Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit your Affiliate Partner webpage for more information about specific guidelines and deadlines for your region.

Getting Started

Who can participate in the Scholastic Awards?

Participation in the Scholastic Awards is open to students enrolled in:

  • grades 7–12 for the 2017–18 school year;
  • public, private, home school, or other educational programs in the United States, U.S. territories, Canada, and American Schools abroad.

Work created in the spring semester of 2017 is eligible for submission, so long as the student hasn’t graduated. Students should submit in their current grade level. Seniors who will graduate mid-term in December 2017 may participate.

How do I submit my work?

To see the step by step submission process, visit the How to Enter page.

The submission process for Special Awards is the same as for regular submissions. In the student’s Scholastic Awards account, there is a step in the work upload process titled “Special Awards” where the student can click a checkbox indicating which Special Award they want their work to be considered for. The submission deadline for Special Awards is the same as the deadline in your region.

What information will I need to create an account?

To create your account you’ll need:

  • Your Name
  • Your Grade
  • School Zip Code
  • A Valid Email Address

To complete your profile, we’ll ask for:

  • Home Mailing Address
  • Phone Number
  • Parent/Guardian Name
  • Date of Birth

We’ll also ask for some demographic information and additional contact information so that your parents or guardians can stay informed, but these fields are not required.

Are educators required to create an account?

We strongly encourage all educators to create a Scholastic Awards account, though they are not required to do so. Educators with accounts have the ability to create, edit, view, and monitor the registration and submission progress of their students online.

Educators of National Medalists will not be able to reserve National Ceremony tickets or receive their educator award if they do not have an account.

Can a student submit work without an educator present?

Yes, students can create a profile and upload work on their own as long as they have their educator’s full name and email address. After uploading work online, students must print their submission forms and have an educator review and sign the forms.

How should I select my school if I am enrolled in an online school, home school network, or long distance program?

Students enrolled in online or virtual schools, home school networks, or other long-distance learning programs should check the “home schooled” box instead of adding a school to their Scholastic Awards account.

Online schools, home school networks, or long distance programs can be added as an Other Educational Program (OEP) after creating an account. This will allow students to link OEP educators to their submission.

Why is a valid email address required for participation in the Scholastic Awards?

The Scholastic Awards will email you important information regarding submission deadlines, award notifications, and additional opportunities. Be sure to enter an email address you check frequently.

My school isn’t on the list. What do I do?

Search for your school by typing in the school’s zip code into the search field. If the school doesn’t appear on the drop down menu, click “Can’t find school, click here” at the bottom of the menu.

Enter your school information into the form that appears on your screen. When you are finished, click the “CREATE” button.  The system will search for your school once more. If you don’t see it in the final list, click the option to add the new school you entered. Please allow 2 to 3 business days for the request to be processed. You will be contacted if there are any issues.

Can international students apply?

Students in Canada, a U.S. territory, or a U.S. accredited American school abroad may submit work to the Scholastic Awards. Foreign exchange students who are temporarily residing in the U.S. may participate if they are attending an American school.

I have an account, but can’t remember my email or password. What do I do?

Click on the “Forgot Password” link on the login page.

Is there a specific theme students have to address?

There are no themes for Scholastic Awards submissions, with the exception of Special Awards. For general submissions, students are free to explore any topic they choose.

I created my work at a program outside of school. Should I enter the school I attend or the program where my work was created?

Students are required to create an account linking their day school and will be able to add one out of school program as an Other Educational Program (OEP) when entering works. The Scholastic Awards are not in a position to determine what constitutes an OEP because many of the educational spaces in which students are creating work outside of school are not easily defined.

In our exhibitions, publications, and notifications, we focus on highlighting students’ demographic information (grade, age, city, and state) along with their school. OEP names will not be listed, but educators from the OEP will still be listed if that is what the student has requested.

Work Upload

I created my work independently. Do I have to list an educator?

Even when works are created independently, students are required to enter their day school and have their submission forms signed by someone at school. The person who signs the form can be an educator or a guidance counselor at school who is familiar with the student’s work. The signature indicates that this instructor has reviewed the work and can attest to the originality and authenticity of the work.

Where do I find the submission forms?

Submission forms are generated through your Scholastic Awards account. The forms will be generated after all profile information has been entered and work has been uploaded. Signed forms must be mailed. We don’t accept submission forms via email or fax.

