Min Jung Son, Love Me Not, Grade 12, Age 19
Gold Medal, American Visions Award, 2013


Happy Valentine’s Day! In honor of this special day we would like to share some poems from past Scholastic Art & Writing Award winners. We hope you enjoy these beautiful words and find the inspiration to write your own poem today!


Letter from Orfeo to his Lover. Guisa, Cuba. 1959.

They say the snake has eyes of glass,
that trees of royal ebony shudder to life and hum
morbid tales, but I know better. I know the serpent’s
fangs. I know that black bark breaks under bullets
when compañeros (Borrachos, sin vergüenza) stoop
under boredom. I know the sap-stained edge
of the machete’s blade. I know the stench of mud,
bubbling beneath boots, when we sink and steep
in it after the crazed chirping of máquina guns
and the tremulous roars of bombas break the air.
The revolution rattles on and drags my scarred limbs with it. Read More

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

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

Caroline Brustowicz. Storm. Grade 12, Age 18. 2011 Silver Key, Painting.

Caroline Brustowicz. Storm. Grade 12, Age 18. 2011 Silver Key, Painting.

Excerpted from Scholastic’s On Our Minds blog. Click here for the full post by Lia Zneimer.

It’s been six months since Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, destroying hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses, and schools, and leaving a devastating path of destruction in its wake. The damage was severe, but from the tragedy also came inspiring stories of courage and resilience. We all respond to tragedies like Sandy in different ways: some volunteer to deliver supplies to those in need; others pledge their time to disaster-relief organizations or donate money to organizations like the Red Cross. And some respond with art or writing that beautifully encapsulates the experience itself.

This year, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, received dozens of submissions that dealt with Sandy and its aftermath. One such piece was by 12-year-old Leigh Brooks from Brooklin, ME, who received a Gold Key for Poetry. As National Poetry Month draws to a close, we thought it’d be a perfect time to share Leigh’s poem:

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy
A behemoth of a storm
Travels her slow path across the Gulf of Mexico
Intent on the juicy prize: the New England coast

Cities lie far away in the distance,
She tires of water,
She hungers for the feast of buildings
The crunchy cold concrete, the white-washed walls Read More

Alexandra Huey. Woodland Creature (a detail). Grade 8, Age 13. 2012 Gold Medal, Digital Art. Listen to Alexandra discuss her winning work here.

Happy Earth Day! April’s Writing of the Month comes from Elijah Santner, Age 15, of New Paltz, NY, who won a Gold Key this year for his poem that celebrates the very ground we walk on, “I Believe in Dirt”. You can watch Elijah read his winning poem aloud on YouTube. Enjoy!

I was thirteen years old,
when my science teacher told me that dirt was a bad thing.
She claimed that if it were a good thing, we would call it “soil
I was always upset about that.

What gave her the right
to label one kind of Earthly matter better than another?
I would walk into class,
My shoes heavy with mud
That felt warm and bright under my
Discount rack sneakers
and she would say
Elijah, you can’t come in here with all that dirt.”
And I wanted to say
If only you knew
What it meant to run with
Bare feet through soft fields in the early morning,
With the earth still damp
From the dew of the dawn. Read More

Tisha Antique. Science of Love. Grade 12, Age 17. 2012 Gold Medal. Tisha’s drawing portrays the thoughts of a person who is trying to find the logic in love. Through her art, she wants to remind everyone to cherish the intangible, and to just go with it! Listen to Tisha discuss her work here.

Happy Valentine’s Day! February’s Writing of the Month comes from Jordan Myers, Age 18, of Alexandria, VA. Jordan admits to being a science geek and tries to make sense of love in his Gold Medal-winning Humor piece by developing a theory to explain the dating process. Learn about his journey below and listen to him discuss his work here!

Dating is confusing to those unfamiliar with its rules and regulations. The strange signals that are used by both sides, the inevitable miscommunications that occur, and the discouraging awkwardness that permeates the environment, all conspire to make this vital component of life so difficult to obtain. It appears that each gender has a dissimilar set of standards and perceptions in which they operate, which only serve to maximize confusion. Read More