2018 National Writing Jurors

The Scholastic Awards warmly thank the 2018 National Writing Jurors. A cast of more than 160 writing jurors, including literary agents, editors, professors, screenwriters, award winning poets, executives from non-profit organizations, and more, evaluated Gold Key works submitted by talented students from across the country based on the following time-tested criteria: originality; technical skill; and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Scroll down to learn more about the 2018 National Writing Jurors.


Emma Adelman

Opal Palmer Adisa, author of Love’s PromiseIt Begins with Tears, and 4-Headed Woman

Harlyn G. Aizley, author of Buying Dad: One Woman’s Search for the Perfect Sperm Donor and Confessions of the Other Mother

Brianna Albers, author of The Wolf Finally Frees Itself, “Poem for Rebecca Bunch”, and My Mother Scrubs Cerise

Jeffery Renard Allen

Hasan Altaf

Li Yun Alvarado, author of Words or WaterIdealism, and Never

David Andersson

Ami A. Aronson, Executive Director of the Bernstein Family Foundation


Moira Bailey

Oliver Baez-Bendorf, author of The Spectral Wilderness

Danielle Bennett

Julie Berry, author of The Passion of DolssaAll the Truth That’s In Me, and The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

John Bloomberg-Rissman

Rebecca Bondor

Annabeth Bondor-Stone, author of Time Tracers: The Stolen SummersShivers! The Pirate Who’s Afraid of Everything, and Shivers! The Pirate Who’s Back in Bunny Slippers

Paige Britt

Maggie Brown

Mahogany L. Browne, author of Black Girl Magic and Kissing Caskets

Ann E. Burg, author of UnboundSerafina’s Promise, and All the Broken Pieces


Kheryn Callender, author of Hurricane Child and This is Kind of an Epic Love Story

Christopher Richard Carmona, author of The Road to Llorona Park140 Twitter Poems, and I Have Always Been Here

H. G. Carrillo, author of Loosing My Espanish

Sarwat Chadda, author of The Savage Fortress

Wo M. Chan

Cathy Linh Che, Executive Director of Kundiman and author of “Go Forget Your Father”, “Pomegranate Pomegranate”, and “Los Angeles, Manila, Đà Nẵng”

Emelie Lucille Elizabeth Chhangur, Director/Curator of the Art Gallery of York University and author of Symbols of EnduranceAesthetics of Collaboration, and Imaginary Homelands

Kayo Chingonyi, author of Kumukanda

Amy S. Choi, Co-Founder and Editorial Director of The Mash-Up Americans

Ama Codjoe

Henri Cole

Marisa Ann Conner, Baltimore County Public Library

Laurel F. Crosby

Ron Currie


Josh Dale, author of All the Ghosts We’ve Always HadPhiladelphia Swank, and The Road Home

Anthony Michael D’Aries, author of The Language of Men: A Memoir

Carmen Agra Deedy, author of The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!,  14 Cows for America, and Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale

Dr. Cristina Demenech, Coordinator of Education at the Hispanic Society of America

James Walter Doyle

Louise Dube, Executive Director of iCivics


Daniel P. Ehrenhaft, author of The Last Dog on EarthThe After Life, and 10 Things To Do Before I Die

Thomas Sayers Ellis, author of The Maverick RoomSkin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems, and The Corny Toys

William Evans, Black Nerd Problems


Rossella Fabbri

Alexis E. Fajardo, author of Kid Beowulf: The Blood-Bound OathKid Beowulf: The Song of Roland, and Kid Beowulf: The Rise of El Cid

Sade Falebita, Downtown Community Television Center

Negin H. Farsad, author of How To Make White People Laugh

Aimee Friedman, Editorial Director at Scholastic Inc. and author of Two Summers and Sea Change

Josh Funk, author of Lady Pancake & Sir French ToastHow to Code a Sandcastle, and Albie Newton

Joshua Furst, author of RevolutionariesThe Sabotage Cafe, and Short People


Cristina Garcia

Max Gladstone, author of Three Parts DeadRuin of Angels, and Choice of the Deathless

Myla Goldberg, author of Bee SeasonWickett’s Remedy, and False Friend

Manuel Gonzales, author of The Miniature Wife and Other Stories and The Regional Office is Under Attack!

Estella Gonzalez, author of “Matadora”“Angry Blood”, and “Powder Puff”

Marlene E. Graham, author of Encyclopedia Volume 1 A-E and Encyclopedia Volume 2 F-K

Alison Granucci, President and Owner of Blue Flower Arts

Dionna Michelle Griffin-Irons, author of Women, Writing and Prison – Activists, Scholars and Writers Speak Out

King Grossman


Jennifer Hamburg, author of Hazy Bloom and the Tomorrow PowerHazy Bloom and the Pet Project, and Billy Bloo is Stuck in Goo

Betty Harris

Darlene White Harris

Lynn Harris

David Hassler, Director of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University and author of May 4th Voices: Kent State, 1970Growing Season: The Life of a Migrant Community, and Red Kimono, Yellow Barn

David A. Hernandez, author of Dear, Sincerely, Hoodwinked, and No More Us For You

Myrlin Hepworth

Shannon Hitchcock, author of One True WayRuby Lee & Me, and The Ballad of Jessie Pearl

Omar Holmon

Dave Housley, author of Massive Cleansing FireIf I Knew the Way, I Would Take You Home, and Commercial Fiction

Ravi Yielding Howard, author of Driving the King and Like Trees, Walking

Amorak Huey, author of Ha Ha Ha Thump and The Insomniac Circus 


Tyehimba Jess, author of Olio


Cihan Kaan

Patricia Kennedy

Barbara Kerley, author of A Home For Mr. EmersonThose Rebels, John and Tom, and Following Baxter