What are the submission fees?

$5.00 per individual submission and $20.00 per portfolio submission.

What should I do if I can’t afford the submission fee?

Fee Waiver Forms are available to students for whom fees are a barrier to participation. Complete the form and submit it with your submission form.

How do I know which region I’m in? Where do I submit my work?

Students submit works to an Affiliate Partner who manages the Scholastic Awards program in their region. To find your Affiliate Partner, visit the Guidelines & Deadlines page. Gold Key awarded works will automatically advance to national judging.

Can I make changes to my work after the submission deadline has passed?

No, students and educators can no longer edit works online after the submission deadline.

Can work be submitted as a group collaboration?

Collaborative submissions are accepted in the following categories only: Film & Animation and Video Games. Up to 5 collaborators can be added per submission.

All collaborators must meet all eligibility criteria (in grades 7–12 and enrolled in public, private, parochial, home school, or other educational program in the U.S., U.S. territories, Canada, and American Schools abroad).

One team member creates an account, uploads the work, and lists all collaborators. Collaborators who are not listed will not be recognized.

If the submission receives a Scholastic Award, each collaborator will receive individual certificates and medals.

Are there size limitations for submitted artwork?

While there are no size limitations for art submissions, oversized works may not be displayed at regional and national exhibitions.

What size should my image be?

Uploaded images should have a print resolution of 300dpi and the file size should be around 3MB–5MB. If you are unable to provide your file at “Excellent” print quality then upload the best quality you have.

What are the art and writing deadlines for my region?

Submission deadlines range from December to January and vary by region. To find your regional deadline, visit the Guidelines & Deadlines page.

How do I tag my work?

To tag a work, click on the text field in the “Tag your work” section of the work upload process. Type in a word that represents your work and press enter to add it as a tag. If your preferred tags don’t appear in the suggestions drop-down menu, you can continue to type your tag words. Five tags are allowed per work.

To change a tag you’ve added, click one of the tag “balloons” that appear at the top of the section to remove it, type in a new tag, and press enter.

How do I include my novel in my writing portfolio?

Follow these four steps to include a novel in your portfolio:

  1. Upload your novel excerpt in the Short Story category.
  2. Include the words “NOVEL EXCERPT” in the title of the work.
  3. Save and return to your dashboard and check the box for “I plan to submit this work as part of a portfolio only.”
  4. Add the new Short Story submission to your writing portfolio.

These instructions are only if you want to include your novel in your portfolio. You must upload your novel in the Novel category if you want it to be judged individually, as well.

Category

Can I submit more than one work, submit works to more than one category, or submit both art and writing?

Generally there is no limit to number of submissions for any categories, with the exception of Photography and Portfolio. Each student is allowed to submit 16 works in the Photography category, and two art and two writing portfolios. The Portfolio category is open to 12th graders only.

Students may submit different works to multiple categories, but are not allowed to submit the same work to more than one category. Submission deadlines may vary for art and writing in each region.

Please visit your regional webpage for specific guidelines and deadlines.

Can a portfolio submission include a variety of media (paintings, photographs, video clips) or genre (poetry, short story, personal essay)?

Portfolio submissions consist of eight works that can come from one category or any combination of multiple categories. Students may submit two art portfolios and two writing portfolios, but all works must be unique and the same work cannot be submitted in both portfolios.

Video Game Design and Future New works cannot be included in art portfolio submissions.

Novels can be included in writing portfolios, but students must follow special instructions in order to add them to portfolios.

Are there word limits for writing?

Yes, word limits vary depending on the category. If your work exceeds the word limit of a category, please submit a shortened version of the work to the Scholastic Awards.

Can I submit both a portfolio and works in individual categories?

Yes, students may submit to both portfolio and individual categories. Remember to indicate on your dashboard if a work should be considered portfolio only, or as both a portfolio and individual submission.

If I created my work with two different media (e.g., pencil and paint), is that considered mixed media?

No, mixed media consists of collage or assemblage where materials protrude from the 2D plane. A work done with two different media should be classified by the dominant media. For example, a drawing completed mostly in pencil with some painted elements should be submitted in the Drawing & Illustration category.

How do I choose which works to include in my art or writing portfolio?

