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

Awards Update:

On December 18, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers announced that deadlines for regional awards
are being extended up through February 29 2024, depending on the region.

An up-to-date list of regional deadlines can be found on our website.

If your deadline falls between January 15-February 29,
we encourage you to hold off on accessing the portal until the new year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Work Upload

For guidance on all steps of the Scholastic Awards entry process, view our walkthrough series for Teens and Educators.
What are the art and writing deadlines for my region?

Entry deadlines range from December to January and vary by region. To find your regional deadline, visit the My Region page.

What size should my image be?

Uploaded images should have a print resolution of 300dpi and the file size should be around 3MB–5MB. Upload the best quality image you have.

Are there size limitations for entered artwork?

While there are no size limitations for art entries, regional may not be able to exhibit oversized works. At the national level, works larger than 500 square inches may not be exhibited. Check your regional program’s webpage for their exhibition requirements.

Can work be entered as a group collaboration?

Works cannot be entered as a group collaboration. Only one student will be officially attached to a specific entry; however, you may add collaborator information, such as names, to the Work Sources fields during the work upload process. This includes works in the Film & Animation category. Please use your best judgment when determining which teen involved in a project enters the work. The teen that enters the work will receive credit if the piece is awarded. A work cannot be entered multiple times by different teens.

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

No, teens and educators cannot edit works online after the entry deadline.

Can I make changes to my profile after the entry deadline has passed?

If you have updates to your profile, including name or address changes, please make those as soon as possible. Changes made to your profile after the entry deadline may not be reflected in awards you may win this year, but the sooner you make the changes, the more likely it is that we will be able to include them.

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

You will be automatically assigned to a regional program when you create your account at artandwriting.org/login based on your school’s zip code. You may have a different regional program for art entries than for writing entries. 

To find your region, visit the My Region page.

For more guidance on creating your account, finding your region, and entering works, view our walkthrough video series for Teens and Educators.

What are the entry fees?

Entry fees are $10.00 per individual entry and $30.00 per portfolio entry.

The Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and its Affiliate Partners. Entry fees support both your local Affiliate and the Alliance to cover the cost of processing, customer service, scholarships, ceremonies, exhibitions, publications, and other general operating costs.

If the fee is a barrier to any teen’s participation, we will waive the fee. Fee waivers are made possible, in part, by BLICK Art Materials.

For more guidance on how to complete entry fees, view our Teen and Educator walkthrough videos on submitting payment.

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

You do not need to list an educator when entering your work. However, we highly encourage you to list an educator so that they receive recognition for their guidance.  

For more guidance on selecting your educators, view our walkthrough videos on Uploading Art Work and Uploading Writing Work.

Getting Started

For guidance on all steps of the Scholastic Awards entry process, view our walkthrough series for Teens and Educators.
What do I do if I am experiencing technical issues in the new portal?

If you experience any difficulties while setting up your account or entering your work, please try again in a few days. The Scholastic Awards team is actively working to resolve any issues and will keep you informed if any updates are needed. You can be confident that we are committed to ensuring a smooth and successful experience for all participants. Check out our Troubleshooting blog post for the most up-to-date information on the portal’s status.

Do I need to make a new account if I had an online registration system (ORS) account?

Yes, you will need to create a new account for the new Awards portal as your account details aren’t automatically transferred over from ORS.

How are accounts assigned to regional programs?

Teen accounts are assigned to a regional program based on their school zip code. Teens who are homeschooled or attend a virtual school are assigned to a regional program based on their home zip code. Teens are never assigned to a regional program based on the zip code of their Other Educational Program.

Educator accounts are assigned to a regional program based on the zip code of the organization where they teach (either the school or the Other Educational Program listed in their account). Homeschool and virtual school teachers will be assigned to a regional program based on their home zip code.

I’m an educator and I’ve moved schools. Why do I still see my old deadline in my account?

When you create an account, you are assigned to one art and one writing region based on your school or other educational program’s zip code. After you create your account, you can change your school or other educational program, but you cannot move to a new region. If you move to a school or other educational program located in a different region during the entry season, please create a new account to connect to your new region. You can find out if your old and new school/organization are located in the same region by searching their zip codes on the region lookup webpage.

