowd. The idea for my submitted piece, “The Lions’ Den,” came to me in the middle of a crowded pizza shop in New York City. I don’t need time, space, or comfort to write. All I need is an idea and my iPhone notepad app. Coffee and Earl Grey tea don’t hurt, either.

As far as the science fiction genre goes, I knew this theme needed to come across as futuristic in order to appear relevant and be understood. I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of the marching man. The man who continuously strives to better himself and create a peaceful world in which to live, and yet, comes to the end of his life realizing he has created nothing. Read More

Daniel Lion

Daniel in the Lion’s Den by Briton Riviere (1840-1920), painted in 1892.

Just the Facts: The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ Science Fiction/Fantasy Category includes writing that uses supernatural, magical, futuristic, scientific, and technological themes as a key element of the plot. All teens in 7-12 grade are invited to submit works of 600-3,000 words to the 2014 Scholastic Awards beginning September 16.
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The genre of fantasy allows a writer to travel through time, revisit ancient tales and reset them in the future, give voice to the outlandish and stretch our abilities to imagine and believe in the story we are being told. In “The Lions’ Den,” Mary Elizabeth Dubois (2013 Gold Medalist) soars back to biblical times for inspiration, and uses the apocryphal episode in which Daniel is placed in grave danger because he worships God. See if her re-imagining rings true for you—or at the very least, weaves its own magical web!

The Lions’ Den
Walking was such a treacherous thing.
She had been walking and walking and walking since she was a small child. Barely breathing, they taught her to walk. Before she learned how to eat or say her name, she was taught to walk.
Always walking.
Treacherous, treacherous walking. Read More

Glitchbusters and their teacher at the 2013 National Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall! From left: Ashwin Datta, Kyle Hiebel, Chitra Datta, Justin Mellott and Andrei Blebea.

Glitchbusters and their teacher at the 2013 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall! From left: Ashwin Datta, Justin Mellott, Chitra Datta, Kyle Hiebel, and Andrei Blebea.

What makes a video game not just fun, but addictively amazing? We asked Glitchbusters, a team of 4 high school students from Hillsboro, Oregon whose game earned a 2013 Gold Medal in our Video Games Category and a $1,000 AMD Game Changer Award. Almost as impressive as this recent achievement is that fact that they designed it as a team: they’ve been studying and designing games together for 4 years—and they’re still friends! Check out our Q & A with them below.

What is Glitchbusters? How did the group come together?
We’re Ashwin Datta, Andrei Blebea, Kyle Hiebel and Justin Mellott. Besides being friends and avid gamers ourselves, we have been programming for about 4 years. Our original games were all made in Game Maker while our latest game, Modern Health Care, was made in XNA, which is a programming framework based on C#.

What’s your 2013 Award-winning game about?
Building Spree: Mars Edition is an intricate tycoon game in which you must build and manage a colony on Mars. Read More