2019 National Writing Jurors

The Scholastic Awards warmly thank the 2019 National Writing Jurors. A cast of more than 200 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 2019 National Writing Jurors.

American Voices Award

Sarah Blake, author of Naamah, Let’s Not Live on Earth, and Mr. West

Amy Brewer, author of Texting Prince Charming

Kathryn Brohawn

Francisco Cantú, author of The Line Becomes a River

Enrique Flores-Galbis, author of Raining Sardines and 90 Miles to Havana

Jonathan Francisco Garcia

Camille Griep

Betty J. Harris

Lynn K. Harris

John Holman, author of Squabble and Other Stories, Luminous Mysteries, and Triangle Ray

Zeyn Joukhadar, author of The Map of Salt and Stars

Ilya Kaminsky

Cheston Brian Knapp, author of Up Up, Down Down

Patricia M. Mckean, author of Texting Prince Charming

Joshua M. Murray, Assistant Professor of English at Fayetteville State University

Rollo Romig, author of “Masala Dosa to Die For“, “The Reed Artist“, and “When You’ve Had Detroit

Lucile Scott, author of An American Coven(ant)

Akhil Sharma, author of An Obedient Father, Family Life, and A Life of Adventure and Delight

Brando Skyhorse, author of The Madonnas of Echo Park: A Novel, Take This Man: A Memoir, and We Wear The Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America

Laura Tohe, author of Code Talker Stories, Tseyi/Deep in the Rock, and No Parole Today

Aaron Wiener, Senior Editor at Mother Jones

Best-in-Grade Award

Hanna Ali, author of The Story of Us

Stephanie Jonell Alvarado

Laura Ascenzi-Moreno, Associate Professor at Brooklyn College, City University of New York

Nicole Brown

Joseph Bruchac, author of Two Roads (Dial Books), Brothers of the Buffalo (Fulcrum Books), and Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code (Abrams)

Orson Scott Card, author of Ender’s Game, Pathfinder, and The Lost Gate

Ellen Carpenter, Editor in Chief at Hemispheres

Levi Higgs

Angel A. Kimble

Cynthia Lord, author of Rules, A Handful of Stars, and Because of the Rabbit

Nelle Mills, author of “Alleged Lesbian Activities” and “Filiation

José Guadalupe Olivarez, author of Citizen Illegal

Shaunwell R. Posley, President of 95Notes Literary Magazine

Luke William Reynolds, author of If My Love Were a Fire Truck, Fantastic Failures, and The Looney Experiment

Olive Senior, author of The Pain Tree (Peepal Tree Press), Gardening in the Tropics (Insomniac Press), and Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal (University of the West Indies Press)

Virgil Suárez, author of 90 Miles: Selected and New (University of Pittsburgh Press), Spared Angola (Arte Publico Press), and Latin Jazz (Louisiana State University Press)

Padma Venkatraman

Ben H. Winters, author of Golden State, Underground Airlines, and The Last Policeman

Civic Expression Award

Rasha Abdulhadi, author of Shell Houses; contributor to The Breakbeats Poets Vol. 3: Halal if You Hear Me and Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler

Marissa Anne Gutierrez-Vicario, Executive Director at Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE)

Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz

Jose Luis Vilson, author of This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education; Executive Director at EduColor

Critical Essay

David Basena

Andrei Codrescu, author of No Time Like Now: Poems, The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess, and The Poetry Lesson

Gerald L. Coleman, author of When Night Falls: Book One Of The Three Gifts, A Plague Of Shadows: Book Two Of The Three Gifts, and Microphone Check

Ifeona Harrison Fulani, author of Archipelagos of Sound: Transnational Caribbeanities, Women and Music, Ten Days In Jamaica: Stories, and Seasons of Dust: A Novel

Rigoberto Gonzalez, author of The Book of Ruin, What Drowns the Flowers in Your Mouth, and Unpeopled Eden

Victor Babatunde Jatula, Assistant Professor, Communication at University of Utah

Rachel Graham Kagan

Chelene Knight, author of Braided Skin


Patrice Lawrence, author of Orangeboy, Indigo Donut, and Snap

Ander Monson, author of Vanishing Point, Letter to a Future Lover, and Other Electricities

Obi Nwakanma, author of Thirsting for Sunlight: Christopher Okigbo, The Horsemen & Other Poems, and Birthcry

Justin Phillip Reed, author of Indecency

Luc Sante, author of Low Life, The Other Paris, and Kill All Your Darlings

Bianca L. Spriggs, author of Black Mermaid and The Galaxy Is a Dance Floor

Dramatic Script

Louisa Anne Aviles

Lucas Baisch

Alexander Danner, author of Greater Boston

Brett Fletcher Lauer, author of A Hotel In Belgium, Fake Missed Connections, and Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation; Deputy Director at Poetry Society of America

Jay Odjick, author of Kagagi: The Raven and Kagagi: The Raven animated series

Jeffrey W. Sweet, author of The Value of Names and Other Plays, The Dramatist’s Toolkit, and Flyovers

Flash Fiction

Ignatius Valentine Aloysius, author of “One Small Victory“, “Tabernacle for Drinkers“, and “Greeting Cards