Is it okay if my work has profanity, violence, etc.?

Young artists and writers are free to explore any and all topics. No work is ever disqualified from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards because of the nature of its content. 

How do I apply for a direct scholarship?

The process for applying for direct scholarships is the same as for regular entries. In the participant’s account, there is a step in the work entry process titled Cash Awards. Here, the participant can click a checkbox indicating which scholarship they want their work to be considered for and add a personal statement on why they are applying (50 words minimum). The entry deadline for scholarships is the same as the deadline in your region.

For more guidance on applying for direct scholarships, view our walkthrough videos on Uploading Art Work and Uploading Writing Work.

How should I select my school if I am enrolled in an online, virtual school, or other distance learning program?

Teens enrolled in online, virtual schools, or other distance learning programs should add the school to their profile just as they would add any other school. If your primary school is a distance learning program, you will be assigned a region based on your home zip code instead of your school zip code. We want you to be recognized first in your local community.

For more information on selecting your school, view our walkthrough video on Creating a Teen Account.

What is a Distance Learning Program?

When a student is enrolled at a school but is not required to be physically present to complete their education, we refer to that school as a Distance Learning Program. Examples of Distance Learning Programs include virtual or online schools and home school networks.

Participation in the Awards begins at the regional level with recognition in your local community. Students are automatically assigned to a region based on the location of their primary school. If your school is a Distance Learning Program, then you will be assigned to a region based on your home address in your profile. For more information on selecting your school, view our walkthrough video on Creating a Teen Account.

Other Educational Programs (OEP) and residence programs like boarding schools are not marked as Distance Learning Programs.

If you believe that you have been assigned to the wrong region, please contact us.

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?

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

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

For more guidance on selecting your OEP and educators, view our walkthrough videos on Uploading Art Work and Uploading Writing Work.

Is there a specific theme a work must address?

There are no pre-defined prompts. Some scholarships are presented to teens whose work fits a particular theme.

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

If you forget your password, click on the “Forgot Password” link on the login page.

The account login is always an email address. If your primary email address does not allow you to retrieve your password, please contact us for assistance.

Can international students apply?

Only teens residing in the United States, U.S. territories or military bases, or Canada may enter the Awards.

Boarding Schools: Teens attending a boarding school located in the United States, U.S. territories or military bases, or Canada will be automatically assigned to a regional program based on the location of their school.

Virtual Schools: Teens must reside in the United States, U.S. territories or military bases, or Canada to enter the Awards when enrolled in a virtual school. Teens will need a home address in order to apply to a regional program.

Other Educational Programs: Teens residing outside of the United States, U.S. territories or military bases, or Canada, are not eligible for the 2024 Scholastic Awards, even if they attend an Other Educational Program in the United States. Other Educational Programs include summer programs, after-school clubs or lessons, private tutoring, pre-college programs, and portfolio review courses.

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

Please contact us to request to have your school added to our system. Our team will review your request, which will take around 3-5 business days to complete. During peak times, it may take longer to process your school request. You will receive an email when your request has been accepted. 

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

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

Can a teen enter work without an educator present?

Yes, teens can create a profile and upload work on their own.

Beginning this year, teens are no longer required to connect their entry to an educator.

Are educators required to create an account?

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

We also use educator accounts to distribute materials, such as medals, to the educators of National Medalists. You may add a personal address to your educator account, and we will mail your medal to this address. If you do not include a personal address, we will send any materials to the school address that is linked to your account.

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.

For guidance on creating and navigating an educator account, view our walkthrough video series.

What information will I need to create an account?

To create your account, you’ll need:

  • Your Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Your Grade
  • School Name
  • A Valid Email Address

To complete your profile, we’ll ask for:

  • Phone Number
  • Parent/Guardian Name and Email

We’ll also ask for some additional information, but these fields are not required.

To learn more, view our walkthrough video on Creating a Teen Account.

How do I enter the Awards?