Students should submit works that best exemplify originality, technical skill, and emergence of a personal vision or voice. Please read the category descriptions for specific portfolio submission criteria.

Policy

Can I re-submit a work that I submitted to the Scholastic Awards in a previous year?

Previously awarded works can be re-submitted only as part of a portfolio. Works that did not earn a Regional or National Award in previous years may be re-submitted to individual categories if they have been edited significantly.

Can I submit my Scholastic Awards submission to another program at the same time?

If you plan to submit work to another awards program or publication, review their rules first to confirm that they are willing to share rights and will not hold exclusive rights to your work. In the case that your work receives a Scholastic Award, it must be free to use in our publications or exhibitions.

Can I submit work that has been previously published, exhibited, or recognized by another program?

If your work has been previously published, exhibited, or recognized by another program, confirm that they do not hold exclusive rights to your work before submitting it to the Scholastic Awards. In the case that your work receives a Scholastic Award, it must be free to use in our publications or exhibitions.

What is your plagiarism policy?

Students are encouraged to submit works that are original and unique to their voice and/or vision. For more information about the Scholastic Awards Copyright & Plagiarism policy, review the links below.

Video explaining originality

Copyright & Plagiarism Policy

Participation Terms

Do I need to submit a consent form from the subject(s) in my work?

You are responsible for getting consent from individuals who are recognizable in your work. By signing the submission form, you indicate you have their permission. You don’t have to submit a separate form.

My Regional Award

What are regional awards?

Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention, and American Visions & Voices Nominee.

Which regional awards advance to national judging?

Gold Keys and American Vision & Voices nominees advance to national judging.

I received a Gold Key award. What happens to my work now?

Gold Key works automatically advance to national judging. In New York City, nationally renowned creative professionals review Gold Key works from across the country. Jurors select work for national recognition based on three criteria: Originality, Technical Skill, and Emergence of a Personal Vision or Voice.

National Awards will be announced in March. For regional guidelines, visit your Affiliate Partner’s webpage.

If I receive an award at the regional level, will my work be exhibited or published?

Regional programs determine which works are included in their exhibitions and publications. Please contact your Affiliate Partner for more information.

Are students who earn regional awards eligible to receive scholarships?

Yes, please contact your Affiliate Partner to learn about scholarships, grants, and gifts they may award.

Is receiving a regional award prestigious to colleges and universities?

Yes. Like any other achievement of this magnitude, many colleges take your regional Scholastic Award into consideration when determining admissions and scholarships. Be sure to mention it on your college application and resume.

My National Award

What are national awards?

Gold Medal, Silver Medal, Gold Medal Portfolio, Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolio, Silver Medal Portfolio, American Visions & Voices Medal, Best-in-Grade Award, Civic Expression Award, The Herblock Award for Editorial Cartoon, and New York Life Award.

What do students receive if they earn a National Medal?

National Medalists receive certificates and medals and are considered for national exhibition, publication, and scholarship opportunities. Gold and Special Award Medalists are also invited to attend the annual National Events in New York City.

Are students who earn National Medals eligible to receive scholarships?

Yes, sixteen graduating seniors are chosen to receive the Gold Medal Portfolio Award, which is accompanied by a $10,000 scholarship. Silver Medal Portfolio with Distinction scholarships of $1,000 are also given to select Award recipients as determined by the national portfolio panel. Additional scholarships are provided annually through our Special Awards.

Seniors earning Gold Medals in individual categories, Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolio, and Gold Medal Portfolio award recipients are eligible for additional scholarship consideration from the Alliance’s Scholarship Partners. To take advantage of additional scholarship opportunities provided by these colleges and universities, students need to have already applied and been accepted.

How do you determine which students receive scholarships for portfolios?

Portfolios are blindly adjudicated. The top 1% are then presented to a scholarship committee, which awards sixteen $10,000 Gold Medal Portfolio scholarships (eight writing and eight art). Additional $1,000 scholarships are given to students earning Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolios. The committee consists of Alliance staff, board members, and national partners. They consider a number of factors when selecting scholarship recipients, including: type of school (private, public, etc.), household income, geography, gender, and ethnicity.

If I earn a National Medal, will my work be published?

Works that receive a National Medal are displayed in the Scholastic Awards online gallery.

