1Delaware student takes the stage at Art.Write.Now.Tour 2013 in Washington D.C.

Delaware students take the stage at Art.Write.Now.DC 2013 in Washington, D.C.

I first reached out to JoAnn Balingit about having the Delaware Writing Region as our February Local Highlight because of their awesome Facebook posts. The program does such a great job of showcasing the talented young writers in the region and really engages with the community to bring their work to the public. In our February Highlight, we’ll learn more about how the local program began, who the passionate people are behind the scenes, and what the awesome opportunities for Delaware writers are!

During the 2011 Scholastic Awards season, Kristin Pleasanton, a juror for the Delaware Art Region, was surprised to find our state wasn’t hosting a Delaware Writing Region. As an arts administrator, she knew how valuable a state-level writing contest could be. “The Delaware Division of the Arts is dedicated to cultivating and supporting the arts across our state,” says Pleasanton, the agency’s deputy director. “Encouraging and recognizing the writing talents of middle and high school students is vital to the promotion of the literary arts, and to a lifelong involvement with them.” She contacted JoAnn Balingit, Delaware’s Poet Laureate. Read More


The 2013 National Student Poets: Aline Dolinh, Sojourner Ahebee, Nathan Cummings, Michaela Coplen, and Louis Lafair.

Ten years ago, when I was still in high school, I received a National Portfolio Gold Medal from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for a chaotic clump of self-reflective poems I’d cobbled together and hoped would say something about who I was and who I hoped to be. I still remember the events that followed, although they’re hazy and hot and filmed over with the steam rising from cement on a New York afternoon in June: a start-of-summer, end-of-high-school blur that now revolves mainly around the numerous hors d’oeuvres I ate and how sore my feet were at the end of it all.

At that time, there was no National Student Poets Program—the program itself is only in its third year. Now, having returned, year after year, to volunteer during the National Events for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and editing The Best Teen Writing twice I’m the coordinator for the program. Read More

darnielleMountain Goats musician, alum and national writing juror of the Scholastic Awards, and now, first-time novelist John Darnielle will be in conversation with humorist John Hodgman on Monday, September 15 at Manhattan’s eclectic arts venue, Le Poisson Rouge.  To learn more and reserve a seat, click here.

Darnielle is on a book tour, promoting Wolf in White Van, a gripping and often mind-bending adventure featuring two teens caught in a role-playing game that crosses over into the real world—and when disaster strikes, the game’s  reclusive creator is called to account for it.

For more about the book, click here.  Here’s what John Hodgman had to say about it:

Wolf in White Van is utterly magnificent. I was surprised and moved and amazed page after page after page. I am talking about audible gasp type stuff, and also deeper, interior gasps of reflection and astonishment and gratitude. This story is a hard and beautiful human puzzle that will be a pleasure to solve and resolve over many readings. And you can quote me on that. Every day. That is all.”

Cummings Nathan 2013-07-15

Inaugural National Student Poet and Northeast Representative, Claire Lee, returns to the AYAW blog to interview the 2013 Class of National Student Poets for her “Poets on Poets” series.

This week’s interview is with National Student Poet and West Representative, Nathan Cummings!

Read More

Loretta Lopez: THE BIG IDEA.

Today we bring you the second installment of THE BIG IDEA with writer and alum Loretta Lopez! Loretta, a Guadalajara native, was a 2010 Gold Medal Writing Portfolio recipient and the editor of The Best Teen Writing of 2013. Currently residing in Austin, TX, watch the video above to hear this young alum talk about her inspiration, current projects and a sometimes collaborative creative process!

You can also take a look at Loretta’s tips for staying cool and creative in the summer months HERE!


Inaugural National Student Poet and Northeast representative, Claire Lee, returns to the AYAW blog to interview the 2013 Class of National Student Poets for her “Poets on Poets” series.

This week’s interview is with National Student Poet and Midwest Representative, Sojourner Ahebee! Read More