Angel A. Kimble

Matthew J. Kirby, author of IcefallA Taste for Monsters, and Last Descendants: An Assassin’s Creed Series

Greg Kishbaugh, author of Bone WelderBurning Maiden Vol. 1, and Burning Maiden Vol. 2

Bill Konigsberg, author of The Porcupine of Truth and Openly Straight

Janet Konstant


Sara B. Larson, author of Defy, Dark Breaks the Dawn, and Bright Burns the Night

Brett Lauer of the Poetry Society of America

Cole Lavalais, Founder & Director of the Chicago Writers Studio and author of Summer of the Cicadas

Joseph O. Legaspi, author of ThresholdImago, and Aviary, Bestiary

John Leland

J. Robert Lennon

Matthew Limpede of Carve Magazine

Alvina Ling of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Paul Lisicky, author of The Narrow Door: A Memoir of FriendshipUnbuilt Projects, and Famous Builder

Timothy Liu

Richard L. Lopez

Lisa Lucas of the National Book Foundation


Tina Mabry of Morgan’s Mark

Brenda Maier, author of The Little Red Fort

Sarah Manguso, author of 300 ArgumentsOngoingness: The End of a Diary, and The Two Kinds of Decay: A Memoir

Dania Martinez

Rosella May-Hartwell

Andrew McCarthy

Lo Kwa Mei-en of Kweli Journal

Allison Moore, Editor at Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Matt Morton

Carson Moss of Strand Bookstore


Okey A. Ndibe, author of Foreign Gods, Inc.Arrows of Rain, and Never Look an American in the Eye

Kenn Nesbitt, author of Kiss, Kiss, Good NightBelieve It or Not, My Brother Has a Monster, and More Bears!

Aimee C Nezhukumatathil, author of Oceanic and Lucky Fish 

Jennifer A. Nielsen, author of The Traitor’s GameResistance, and A Night Divided

Leonardo Nin


John Oakes, Co-Publisher of OR Books and Publisher of Evergreen Review

Chigozie Obioma, author of The Fishermen and An Orchestra of Minorities

Alix Ohlin, author of InsideSigns and Wonders, and “Quarantine”

Erlina D. Ortiz from Kweli Journal


Gerald A. Padilla from Latino Book Review

Eesha Pandit

Kamran Pasha

Laura Pegram, Founding Editor & Publisher of Kweli Journal

Princess Perry from Kweli Journal

Mark Pett, author of This is My Book and The Lizard From the Park

Rodman Philbrick, author of Freak The MightyZane and The Hurricane, and The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg

Tommy Pico, author of IRL, Nature Poem, and Junk

Cameron Pierce, author of Taut Lines: Extraordinary True Fishing Stories


Alice Quinn, Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America


Kode Jamil Ransom

Lauren Redniss, author or Thunder & Lightning: Weather, Past, Present, Future and Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout

Trent Reedy, author of Words in the DustDivided We Fall, and If You’re Reading This

Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, author of 8th Grade Superzero, Two Naomis, and Naomis Too

Davy Rothbart of FOUND Magazine and author of My Heart Is An Idiot and The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas

Kate Rushin

Dante Russo


René Saldaña Jr.

Elizabeth D. Samet of the West Point United States Military Academy and author of Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West PointNo Man’s Land: Preparing for War and Peace in Post-9/11 America, and Leadership: Essential Writers by Our Greatest Thinkers

Augusta R. Scattergood, author of Glory BeThe Way to Stay in Destiny, and Making Friends with Billy Wong

Eliot John Schrefer, author of EndangeredThe Lost Rainforest, and Threatened

John Schreiber, President & CEO of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center

L.B. Schulman, author of Stolen Secrets

Salvatore Scibona, author of The End, “The Kid”, and “Tremendous Machine”

Rion Amilcar Scott, author of Insurrections: Stories

Vijay Seshadri, author of 3 SectionsThe Long Meadow, and Wild Kingdom

Mara Shalhoup, Deputy Editor of Atlanta Magazine

Russell Shorto

Jeff Shotts, Executive Editor of Graywolf Press

Marisa Siegel, Editor-in-Chief and owner of The Rumpus

Patricia Smith, author of Incendiary ArtShoulda Been Jimi Savannah, and Blood Dazzler

Brian A. Sonia-Wallace, author of I Sold These Poems, Now I Want Them Back

Gary Soto, author of The Elements of San Joaquin and Meatballs for the People


Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz

Baratunde Thurston, author of How To Be Black

Laura Tisdel

Duncan Tonatiuh, author of Pancho Rabbit and the CoyoteSeparate Is Never Equal, and Danza!

Sergio Troncoso, author of Crossing Borders: Personal EssaysFrom This Wicked Patch of Dust, and The Nature of Truth


Alok Vaid-Menon

David van Belle, author of Liberation Days

Richard Alexander Van Camp, author of The Lesser BlessedWe Sang You Home, and When We Play Our Drums, They Sing!

Ann VanderMeer, author of The Big Book of Science Fiction and The Time Traveler’s Almanac

Jeff VanderMeer

Linda Vasu

Hubert Mateo Vigilla, author of “In Theory Kitka”“Volcanoes!”, and “The Goddamn Caped Canaveral”

Ocean Vuong


Sheng Wang

Connor White, author of Time TracersShivers! The Pirate Who’s Afraid of Everything, and Shivers! The Pirate Who’s Back in Bunny Slippers

OJ Williams, Editor In Chief of The Knockturnal

Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

Kyndal Nichelle Wilson, Black Girl Nerds

Randy Winston, Associate Fiction Editor of Slice Literary Magazine

Yolanda Wisher, author of Monk Eats an Afro


Sunil Yapa, author of Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist


Javier Zamora, author of Unaccompanied