A selection of National Medalist works will be included in the Scholastic Awards’ publications, including the National Catalog and The Best Teen Writing. Students are notified when their work is published and will receive a copy of the publication in which their work appears.

If I earn a National Medal, will my artwork be exhibited?

A selection of works by National Medalists will be included in the National Exhibition in New York City. The exhibition includes works that received American Voices & Visions, Gold Medal Portfolio, Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolio, Gold Medal, and Special Awards. Writing submissions will be available on iPads at the exhibition. Due to space limitations, we are not able to exhibit the works of all medalists.

When will my artwork be returned?

Regional Exhibitions: Please contact your Affiliate Partner regarding art return from a regional exhibition.

National Exhibition: National Medal works may be requested and held by the national office of the Scholastic Awards for up to two years for additional exhibition possibilities. Please notify the Scholastic Awards if you move because the work will be returned to the student’s home address.

View the comic to see the 2-year lifecycle of your work, find out what happens when you ship it to NYC for the National Exhibition, and when to expect your work back.

Why do you hold National Medalist artwork for two years?

The Alliance works to secure additional opportunities for exhibitions beyond the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Exhibition. For example, work is exhibited at the U.S. Department of Education, the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences in Washington, D.C., and in the Art.Write.Now.Tour, which features works of art and writing at select venues across the country. Students will be notified if their work is shown in these special exhibitions.

General

What is the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers?

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, identifies teenagers with exceptional artistic and literary talent and brings their remarkable work to a national audience through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The Alliance provides opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships. Each year, the Alliance partners with more than 100 Affiliate Partners across the country to bring the program to local communities. Teens in grades 7–12 can apply in 29 categories of art and writing for the chance to earn scholarships and have their works exhibited or published.

What are the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards?

Established in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the nation’s largest, longest-running, most prestigious visual and literary arts program recognizing creative accomplishments of students in grades 7–12. It is a symbol of excellence that can bolster resumes, college applications, and scholarship applications. All National Medalists earn a place on the National Medalist recipient list. Selected works will be featured in the National Catalog, The Best Teen Writing anthology, and the Art.Write.Now exhibition program.

Receiving a Scholastic Award offers the opportunity for scholarships. At the regional level, seniors who receive Awards have access to more than $3.5 million in scholarships from local institutions. At the national level, $10,000 scholarships are given to 16 graduating seniors whose portfolios earn Gold Medals. Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolio recipients receive $1,000 scholarships. Seniors who earn these honors can leverage partial to full-ride scholarships from a network of 60 arts universities and institutes, which annually earmark $5 million in additional support.

What are Affiliate Partners?

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented in local communities by our Affiliate Partners, a dedicated network of more than 100 organizations across the country. Affiliate Partners support educators, students, and parents when submitting work; organize local judging by professional artists and writers; recognize students at public ceremonies; and showcase awarded work through exhibitions, publications, and readings. Affiliate Partners also submit their Gold Key works for consideration at the national level.

What is the Region-at-Large program?

Students who live in areas that do not have an Affiliate Partner can participate in the Awards at the regional level through Region-at-Large. They have the same opportunity to earn Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention Awards, as well as have their works advance to the national level; however, there are no local ceremonies or exhibitions.

Are there opportunities for Alums of the Scholastic Awards?

Yes! We are always looking for Alums of the Scholastic Awards to participate as regional or national jurors. If you are interested in being a juror, please complete our online form.

Join our Alumni LinkedIn Group for Alumni opportunities and view our contact page for more ways to stay in touch with the Scholastic Awards.

My work received a Scholastic Award and now another organization wants to publish it. How do I credit the Scholastic Awards?

Please use the language below to grant permission to other publications to publish works that received a Scholastic Award. 

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers hereby grants your organization permission to reprint the following work:

[title of work]

The Alliance for Young Artist & Writers requests that the work be credited to the Alliance in the following manner:

© Alliance for Young Artists & Writers/Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Used with permission.

Please send a copy of the publication, or a link to the work online, once it has been published.

Physical copies can be mailed to:

Alliance for Young Artists & Writers
557 Broadway
New York, NY 10012

I saw a piece of student work that I’d like to buy. Can you send me the student’s contact information or contact them on my behalf?

The Alliance does not participate in the sale of student works, nor are we able to give out student contact information.