Entries are selected for awards without knowledge of the student’s gender, age, ethnicity, or hometown by some of the foremost leaders in the visual and literary arts. Many Scholastic Awards alumni have lent their expertise as jurors, including Michael Bierut, Philip Pearlstein, Edward Sorel, Red Grooms, and Gary Panter. Other luminaries who have served as judges include Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Judy Blume, Billy Collins, Paul Giamatti, Francine Prose, Edwidge Danticat, David Sedaris, Lesley Stahl, Nikki Giovanni, Roz Chast, Wangechi Mutu, Andres Serrano, Kiki Smith, Jill Kraus, Shinique Smith, Rashid Johnson, and Waris Ahluwalia.
Jurors look for works that exemplify the Awards’ core values: originality, skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.
We want to celebrate work that is unique and blurs boundaries. We want work that challenges your assumptions. Is it new? Does it surprise you?
An original work is different from what others have created. This means the work is not copied from someone else’s original art or writing. We understand that artists and writers sometimes make work that references other creators and popular culture in original and meaningful ways, but every work that wins an Award must be substantially different from any source material.
Review our Copyright & Plagiarism Guidelines to ensure your work is original!
We interpret the word “skill” broadly. This may refer to craftsmanship and the way the work was made, but it may also refer to other types of skill. Consider critical thinking, problem-solving, or the way an idea is developed over time. Empathy can be a skill. Creativity is a skill!
Emergence of a Personal Voice or Vision
We’re looking for work that expresses an authentic perspective and stands out from classroom assignments and social media trends.