Scholastic Art & Writing Awards - Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

 

Categories

Art CategoriesWriting Categories
Architecture & Industrial DesignCritical Essay
Ceramics & GlassDramatic Script
Comic ArtFlash Fiction
DesignJournalism
Digital ArtHumor
Drawing & IllustrationNovel Writing
Editorial CartoonPersonal Essay & Memoir
Expanded ProjectsPoetry
FashionScience Fiction & Fantasy
Film & AnimationShort Story
JewelryWriting Portfolio (graduating seniors only)
Mixed Media
Painting
Photography
Printmaking
Sculpture
Art Portfolio (graduating seniors only)

Art Categories

A Note on Size Limitation for All Art Categories
Regional programs may limit the size of work that they accept. Please refer to your regional guidelines for details.

Oversized works that earn National Medals are not guaranteed opportunities for display in the National Exhibition.

Architecture & Industrial Design

Category Description

This category also includes Industrial Design
Plans for or models of structures, and environments, systems, or products.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Building designs, landscape designs, interior designs, urban plans, or product designs. Can include 2D work such as hand-drawn sketches, computer-aided designs, blueprints, and floor plans, OR 3D work such as handmade or 3D printed scale models, maquettes, or prototypes.

Special Instructions

Plans may be hand-drawn or computer-generated. Models must be sturdy and able to endure shipping and exhibition.

Submissions

You can upload four images for each Architecture submission.

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Additional Instructions

If you are submitting a 2-D work (a design as opposed to a model), select “0” for the “Depth” and “Weight” fields.

Work Type

3-D Work (Height x Width x Diameter and Weight)

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Ceramics & Glass

Category Description

Handcrafted objects made from ceramics or glass.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Anything made exclusively out of ceramics and/or glass belongs in this category. This includes busts, figures, abstract forms, vases, teapots, bowls, plates, cups, tiles, tableware or other vessels. Ceramic pieces may include earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, etc. Glass pieces may include stained glass, cast glass, fused glass, blown glass, etc.

Special Instructions

  • Unfired ceramics and oil-based clay works should not be submitted.
  • Ceramic or glass pieces intended to be worn for personal adornment should be submitted in the Jewelry category.

Submissions

You can upload four images for each Ceramics & Glass submission.

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Work Type

3-D Work (Height x Width x Diameter and Weight)

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Comic Art

Category Description

A pictorial narrative in deliberate sequence—with or without text—that tells a story or develops an idea through use of a single or multiple panels. 

Examples (including but not limited to)

Comic strips, comic books, storyboards, web comics, or selections from graphic novels.

Special Instructions

Do not base characters and plots on already published comic books or published series. Submissions

You can upload up to eight images for each Comic Art submission. We highly recommend that you enter the text of each panel in the field provided on the upload page. This will ensure jurors can read your work during judging.

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Additional Instructions

If your submission consist of more than one page, please indicate how many pages are in your submission in the space provided above.

Work Type

2-D Work (Height x Width)

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Design

Category Description

Art created for commercial or applied purposes. This includes graphic design work that has a defined use such as advertising or communications.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Magazine layouts, book covers, greeting cards, fonts, letterhead, business cards, calendars, or signage.

Submissions

You can upload four images for each Design submission.

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Additional Instructions

If you are submitting a 2-D work, select “0” for the “Depth” and “Weight” fields.

Work Type

3-D Work (Height x Width x Diameter and Weight)

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Digital Art

Category Description

Computer-generated artwork OR artwork captured digitally and heavily collaged or manipulated to produce a new image.
The production of digital art relies heavily upon computer software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, GIMP, Macromedia Freehand, CorelDraw, or other graphics editing programs.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Digital collages, photo manipulation, digital painting, and fractal art.

Special Instructions

  • Identify computer software used in the “List Materials” section of the online submission form.
  • Digital artwork may contain text, but submissions that contains text for commercial purposes should be entered in the Design category.
  • Digital photgraphs that are “touched up” or lightly manipulated using computer software should be entered in the Photography category.
  • Consider submitting to the Expanded Projects category if your work has a strong interactive element.
  • If you are using collaged images, please refer to the copyright and plagiarism guide.

Submissions

You can upload one image for each Digital Art submission.

