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?

To participate in the Awards, you must be a student in grades 7–12, age 13 years or older, and (a) residing in the United States, U.S. territories, or Canada, or (b) enrolled in an accredited American School in the rest of the world.

Work created in the spring semester of 2019 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 2019 may participate and submit as grade level 12.

How do I submit my work?

To submit your work, follow these steps:

  1. Create an account.
    Visit to create a student or educator account beginning September 12, 2019.
  2. Upload your work.
    Share your best art and writing.
  3. Complete your submission.
    Send a signed submission form and payment or fee waiver form to your local program.

Guidelines and deadlines vary by region. To find your region’s deadline, go to You may have a different deadline for art and writing submissions.

For additional instructions, visit the How to Enter page.

How do I apply for a Special Achievement Award?

The submission process for Special Achievement Awards is the same as for regular submissions. In the student’s Awards account, there is a step in the work upload process titled Special Awards. Here, the student can click a checkbox indicating which Special Achievement Award they want their work to be considered for, and add a short explanation of why they are applying (50 words minimum). The submission deadline for Special Achievement 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
  • Date of Birth
  • 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 and Email

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

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 create, edit, view, and monitor the submission progress of their students online.

We also use Educator accounts to distribute Awards materials, such as certificates, to the educators of National Medalists. You may add a personal address to your Educator account, and we will mail your certificate 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.

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 and a parent review and sign the forms.

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

Students 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. This is because we want students to be recognized first in their local communities.

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.

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 at

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

The 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.

Can international students apply?

Students in Canada, a U.S. territory, or a U.S. accredited American School in the rest of the world may submit work to the 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?

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 email us for assistance at

Is there a specific theme students have to address?

Young artists and writers are free to explore any and all topics. There are no pre-defined prompts and no work is ever disqualified from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards because of the nature of its content. Some Special Achievement Awards are presented to students whose work fits a particular theme.

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 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 an educator. The person who signs the form can be any teacher or guidance counselor who is familiar with the student’s work. The signature indicates that this educator has reviewed the work and can attest to the originality and authenticity of the work.

Where do I find the submission forms?

Submission forms will be generated through your Scholastic Art & Writing Awards account after all profile information has been entered and work has been uploaded. Signed forms must be submitted following the directions on the form or form submission page. Submission form instructions may vary from region to region.

What are the submission fees?

Effective September 12, 2019, submission fees are $7.00 per individual submission and $25.00 per portfolio submission.

The Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and its Affiliate Partners. Submission 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.

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

If the submission fee is a barrier to your participation in the Awards, we will waive the submission fee when you submit a Fee Waiver Form. In your account, go to the payment page and check the box indicating you will be submitting a Fee Waiver. A link to a Fee Waiver Form will appear. Complete the form and submit it with your submission form. A parent or guardian must sign the form certifying in good faith that the submission fee presents a barrier to participation.

Submission forms received without payment or the Fee Waiver Form will be considered incomplete and may be disqualified. Some policies may vary by region; visit to find your region.

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

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and its Affiliates will waive the submission 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 Waiver Forms are individual, and we do not accept blanket Fee Waiver Forms for schools or classrooms.

A parent or guardian must sign the Fee Waiver form certifying in good faith that the submission fee presents a barrier to participation. Educators are not required to sign this form.

Some policies may vary by region; visit to find your region.

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 Art & Writing Awards program in their region. Students are assigned to a region based on your school’s zip code. You may have a different Affiliate Partner for art submissions than for writing submissions.

To find your Affiliate Partner, visit the Guidelines & Deadlines page.

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 (see Participation Terms).

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 an 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, regional and national exhibitions may not be able to exhibit oversized works. Check your local Guidelines & Deadlines for exhibition requirements.

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.

Each tag should be one word describing the themes behind your work (i.e. family, nature, joy, grief). Please do not add tags of categories or materials.


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 the number of works you may submit, 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. Please be aware that photos added to portfolios will count toward the 16 work limit. 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 guidelines may vary for art and writing in each region. Please visit your regional webpage for specific Guidelines & 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. Art portfolios may only contain works from art categories, and writing portfolios are limited to writing 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.

Novel Writing, Video Game Design, and Future New works cannot be included in portfolio submissions.

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 I submit both a portfolio and works in individual categories?

Yes, students may submit a work 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. The Portfolio category is only available to 12th graders.

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.


Can I re-submit a work that I submitted to the Scholastic Art & Writing 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 Art & Writing Awards submission to another program at the same time?

You may submit the same work you submit to us to other scholarship programs or contests or license it to others for non-exclusive publication. If you plan to submit 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 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 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.

What is your plagiarism policy?

All work submitted to the Awards must be original, meaning you create the work based on your own ideas. By submitting 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 Award Copyright & Plagiarism policy, review the links below.

Participation Terms

Copyright & Plagiarism Guide

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 submitting work to the Awards, you certify that the work is yours and does not infringe on anyone else’s intellectual property rights.

What is new in the 2018–19 Participation Terms?

