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


New York Life Award

About This Scholarship

Underwritten by the New York Life Foundation, the New York Life Award offers $2,500 scholarships/travel stipends to ten students whose works explore death and personal grief.

Someone I care about died, and it’s sometimes hard for me to talk about it. What is grief, and why should I share my story about my experiences processing death?

Grief is the feeling and reaction associated with death. You can experience it after a loved one dies or after other major changes in your life. The death of a loved one and the grief that follows are a universal yet very unique, personal experience even in normal times.

Sharing your story through art or writing can be a healing experience both for you and other teens who are grieving. Your creative work can help someone with similar experiences to you feel less alone.

How do I apply?

Enter your work into any category in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. At the end of your application, opt-in to the New York Life Award. You will be prompted to include a personal statement on how your work explores your personal experience with grief and bereavement.

Deadlines vary by region and can be as early as December 1. Go to My Region to find your deadlines.


What should I write about in my personal statement?

Your personal statement should describe your experience with grief, and how your work relates to that experience. The statement should be 50 words or more. Below are prompts that may help in crafting your personal statement:

  • Tell us about the person who died and how your memories of them inspired you to create this work.
  • Tell us about the death you experienced. How did it impact your life and self-identity, and why did you decide to create this work about it?
  • How does your experience with grief impact your relationship with your community?
  • What was creating this work like for you emotionally? Did the act of creating the work change how you feel or think about death or how you will cope with grief moving forward?

Getting Started on Your Art or Writing Work

Our classroom resources on grief and death can help you explore this theme.

About Our Partner

The New York Life Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement, and runs the Volunteers for Good program for New York Life employees, agents, and retirees.

Logo for the New York Life Foundation