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Work Type

2-D Work (Height x Width)

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Drawing & Illustration

Category Description

Art that is composed of marks made with a manual or mechanical instrument on a two-dimensional surface.
Drawings include all renderings made by an instrument on a surface and may include formal, realistic and/or abstract imagery. Illustrations are works that graphically depict a concept or subject. Either drawings or drawn illustrations may be submitted to this category.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Pencil, ink, charcoal, pastel, crayon, scratchboard, marker, etc.

Special Instructions

  • Drawings copied from published photographs, the internet or existing works should not be submitted and will be disqualified. Please refer to the copyright and plagiarism guide for more detailed information.
  • Sequential illustrations should be submitted to the Comic Art category.
  • Digital Illustrations should be entered in the Digital Art category.
  • Illustrations that directly depict political or social commentary should be submitted to the Editorial Cartoon category.
  • Animated .gif files will not be accepted for this category. An uploaded .gif file will be adjudicated as a static .gif file.
  • Please do not upload .zip files for the category.

Submissions

You can upload one image for each Drawing or Illustration submission.

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Additional Instructions

Work Type

2-D Work (Height x Width)

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Editorial Cartoon sponsored by The Herb Block Foundation

Category Description

A drawing or illustration, series of artworks, or animated short films (no longer than 60 seconds) that offers commentary or criticism on current events or political topics.
About Herb Block
This category is sponsored by The Herb Block Foundation in honor of Mr. Block’s remarkable contribution to the genre of political cartoons. Visit herbblockfoundation.org to learn more and see examples of his work.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Single panel drawings with captions, sequential comic art, illustrations, digitally created drawings, or animated films with a political theme or message.

Special Instructions

  • Multi-panel cartoons or other narrative illustrations that do not contain commentary or criticism of a political event or current event should be submitted to the Comic Art Category. 
  • Illustrations that do not contain commentary or criticism of a political event or current event should be submitted to the Drawing & Illustration Category or Digital Art Category depending on the tools used. 
  • Animations that do not contain commentary or criticism of a political event or current event should be submitted to the Film & Animation Category.

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Work Type

2-D Work (Height x Width)

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Expanded Projects

Category Description

Interdisciplinary work that is primarily driven by concept or invites participation by a viewer or community. Expanded Projects may include the documentation of live art, installation, research-based practices, or interactive visual art. Expanded Projects do not include dance, music, theater, or spoken word poetry.

Original work in this category will explore new genres, ideas, or experimental methods that could not be represented in other categories. The evaluation of technical skill may include both the way the work is documented and the conceptual background of the work in addition to the work’s construction.

Expanded Projects that don’t fit the category description or that belong in another category will not be awarded.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Documentation of live art, experimental video art, installation, site-specific or research-driven processes, conceptual art, social discourse, or community projects.

Do not submit dance, music, theater, or spoken word poetry to the Scholastic Awards.

Submissions

You must upload 1-8 files that clearly present the work. (.pdf, .jpg, .mp3, or .mp4)

The file size limit for each upload is 350 MB. If you are having trouble uploading a video file, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.

Along with the work, you must submit a written statement that summarizes the work and contextualizes the files that are submitted. This statement must not include your name or biographical information because it will be viewed by the judges.

Collaboration

Expanded Projects submissions can include up to five collaborators.

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Fashion

Category Description

Articles of clothing or fashion accessories other than jewelry (which should be submitted to the Jewelry Category)

Examples (including but not limited to)

Fully-realized articles and outfits, sketches, tech packs, etc. Jackets, dresses, shirts, gowns, scarves, hats, bags, belts, shoes, etc. as well as experimental designs, wearable art, and work made from found materials.

Special Instructions

Garments not intended to be worn on the body should be submitted to the Sculpture category.

Submissions

You can upload four images for each Fashion submission.

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Additional Instructions

If you are submitting a 2-D work (a design as opposed to a model), select “0” for the “Depth” and “Weight” fields.

Work Type

3-D Work (Height x Width x Diameter and Weight)

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Film & Animation

Category Description

A sequence of moving images viewed with a monitor, television, or projector.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Documentary films, narrative films, commercials, experimental video, as well as hand-drawn, computer-generated, or stop-motion animations, etc.

Special Instructions

  • Do not mail a DVD with your submission forms. All media must be uploaded to the online registration system.
  • During registration, identify equipment and software used in the “List Materials” section.
  • Since the Awards are blindly judged, please do not include any credits in your film.

