Katrina Scott. Feast Upon. Grade 12, Age 17. 2011 Gold Key, Art Portfolio.

Katrina Scott. Feast Upon. Grade 12, Age 17. 2011 Gold Key, Art Portfolio.

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We’re so thankful for the opportunity to get to know so many amazing and talented young artists and writers every year, and hope the above painting and poem below inspire you. The following comes from Allyson Peurifoy, Age 14, from Walterboro, South Carolina. It received a Silver Key in the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

As I wait,
an aroma of poetry fills the room.
My fingers run along
the tasseled table cloth,
and trumpets are blown.

I slowly cross my legs,
tuck my napkin into place,
and am served platefuls of poetry. Read More

Duck Tape Slider

Duck Tape® has always been a fallback tool for DIY repairs, but we’re seeing it used more and more as a medium by many artists. In fact, there’s been a steady increase in the number of art submissions made with duct tape over the years, and we’ve now created a unique opportunity for students to express their artistic skills using Duck Tape®.

Through this special partnership, one student will receive a $500 cash prize for their submission made with Duck Tape® in the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which are currently open! Read More

Hannah Olbash. Dark Walk. Grade 12, Age 18. 2013 Silver Medal, Photography.

Hannah Olbash. Dark Walk. Grade 12, Age 18. 2013 Silver Medal, Photography.

This Halloween inspired Writing of the Month comes from Lia Schaffner, Age 14, from New York, NY. It won a Gold Key in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category of the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. We hope it gives you the creeps!

You arrive somewhere. You smell rotten flesh and blood. You see tombstones surrounded by a wild fog that spreads into the darkness. You hear the whine of some ghost. You hear the crackle of bones clacking together. You touch one of the stones. Mossy. You touch some slimy stuff that has a texture like a brain. You are hungry and take out your tongue to feel the rain. It tastes of skin and hair.
Where are you? Everywhere feels haunted. Everywhere feels dead. Are you in hell? There are ghosts haunting this place. You remember as a little kid on Halloween your friends used to put a flashlight below their mouth. Haunting you with blood and bone stories.
Are you in a ghost story? Are you somewhere in a book?
You are in a story. With no way to get out. It’s not safe since you are alive.
Follow these instructions and you will survive and get out of the story. There are places to find safety. You can die. You can live. This is one way I know… Read More

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)!

October 3 AYAW Book Launch[3]

On October 3rd, we partied like it was 2013—The Best Teen Writing of 2013, to be specific! Our book launch party for the newest edition of our annual anthology of Award-winning writing featured guest host, WNYC Radio host Brian Lehrer, who interviewed Loretta López, 2010 Portfolio Gold Medalist and the book’s Editor. Here’s a brief excerpt:

In your introduction you write about the role of technology today and our quick access to information. Can you speak more about that?
A lot of our experiences right now are very passive, about just watching. What I love about this book is that every writer in this book took the time to sit down, face themselves and pay attention; be frustrated in the process of writing and I like that.

Did you find frustration in the writing process? You told me you are writing a novel. What is your approach to writing?
I realized a while ago that if you just wait for inspiration to hit you you’re going to wait a long time. I write every day for at least two hours– I force myself and set my alarm. Then I go out and see people, return and dive back into a fantastical world I’m creating. Read More

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