Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

December 15, 2020
By AdmissionSight

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Artists and writers like Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Stephen King, and Leena Dunham had to start somewhere in getting recognition for their talent, and the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards was the perfect setting. These writers and artists once received awards as teens in this national competition which recognizes 2,800 high school students in over 29 categories of art and writing each year.

What is Scholastic Art and Writing Competition?

Established by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers in 1923, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is sponsored by organizations like the New York Times, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Scholastic Inc. Categories for entry range from architecture, industrial design, film, animation, jewelry, video game design, dramatic script, journalism, and more. This is a competition for artists and writers who have spent years honing their craft and seek to distinguish themselves as leaders in the art and writing community.

Each year high school students enter and eagerly wait for the reply from judges to claim their fame in the art and writing community. More than $300,000 in scholarships, travel fare, and tuition support for college was awarded last year to twenty-three recipients whose works explored subjects such as personal grief, loss and bereavement, awareness of climate change, the current political climate in the US, and responsible civic life. Winning submissions were picked based on their originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal vision or voice. Check out the online galleries here.

Students who are nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards also have the chance to present their creations in a New York City gallery or Boston gallery. Last year the national ceremonies were held in Carnegie Hall, the Pratt Manhattan Gallery at Pratt Institute, the Shelia C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons School of Design, and Tufts University gallery.

wo students crafting artwork and painting for the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition.


Scholastic Art and Writing Past Winners

Scholarship winners in 2019 produced works such as a stop-animation video which chronicles the death of a whale through the use of recycled plastic grocery bags and water bottles collected by the artist through her friends, or a short story about how Paris will sink below sea level if humankind continues to ignore the impact of climate change. In prior years, the gold medal was awarded for a 10-minute short film titled “Usual” which is about an attempt to break away from the repetitiveness of American corporate culture, and which the soundtrack for the film was even created by the director herself. Another medal winner for the writing competition now edits for Winter Tangerine, a literary publication founded shortly after receipt of her award.

Many winners go on to be one of the only 20 students nominated for the U.S. Presidential Scholars in Arts program, establish careers for publications like the New York Times, receive sponsorship from the Norman Mailer Center or Poetry Society of America, retain positions to travel around the country and make presentations in high schools for organizations such as  YoungArts, and are recruited by art-focused universities like Princeton, Kenyon, Colombia College of Chicago, Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

Young Art Scholars paint a symbolic picture

How to Apply?

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is now accepting submissions for the 2020 competition, and guidelines and deadlines for submission vary by region and can be found here.  Over 250,000 submissions are evaluated by judges each year. To submit students must be 13 or older, and enrolled grades 7-12 at a high school in the US, US territories, Canada, or an accredited American school in order to compete. You can submit your work electronically, but it must include a payment or fee waiver, and a signature by a parent/guardian and educator. The submitted work must first be regionally recognized by one of the 100 local affiliates to proceed in being nationally evaluated by a team of experts.

Be aware that this competition has grown in popularity as the college admissions process has become increasingly difficult as college recruiters are now looking to see that students have worked extensively to develop extracurricular connections, experiences, and community recognition outside of high school classrooms. Art and writing will always involve criticism and societal pressure to stand out from the rest and make your work shine, and it is never too early to start trying your hand at getting ahead of the competition.

Want to Learn More?

To learn more about how to enter and win competitions like the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards which will make you stand out as a college applicant, and other ways to enhance your personal statements, supplemental materials, application materials, and skillsets for interviews, visit the AdmissionSight website. Roughly 75% of AdmissionSight students are accepted into Ivy League and the top 10 universities. You could be next, so don’t miss the opportunity to register with AdmissionSight now before your application deadline.



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