Copyrighted Music
Students cannot use copyrighted music in their work without the permission of the original artist. Students who obtain copyrights to music must obtain documentation from the artist and send it with their submission form. The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers strongly encourages use of original or public domain music. See copyright release section of guidelines.

Submissions

  • Your film must be in one of the following formats: .mp4, .mov, .wmv, .avi, .mpg, .mpeg.
  • You must enter the film synopsis in the provided text editor.
  • Please note that if your submission is over 5 minutes long, we request that you also submit a 5-minute-or-under version. Judges will use the 5-minute version in their initial assessment of your work.

For Film & Animation submissions longer than 5 minutes, please upload the following:

  • A five-minute-or-under version of your film (the file size limit for this upload is 350MB)
  • The full-length version of your film. If your full film is under five minutes long, this second upload does not apply to you–please do NOT upload a higher resolution of the same film.
  • The file size limit for this upload is 800MB.

Collaboration

A Film & Animation submission can include up to five collaborators. A collaborative Film & Animation submission should be registered ONCE for judging. All collaborators must create an account. One student should upload the work, and identify up to four collaborators on the Edit Info page. Once identified, the collaborators will see an invitation in their dashboard to join the submission. If collaborators are not listed and confirmed when the work is submitted, they will not be eligible to receive an Award.

ALL COLLABORATORS MUST BE ELIGIBLE TO SUBMIT TO THE SCHOLASTIC ART & WRITING AWARDS.

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Additional Instructions

Make sure you have the most up-to-date version of the Microsoft Silverlight plug in before uploading Film & Animation submissions. You can downlaod the newest version at: www.microsoft.com/silverlight/

Work Type

Time-based Work (Minutes:Seconds)

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Jewelry

Category Description

Art objects worn for personal adornment.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Bracelets, rings, brooches, earrings, cufflinks, necklaces, etc.

Special Instructions

Materials may include metal, semi-precious stones, plastic, beading, glass, found objects, etc.

Submissions

You can upload four images for each Jewelry submission.

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Work Type

3-D Work (Height x Width x Diameter and Weight)

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Mixed Media

Category Description

Art made from more than one medium, usually with a three-dimensional element.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Collage, assemblage, cut paper, handmade paper, batik, fiber-based art, fine art books, etc.

Special Instructions

  • Combinations of painting and drawing applied only to one surface should be submitted to either the Painting or Drawing categories.
  • Mixed media assemblages meant to be viewed in the round should be submitted in the Sculpture category.

Submissions

You can upload four images for each Mixed Media submission.

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Additional Instructions

If your mixed media submission does not have a 3D element, select “0” for the “Depth” and “Weight” fields.

Work Type

3-D Work (Height x Width x Diameter and Weight)

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Painting

Category Description

Art created by applying pigment to a two-dimensional surface.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, tempera, ink, encaustic, fresco, spray paint, etc. applied on canvas, canvas board, paper or any flat surface.

Special Instructions

Paintings copied from published photographs, the internet, or existing works should not be submitted and will be disqualified. Please refer to the copyright and plagiarism guide for more detailed information.

Submissions

You can upload one image for each Painting submission.

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Work Type

2-D Work (Height x Width)

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Photography

Category Description

Images captured by either an analog or digital camera.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Black and white photographs, color photographs, digital or analog photographs, photograms, other experimental photography, etc.

Special Instructions

  • Identify type of photographic techniques used in the “List Materials” section of online registration.
  • Editing software (Adobe Photoshop, Corel PaintShop Photo Pro, Photo Explosion, etc.) is acceptable to use for minor touch-ups and image correction in a manner that replicates traditional darkroom techniques (cropping, dodging, burning, adjusting brightness, contrast, color balance, etc.).
  • Works that are digitally collaged, cloned, layered, merged, distorted, or heavily manipulated with computer software must be submitted in the Digital Art category.
  • Each work submitted to the photography category should be a distinct image that presents a unique artistic vision.

Submitting multiple similar images from the same series of photographs is highly discouraged. Part of the submission process to the Awards is determining which image best fulfills the Scholastic Awards criteria: originality, technical skill, and emergence of a personal vision.

