Elizabeth Brown. The Pond. Grade 12, Age 18. 2012 Gold Medal, Drawing. Listen to Elizabeth discuss her work here.

January’s Writing of the Month comes from Ben Caldwell, Age 17, of Vancouver, Washington. His poem “Around the Campfire” is featured on the home page of our website this week along with Elizabeth Brown’s Gold Medal-winning drawing “The Pond” (above). Each week we will be showcasing 2 national winning works (1 art and 1 writing) from the past year on our home page slider bar. We hope you’ll take some time to enjoy each piece and learn more about the young artists and writers behind them! Below is a few poems from Ben Caldwell‘s 2012 Gold Medal- winning poetry collection.

Around the Campfire

There is a place
between marrow and bone,
between midnight and morrow,
where we are flies floundering in honey.
A place where heartbeats quicken
and minds slow, slow, slow down.
Where even the light is listless
and the texture of denim is dimmed.
There I find solace
in counting your freckles,
in that place with a small pile of bundled socks
between atoms,
between the earth and the sky.
Read More

Sabrina De La Cerda. Whimsical Snowman. Grade 8, Age 13. 2012 Gold Key, Drawing.

The following short story comes from Alexa Langen, Age 18, from Key Biscayne, Florida. It won an American Voices Award in the 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Proud, stolid, surveying his kingdom with stone eyes, the snowman towers over the silent white garden. From behind the distant house the afternoon sun reaches out and catches a bead of water, which drips from the snowman’s carrot nose and seeps into his woolen scarf. His body is the pure white of the fresh snow that bedecks the yard, undisturbed except for where the two tracks of footsteps wend their way to the base of the ephemeral monument.

Where the footsteps end, two young children stand hand-in-hand and admire their creation.

“He’s perfect,” the girl says. “Wait.” She fixes some of the scarf’s tassels. “Now he’s perfect. No…” She makes some minor adjustment to his buttons and stepped back, eyeing him critically.

“Hailey,” the boy says.

“Maybe he needs a hat,” Hailey says.

“Hailey,” he says again. “Hailey, listen.”

“What, Brennan?” She turns at last to look at her little brother, annoyed that he would interrupt her careful inspection. Read More

Untitled. Audrey Bell. Grade 10, Age 15. 2012 Gold Medal, Painting.

This 2012 Scholastic Award-winning story comes from Natalie Shoultz, Age 14, from Coralville, Iowa. It won a national Silver Medal in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category.

A moonless night. Stars spot the sky, creating a never ending web of light through the pitch-blackness. They make me feel so small, insignificant.

Suddenly, a shooting star streaks the sky. One blinding array of light, gone in a flash. I smile at it happily. I feel content, comfortable, here in my small space. I love my world. I wish I didn’t have to leave so soon.

But my time is running out. I wish I didn’t have to go. But I do. I always do. Read More

We’re only one week away from the National Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall! As a special recognition of our Award winners, the Empire State Building will be lit in gold on May 31, 2012. In anticipation of this night of celebration, we’d like to share an essay by 2012 Gold Medalist Emily Mack on her inspirational experience at last year’s Award Ceremony. Enjoy!

Screaming Gold by Emily Mack, Age 13, of Chicago, IL

I’m in the hotel bathroom staring into the mirror then back at my cheetah-print make-up bag. Today is the day. Today is the day I want to be beautiful.

I open up my bottle of eye shadow primer and glaze it on to my eyelids, smoothing the lid, creating a neutral base. My face is a canvas, and my eyeliners, mascaras, shadows, compacts, glosses, and stains are Picasso’s pigments.

I busy myself primping as my mom yells at me to hurry up. But I want to prolong this. I want to savor every moment of this night. Read More

Elizabeth Alexander. Song Sparrow. Grade 12, Age 17. 2012 Gold Medal, Drawing.

In honor of National Poetry Month, we’ve been collecting poetry lines from all of you on Facebook and Twitter, which we’ll combine at the end of the month to create one long poem. We’ve also been featuring a Poem-A-Day on our Facebook page, which showcases poems from some of this year’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards winners. Today, however, is all about poems that you can take on the go – it’s Poem In Your Pocket Day! And, we’re celebrating it with Scholastic Award-winning poems that are 15 lines or less. Check ’em out!


The Invisible Poem
I once wrote a poem with invisible ink
So that when you saw it, you wouldn’t think it stinks
You see, I couldn’t think of anything to write
Nor any images to delight or excite
And so here is my sad little ditty:
Read More

Michelle Kwak. Love Stoned Flow. Grade 12, Age 17. 2011 Gold Medal, Mixed Media.

Today, in recognition of Valentine’s Day, we’re featuring a few love-themed poems from last year’s National Award winners to make your hearts melt!


Mason Jars
Sophia Dillon, Age 15
2011 Gold Medalist

Peggy collects beautiful things in mason jars
like crow claws and relief and
a ringlet of her neighbor’s hair.
She hoards them under her bunk bed,
stuffed back behind the folds of her duvet.

Read More