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


The Alliance/ACT-SO Journey Award

About This Scholarship

Scholars of NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) can receive full-tuition scholarships to attend summer art or writing programs by applying to the Scholastic Awards and receiving a Gold or Silver Key. All students of African descent in grades 7–11 who currently participate in the NAACP’s ACT-SO program can apply.

Please note that, while high school seniors are not eligible for this summer program scholarship, they are highly encouraged to apply for our other scholarships and cash awards of up to $10,000.

What is ACT-SO?

The NAACP’s ACT-SO is a yearlong achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students. Interested in joining your local ACT-SO chapter? Visit naacp.org/act-so.

How do I apply?

Enter your work to any category in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. You can enter work that has competed in previous ACT-SO competitions. At the end of your application, opt in to the Alliance/ACT-SO Journey Award  and enter the name of your local ACT-SO Chapter. This will select “NAACP ACT-SO” as your “Other Educational Program.” Students will be verified as active ACT-SO Scholars by the local ACT-SO chairperson for their city to confirm eligibility.

Regional deadlines are as early as December 1, 2021.


Getting Started on Your Art or Writing Work

If you need a boost of inspiration, these resources can help you generate new work:

  • Our publication Healing Through Creativity includes inspiring works from young artists and writers addressing grief and bereavement. Its discussion questions and writing prompts can help you explore your own experience with grief and talk about it with others.
  • Check out The New York Times‘ writing prompts that respond to the news, and read opinion pieces written by young people.
  • Explore visual art activities and writing activities from the Teacher’s Climate Guide to create work about climate change.