Submissions

You can upload one image for each Photography submission. Students may enter up to 16 individual photo submissions.

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Work Type

2-D Work (Height x Width)

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Printmaking

Category Description

Work made by transferring ink from one prepared surface (plate, screen, etc.) onto paper or another flat surface.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Woodcut/linocut, monotype, intaglio, lithography, etching, silkscreen printing, collograph, etc.

Special Instructions

Identify the printmaking technique used in the “List Materials” section of online registration.

Submissions

For each Printmaking submission, you can upload one image.

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Work Type

2-D Work (Height x Width)

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Sculpture

Category Description

Three-dimensional art objects created by carving, casting, or other shaping techniques that can have interactive qualities.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Modeled, carved, cast, constructed, or assembled objects. Materials may include but are not limited to: clay, cardboard, metal, acrylic, wood, glass, stone, marble, textiles, plastics, and found objects.

Special Instructions

  • Large-scale installation art should be submitted in the Expanded Projects category.
  • Anything made exclusively out of ceramics and/or glass belongs in the Ceramics & Glass category.

Submissions

You can upload four images for each Sculpture submission.

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Work Type

3-D Work (Height x Width x Diameter and Weight)

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Art Portfolio

(For Graduating Seniors Only)

Category Description
A series of 6 distinct works that communicate a single cohesive idea or visual investigation. The works can come from one category or any combination of multiple categories.

Seniors may submit up to two Art Portfolios, but may not submit the same work in both portfolios.

Special Instructions
Each work within the Art Portfolio is subject to the same upload rules as its equivalent in individual categories. For example, a sculpture entry as part of a portfolio is allowed up to four images, while a photography entry is allowed one image.

  •  Work included in a portfolio may also be submitted in an individual category (i.e. Drawing and Illustration, Mixed Media, etc.). You will be able to indicate if you want to enter a work a part of a portfolio only, an individual submission only, or both on your student dashboard.
  •  Seniors may resubmit artworks submitted to the Scholastic Awards in a previous year as part of their Art Portfolio.
  • Do not include any identifying information, such as your name, in the title of your portfolio or the works included in the submission.
  • Expanded Projects works cannot be included in portfolio submissions.

Artist Statement: You must submit a written statement that provides insight into the creative processes used to render the cohesive collection of works in your portfolio. Your artist statement must not exceed 500 words. The statement will be viewable by jurors. Do not use self-identifying information in the statement.

Potential Considerations

  • What do you want viewers to understand about your collection of works?
  • What are the key ideas, issues, struggles, or goals within the portfolio?
  • Did you make deliberate decisions about materials, processes, etc.?

Personal Statement: You must tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it. Your personal statement must not exceed 500 words. The statement will not be available to view by jurors. It may however, be viewed by the scholarship committee should your portfolio advance to the national round of judging.

Potential Considerations

  • What is a significant challenge, setback, or failure that you experienced? How did you respond to it? How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  • Have you ever had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs?

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Writing Categories

Instructions for all Writing Categories

  • Submissions must be primarily in English.
  • Use a clear, standard font that is not excessively large or small.
  • The title should appear at the top of the first page; do not include a separate title page. Poems should be titled individually.
  • No identifying information, including the student’s name, should appear anywhere on the manuscript.
  • Please use fictional names for real people in non-fiction works.
  • No illustrations, photographs, graphics or hyperlinks are permitted.
  • Sources must be cited. Footnotes/works cited are not considered part of the word count.
  • Collaborative works are not allowed in any writing categories.

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Critical Essay

Category Description

Writing intended to inform or convince a reader about a specific idea or topic, such as art or media reviews, persuasive essays, opinion essays, etc.

Special Instructions

Sources must be cited. Footnotes/works cited are not considered part of the word count.

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Limits

500–3,000 words.

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Dramatic Script

Category Description

Work that uses dialogue, action and stage direction to tell a story, including scripts for television, film, or stage.

Special Instructions

Excerpts can be submitted, but should be clearly labeled as excerpts.

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Limits

500–3,000 words. If the script exceeds 3000 words, provide a 250-word summary and attach full script PDF.

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Flash Fiction

Category Description

Highly-focused stories characterized by brevity. 
Special Instructions

Please note word length for Flash Fiction compared to Short Story. Stories in which humor or science fiction/fantasy are key elements should be submitted in those respective categories.

