My National Award

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, ESA Foundation Award for Video Game Design, 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 13, 2019. 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 in 2018. 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 1% are then presented to a scholarship committee, which awards sixteen $10,000 Gold Medal Portfolio scholarships (eight writing and eight art). Additional $1,000 scholarships are given to students earning Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolios. The committee consists of Alliance staff, board members, and national partners. They consider a number of factors 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.