To enter the Awards, follow these steps:

  1. Create an account.
    Visit portal.artandwriting.org to create a student or educator account beginning September 1.
  2. Upload your work.
    Share your best art and writing.
  3. Complete your entry.
    Complete payment or fee waiver.

Guidelines and deadlines vary by region. To find your region’s deadline, visit the My Region page. You may have a different deadline for art and writing entries.

For additional instructions, visit the How to Enter page and view our walkthrough video series on Navigating Your Scholastic Awards Account.

Who can participate in the Scholastic Awards?

To participate in the Awards, you must be a teen in grades 7–12, age 13 and up, and residing in the United States, U.S. territories or military bases, or Canada.

Teens may enter work that was created this past spring or over the summer. Teens should enter their current grade level, even if they are entering work that was created while they were in a different grade.

Category

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

Teens should enter works that best exemplify originality, skill, and the emergence of a personal vision or voice. Please read the category descriptions for specific portfolio entry criteria.

For more guidance and advice from jurors, view our Art Portfolio Panel and Writing Portfolio Panel.

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.

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

Yes, teens may enter a work to both portfolio and individual categories. To enter a work that is part of a portfolio, you will need to create a separate individual entry for the piece. The Portfolio category is only available to participants in grade 12.

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.

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

Portfolio entries consist of six works that can come from one category or any combination of multiple categories. Art portfolios may only contain works from art categories, and writing portfolios are limited to writing categories. Teens may enter two art portfolios and two writing portfolios, but all works must be unique. The same work cannot be entered in both portfolios.

Expanded Project works cannot be included in portfolio entries.

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

Generally, there is no limit to the number of works you may enter, with the exception of Photography and Portfolio. Each participant is allowed to enter 16 works in the Photography category, and two art and two writing portfolios. Please be aware that photos added to portfolios will count toward the 16work limit. The Portfolio category is open to teens in grade 12 only. 

Teens may enter different works into multiple categories but are not allowed to enter the same work into more than one category.

Entry guidelines may vary for art and writing in each region. Please visit the My Region page to find your regional webpage with specific guidelines and deadlines.

Policy

Can AI-generated work be entered into the 2024 Scholastic Awards?

No. Since their founding in 1923, the mission of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has been to identify teens with exceptional artistic and literary talent and present their remarkable work to the world. The core judging criteria from a century ago to guide juror decisions are the same ones used today: originality, skill, personal vision, and voice. Over the decades, as artistic practices and technology have advanced, entry categories have changed and also were expanded to embrace the innovative tools being used to create in new and bold ways. The Scholastic Awards recognize that the recent, rapidly expanding availability and capabilities of generative AI tools yield both opportunities and challenges. We are actively monitoring the ever-evolving landscape of technological sophistication and conversations about copyright and consent and may, in future years, adapt our guidance about the use of generative AI in the creation of works submitted for Awards consideration. Currently, AI-generated work is not invited to be entered into the 2024 Scholastic Awards, and if entered, will be subject to disqualification.

Why do I grant the Alliance a non-exclusive license to use my work when I enter?

The Alliance is proud to promote the exceptional work of young artists to a wide audience of educators, students, program partners, and the general public through exhibitions, special events, print and online publications, and social media. This includes the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Exhibition, displays at the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences in Washington, D.C., and the Traveling Exhibition.

To do these things, we need permission from you. The non-exclusive license allows us to use, copy, change, publish, publicly perform, distribute, exhibit, or add to your work without further permission or approval from you as part of our mission to promote creative self-expression among young people. You will always be notified if your work is shown in these special exhibitions and all displays or publications will attribute you to your work. This non-exclusive license also means that you can enter the same work you entered into the Awards to other scholarship programs or contests, keep the work in your portfolio, and license it to others for non-exclusive publication.

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

You don’t have to submit a separate consent form. However, you, not the Awards, are responsible for getting any necessary consents or releases from people or for any places or property depicted in your work. By entering work to the Awards, you certify that the work is yours and does not infringe on anyone else’s intellectual property rights.