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Limits

Maximum 1,000 words

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Humor

Category Description

Writing that uses comedic forms such as jokes, satire, farce, irony, parody, absurdity,  comedic anecdote, etc.

Special Instructions

All work in which humor is the key element should be submitted in this category.

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Additional Instructions

500–3,000 words

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Journalism

Category Description

Writing that informs and educates about newsworthy topics or current events, characterized by a presentation of facts or description of events.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Writing intended for publication in newspapers, magazines or online media and characterized by a presentation of facts or description of events.

Special Instructions

Works cited are not considered part of the word count.

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Limits

500–3,000 words.

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Novel Writing

Category Description

An excerpt from a long-form prose narrative. Please submit an excerpt no longer than 3,000 words as well as the text of the completed novel in a PDF. Novel submissions must also include a brief summary of the entire novel. Please follow the instructions below:

  1. Novels submissions must be excerpted from completed manuscripts. Your submission must include a PDF of the full novel.
  2. Novel submissions must include brief summary (250 words or less) of the entire novel. The summary is meant to provide readers with an understanding of the full scope, themes, arc, and plot of your novel. The summary does not count toward the maximum word limit.
  3. Submissions must be uploaded to your student account at registration page.
  4. Mail the form and fee to the address on the upper right hand corner of your submission from.
  5. You do NOT have to mail manuscripts with the form and fee.
  6. The student’s name and school must NOT appear on the submission.
  7. Adaptations of or sequels to existing published series are not accepted.

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Limits

An excerpt up to 3,000 words, a 250-word summary of the entire novel, and the full manuscript in PDF form.

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Personal Essay & Memoir

Category Description

A non-fiction work based on opinion, experience, and/or emotion that explores a topic or event of importance to the author.

Special Instructions

Essays in which humor is the key element should be submitted to the humor category.

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Limits

500–3,000 words.

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Poetry

Category Description

Writing in verse. May include but is not limited to prose poetry, free verse, formal poetry, song lyrics, and spoken word.

Special Instructions

Each submission may consist of 1–5 poems, which will be judged as a collection. Students may submit more than one collection, but must register each separately.

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Limits

20–200 lines (total for the entire collection).

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Science Fiction & Fantasy

Category Description

Writing that uses supernatural, magical, futuristic, scientific, and technological themes as a key element of the narrative.Special Instructions

All work in which science fiction/fantasy is the key element should be submitted in this category. Do not base characters or plots on already published works (books, movies, comics, etc.). Works that are novel-length should be submitted to the Novel category.

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Limits

500–3,000 words.

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Short Story

Category Description

A fictional narrative written in prose.

Special Instructions

Short Stories in which humor or science fiction/fantasy are key elements should be submitted in those respective categories.

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Limits

500–3,000 words.

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Writing Portfolio

(For Graduating Seniors Only)

Category Description
A series of 6 distinct works that demonstrate versatility as a writer and diversity in writing techniques and styles. The works can come from one category or any combination of multiple categories.

Graduating Seniors may submit up to two Writing Portfolios, but may not submit the same work in both portfolios.

Special Instructions
The word count for each piece submitted in a writing portfolio should adhere to the length limits listed in each individual category. The maximum length for a writing portfolio is 24,000 words (not including the writer’s statement).

  • Work included in a portfolio may also be submitted in an individual category (i.e. Short Story, Critical Essay, etc.). You will be able to indicate if you want to submit a work a part of a portfolio only, an individual submission only, or both on your student dashboard.
  • Seniors may resubmit writing submitted to the Scholastic Awards in a previous year as part of their writing portfolio.
  • Do not include any identifying information, such as your name, in the title of your portfolio or the works included in the submission.

Artist Statement: Submit a written statement that provides insight into the processes used to create the six works in your portfolio. Your artist statement must not exceed 500 words. The statement will be viewable by jurors. Do not use self-identifying information in the statement.

Potential Considerations

  • What do you want readers to understand about your collection of works?
  • What are the key ideas, issues, struggles, or goals within the portfolio?
  • Did you make deliberate decisions about voice, literary devices, etc.?

Personal Statement: You must tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it. Your personal statement must not exceed 500 words. The statement will not be available to view by jurors. It may however, be viewed by the scholarship committee should your portfolio advance to the national round of judging.

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