Overall, we have simplified the language of our terms to make them more accessible for students, parents and educators alike. Two main changes to our participation terms resulted as part of our annual review process which included feedback from staff, Affiliates, participants—both educators and students, as well as their families—jurors, alumni, sponsors, and more, to make thoughtful updates to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards:

  • Students must be age 13 or older upon submission. Looking ahead to technological advances within the education and nonprofit fields and the important need to protect children in online settings, this change reflects our ongoing commitment to prioritizing student privacy and maintaining best practices within current industry standards.
  • Submitting your original work to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards grants the Alliance with a non-exclusive license to use, copy, change, publish, publicly perform, distribute, exhibit, or add to your work. Previously, submission to the program granted a temporary, two-year exclusive right to the Alliance, however, the ways in which the Alliance recognizes, exhibits, and publishes student work haven’t changed. We are still committed to finding and presenting the next generation of great artists and writers and we continually strive to be a leader in protecting creators’ rights.

Please visit to read our full participation terms and please contact if you have additional questions.

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

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 Art.Write.Now.Tour.

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. Students will always be notified if their 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 submit the same work you submit to us to other scholarship programs or contests, keep the work in your portfolio, and license it to others for non-exclusive publication.

My Regional Award

What are regional awards?

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

Which regional awards advance to national judging?

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

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

Regional awards are presented by our Affiliate Partner in your local region. Notification dates and methods will vary. To find your Affiliate Partner, visit the Guidelines & Deadlines page.

A list of 2019 Gold Keys will be posted at on February 4, 2019.

I received a Gold Key award. 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, technical skill, and emergence of a personal vision or voice.

National Awards will be announced on March 12, 2019 at

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?

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

In addition to regional scholarship opportunities, students 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 for more information.

Gold Key works are also automatically considered for National Medals and Special Achievement Awards.

What is a Scholastic Awards Summer Scholarship?

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

Students 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 students who apply will receive a SAS Scholarship, so we encourage you to also apply to other programs and opportunities when making your summer plans.

Go to for more information.

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.

My National Award

What are national awards?

National Awards include 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, New York Life Award, and One Earth Award.

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

National Medals will be announced on National Notification Day, March 16, 2020. Log in to your account on or after this date to see if you received a National Medal.

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 Achievement Award Medalists are also invited to attend the annual National Events week of celebration in New York City.

Are students 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 $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 Achievement Awards.

The Alliance also partners with colleges and universities to earmark 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. Students who apply to colleges on our list of Scholarship Partners will be considered for 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.

How do you determine which students receive scholarships for portfolios?

Portfolios are blindly adjudicated by artists and industry professionals. The top portfolios 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 which combine the recognition of talent and the representation of diverse mediums, view points, and backgrounds of Award recipients when selecting scholarship recipients.

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

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

A selection of National Medalist works will be included in the 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 your work receives a National Award, and you do not want it to be displayed on our gallery or in publications, please contact us at and mention the title and category of your work.

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 Achievement Awards. We can’t exhibit works that are oversized or that would be shipped from an international address. 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 Alliance for Young Artists & Writers for up to two years for additional exhibition possibilities. Please notify us if you move because the work will be returned to the student’s home address. Note that if the Alliance is not able to return physical works to a student 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.

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

Why do you hold National Medalist artwork for two years?

The Alliance is dedicated to showcasing student work and raising awareness of the incredible talent, originality, and voice of teens traveling exhibitions and special events. One way we accomplish this is through an extensive calendar of events, which includes the Art.Write.Now.Tour and National Exhibition. The two-year length of time takes into account the timing of these events and the delivery and receipt of the work, as well as its photographing and/or framing. View the comic to see the two-year lifecycle of your work, find out what happens when you ship it to New York City for the National Exhibition, and when to expect your work back.


What is the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers?

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to identify teenagers with exceptional artistic and literary talent and bring 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, age 13 or older at the time of submission, 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 and presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, 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. They are a symbol of excellence that can bolster resumes, college applications, and scholarship applications. Selected works will be featured in The Best Teen Art, The Best Teen Writing anthology, and the Art.Write.Now. exhibition program.

The Awards distribute more than a quarter of a million dollars annually in direct scholarships and awards to National Medalists. Our Scholarship Partner network of more than 40 colleges and universities offers additional millions in scholarships to graduating seniors who receive awards.

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.

What is the National Student Poets Program?

The National Student Poets Program is the nation’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work. It is a collaboration of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Each year, the Program selects five high school poets whose work exhibits exceptional creativity, dedication to craft, and promise for a year of service as national poetry ambassadors. Each National Student Poet represents one of five regions of the country and receives an academic award of $5,000.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the exclusive pathway to be considered for the National Student Poets Program. Students must receive a National Medal in poetry through blind adjudication by a panel of distinguished jurors. From the top-awarded works, a national jury of literary luminaries and leaders in education and the arts selects five student poets, based on the student’s creativity, promise, and dedication to craft. To learn more, visit

Are there opportunities for Alumni of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards?

Yes! Join our Alumni LinkedIn Group and visit our Alumni Resources page to find opportunities for Alumni, including Alumni Microgrants and A Suite of One’s Own Writers-in Residency at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.

My work received a Scholastic Art & Writing Award and now another organization wants to publish it. How do I reference my award?

Students retain any intellectual property rights they have in their works, including copyright, when submitting works to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. This means, for example, you may license work that receives an Award to others for non-exclusive publication.

When attributing works that received a Scholastic Art & Writing Award, please reference the Award using the following format.

[Award], [Year] Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

For example

Gold Key, 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

If your work is published and lists your award, please send the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers a copy of the publication, or a link to the work online, for our archives.

Physical copies can be mailed to:

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

Or email

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.