What is your plagiarism policy?

All work entered into the Awards must be original, meaning you create the work based on your own ideas. By entering work to the Awards, you agree that you created it and did not copy it from any other person, business, school, or organization. Any work that infringes anyone’s intellectual property rights will be disqualified.

For more information about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ Copyright & Plagiarism policy, review the links below.

Participation Terms

Copyright & Plagiarism Guide

How to Be Original

Can I enter 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 entering it to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. In the case that your work receives an Award, it must be free to use in our publications or exhibitions under the non-exclusive license described in our participation terms.

Can I enter my Scholastic Art & Writing Awards entry to another program at the same time?

You may enter the same work you entered to us to other scholarship programs or contests or license it to others for non-exclusive publication. If you plan to enter work to another awards program or publication, review their rules first to confirm that they will not hold exclusive rights to your work. In the case that your work receives a Scholastic Art & Writing Award, it must be free to use in our publications or exhibitions under the non-exclusive license described in our participation terms.

Can I re-enter a work that I entered to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in a previous year?

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

My Regional Award

What is a Scholastic Awards Summer Scholarship?

Scholastic Awards Summer (SAS) scholarships are need- and merit-based tuition scholarships for 7–11 grade teens who received a Gold or Silver Key.

Teens do not apply for specific summer programs; instead, they apply for a SAS Scholarship and we work with our partners to place students into a program that will work best based on their availability, location, and interests.

Not all teens who apply will receive a SAS Scholarship, so we encourage participants to also apply to other programs and opportunities when making their summer plans.

Go to our Summer Scholarships page for more information.

What Awards materials will I receive for my Regional Award?

All recipients of Regional Awards (Gold Keys, Silver Keys, and Honorable Mentions) can download a digital certificate and official Letter of Awards through their online account. Distribution of additional materials varies depending on your region. Visit your local program’s webpage to learn more.

When will I find out if I received a regional award?

All 2024 regional award recipients will have been announced by March 29, 2024. Some regions announce their winners earlier, so please check with your local regional partners. To find your local regional partner, visit My Region page. All regional award winners are welcome to tune in to our virtual regional celebration in May 2024; we will inform winners once the date has been finalized.

Is receiving a regional award prestigious to colleges and universities?

Yes! Your Scholastic Art & Writing Award is an achievement, and many colleges will take your Award into consideration when determining admissions and scholarships. Be sure to mention it on your college application or resume.

Are teens who earn regional awards eligible to receive scholarships?

Regional scholarship opportunities vary. Check your region’s webpage to learn about potential scholarships or award opportunities.

In addition to regional scholarship opportunities, teens in grades 7-11 who receive a Gold or Silver Key may be eligible for a Scholastic Awards Summer (SAS) Scholarship to attend an art or writing program over the summer. Go to our Summer Scholarships page for more information.

Gold Key works are also automatically considered for National Medals and direct scholarships.

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 regional program for more information.

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

Gold Key works automatically advance to national judging. In New York City, renowned creative professionals review Gold Key works from across the country. Jurors select work for national recognition based on three criteria: originality, skill, and emergence of a personal vision or voice.

National Awards will be announced in mid-March, at artandwriting.org.

Which regional awards advance to national judging?

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

What are regional awards?

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

My National Award

When will I find out if I received a national award?

All 2024 national award recipients will be announced on June 12, 2024.

How long will the Alliance hold on to my artwork?

The Alliance is dedicated to showcasing student work and raising awareness of the incredible talent, originality, and voice of teens through traveling exhibitions and special events. One way we accomplish this is through an extensive calendar of events, which includes the National Exhibition and the Traveling Exhibition. Works that are selected for the Traveling Exhibition may be held for up to two years, while works for the National Exhibition may be held for up to a year. These lengths of time take into account the timing of these events and the delivery and receipt of the work, as well as its photographing and/or framing.

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 Alliance for Young Artists & Writers for up to two years for additional exhibition possibilities. The work will be returned to the participant’s home address, so please notify us if you move. Note that if the Alliance is not able to return physical works to a participant for any reason, we may hold the work up to three years from the date of the national award notification. If the work is not retrieved, we may continue to store the physical work or destroy it.

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 Portfolio, Gold Medal, and direct scholarships. We can’t exhibit works that are oversized or that are shipped from an international address. Due to space limitations, we are not able to exhibit the works of all Medalists.

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

A selection of National Medalist works will be included in the Awards’ publications of teen art and teen writing. Participants are notified when their work is published and will receive a copy of the publication in which their work appears.

If your work receives a National Medal and you do not want it to be displayed in our gallery or in publications, please contact us and mention the title and category of your work.

How do you determine which teens receive scholarships for portfolios?

Portfolios are judged without knowledge of the participant’s gender, age, or hometown by artists and industry professionals. The top portfolios are then presented to a scholarship committee, which awards sixteen $12,500 Gold Medal Portfolio scholarships (eight writing and eight art). Additional $2,000 scholarships are given to students earning Silver Medal Portfolios. The committee consists of Alliance staff, board members, and national partners. The committee will review the personal statements that were submitted in addition to the six works. They consider a number of factors that combine the recognition of talent and the representation of diverse mediums, viewpoints, and backgrounds of Award recipients when selecting scholarship recipients.

For advice from a juror’s perspective, view our Art Portfolio Panel and Writing Portfolio Panel.

Are teens who earn National Medals eligible to receive scholarships?

Yes, 16 graduating seniors are chosen to receive the Gold Medal Portfolio Award, which is accompanied by a $12,500 scholarship. Scholarships of $2,000 are also given to Silver Medal Portfolio Award recipients as determined by the national portfolio panel. Additional direct scholarships for individual works are also provided annually.

The Alliance also partners with colleges and universities to earmark tuition scholarships for college-bound National Medalists. We send these schools a special announcement with a list of all graduating seniors who received a National Medal. Teens who apply to colleges on our list of Scholarship Partners will be considered for tuition scholarships from those schools. You don’t need to call these schools to tell them about your National Medal—we’ve already told them about you!

Please note that not all National Medalists will receive a scholarship.

What do teens receive if they earn a National Medal?

National Medalists receive certificates and medals and are considered for national exhibition, publication, and scholarship opportunities. There will be a virtual celebration for the 2024 National Medalists in late summer 2024; we will inform all medalists once the date has been finalized.

What are national awards?

National Awards include Gold Medal, Silver Medal, Gold Medal Portfolio, Silver Medal Portfolio, Honorable Mention Portfolio, American Visions & Voices Medal, The Herblock Award for Editorial Cartoon, and the New York Life Award.

Payment

What are the entry fees?

Entry fees are $10.00 per individual entry and $30.00 per portfolio entry.

The Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and its Affiliate Partners. Entry fees support both your regional program and the Alliance to cover the cost of processing, customer service, scholarships, ceremonies, exhibitions, publications, and other general operating costs.

If the fee is a barrier to any teen’s participation, we will waive the fee. Fee waivers are made possible, in part, by BLICK Art Materials.

For more guidance on how to complete entry fees, view our Teen and Educator walkthrough videos on submitting payment.

As an educator, can I waive the entry fees for my class?

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and its Affiliates will waive the entry fee if it presents a significant barrier to participation and if the student submits a Fee Waiver Form. Each student and their family should make this determination for themselves.

Fee waivers are made possible, in part, by BLICK Art Materials.

Some policies may vary by region; visit the My Region page to find your region.

For more guidance on entry fees and fee waivers, view our Teen and Educator walkthrough videos on submitting payment.

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

If the entry fee is a barrier to your participation in the Awards, we will waive the entry fee. In your account, go to the payment page and check the box indicating you qualify for a fee waiver. The option to certify your fee waiver will appear. Review the information and then click the button to confirm your fee waiver. Your entry will then be marked as paid.

Fee waivers are made possible, in part, by BLICK Art Materials.

Some policies may vary by region; visit the My Region page to find your region.

For more information on entry fees and fee waivers, view our Teen and Educator walkthrough videos on submitting payment.