Jackie Cuevas, author of Post-Borderlandia and El Mundo Zurdo

Timothy DuWhite

Aimée Felone, Publisher at Knights Of

Alison Granucci, President and Owner at Blue Flower Arts, LLC

Ben Guterson, author of Winterhouse and The Secrets of Winterhouse

Brandon Hobson, author of Where the Dead Sit Talking

Naomi Jackson, author of The Star Side of Bird Hill

David James Keaton, author of Our Pool Party Bus Forever Days, Stealing Propeller Hats from the Dead, and The Last Projector

Christine Kendall, author of Riding Chance

Michael Martone, author of Brooding, The Moon Over Wapakoneta, and Michael Martone

Benjamin Samuel

Scott Saul

Matthew Ross Smith, author of Lizzy Legend

Kevin Waltman, author of Next and Slump


Farai Chideya, author of The Episodic Career

David Clawson, author of My Fairy Godmother Is a Drag Queen

Luke Neal Hodges

Ethan Long

Halimah Marcus, Executive Director at Electric Literature


Gwen Florio, author of Silent Hearts, Under the Shadows, and Reservations

Jillian Goodman

Zoe Smolen

Krithika Varagur

New York Life Award

Mary Knight, author of Saving Wonder

Devlyn Hugh McCreight, Owner/Therapist at McCreight Psychotherapy & Clinical Consulting, PLLC

Kortney Morrow

Heather Nesle, President at New York Life Foundation

Jim Sitar

Novel Writing

Rohan Gavin, author of Knightley & Son, Knightley & Son: K-9, and Knightley & Son: 3 Of A Kind

Paul Tobin, author of Genius Factor, Plants vs. Zombies, and Bandette

Tobias L. Wray, Director of Creative Writing Programs at the University of Idaho’s Creative Writing Programs

One Earth Award

Michael J. DeLuca, Editor at Reckoning Press

Oonya Kempadoo, author of All Decent Animals Tide Running, and Buxton Spice

Elissa Ann Parker

Personal Essay & Memoir

Olga Abella, author of Watching the Wind

Hasan Altaf

Lois Bridges, author of Open a World of Possible: The Joy and Power of Reading, Assessment: Continuous Learning, and Writing as a Way of Knowing; Vice President/Publisher, Scholastic Professional at Scholastic

Christopher Carmona, author of El Rinche: The Ghost Ranger of the Rio Grande, The Road to Llorona Park, and 140 Twitter Poems

Darin Ciccotelli, author of “Furmanov Lane” and Other Poems, “Honeysuckle” and Other Poems, and “Assistance” and Other Poems; Associate Professor at Soka University of America

Karissa Chen, author of “Blue Tears“, “My Grandfather’s Fateful Goodbye”, “Reimagined“, and Meditations on My Name; Editor-in-Chief at Hyphen

Allicia Clark

Ian M. Cockfield

Paige Cornwell

Matt Crowley

Philip De Guzman

Anna deVries

Kim Fu, author of The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore, For Today I Am a Boy, and How Festive the Ambulance

Eric Gansworth, author of If I Ever Get Out of Here, Give Me Some Truth, and A Half-Life of Cardio-Pulmonary Function

Leslie C. Halpern, author of Scantily Clad Truths, 200 Love Lessons from the Movies, and Dreams on Film

Yahdon Israel, Award VP at National Book Critics Circle

Miah Jeffra, author of The First Church of What’s Happening, The Fabulous Ekphrastic Fantastic!

Lonnell Edward Johnson, author of Reflections on My Journey through Academe, Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe, and Your Life Is a Book

Jack Kelly, author of The Edge of Anarchy, Heaven’s Ditch, and Band of Giants

Rich Larson, author of Meat And Salt And Sparks, “Carouseling“, and Dark Warm Heart

Demetria Martinez, author of Mother Tongue, The Block Captain’s Daughter

Joseph Mbele

Jasminne Mendez, author of Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays & Poetry, Island of Dreams, and “The Burden of Teachable Moments

Kamilah Aisha Moon, author of Starshine & Clay

Will Niedmann

Dennis Norris II, Assistant Fiction Editor at The Rumpus

Jeremy Paden, author of Broken Tulips, ruina montium, and prison recipes; Professor of Latin American Literature at Transylvania University

Dustin Kyle Pearson, author of Millennial Roost, A Family Is a House

Terisa Tinei Siagatonu, author of “Atlas” and “Moana Means Home: A Contrapuntal

Noor Unnahar Siddique, author of Yesterday I Was the Moon and Find Your Voice: A Guided Poetry Journal for Your Heart and Your Art

Sheila Squillante, author of “Four Menus“, “After the Verdict We Watch Fireworks“, and Beautiful Nerve

Mary Watson, author of The Wren Hunt and The Wickerlight


Elizabeth Acevedo, author of The Poet X, With The Fire on High, and Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths

Dilruba Ahmed, author of DHAKA DUST

Neil Aitken, author of The Lost Country of Sight, Babbage’s Dream

MK Asante

Sherwin Bitsui, author of Dissolve, Flood Song

Ryan D. Brinkhurst, author of Is Dad Dead?, Strangle the White Goose, and Editor at Literary Heist

Cortney Lamar Charleston, author of Telepathologies

Ian Clarke

Geffrey Davis, author of Night Angler(BOA Editions) and Revising the Storm (BOA Editions); Associate Professor at University of Arkansas, Program in Creative Writing & Translation

Teri Ellen Cross Davis, author of “Haint” and “Not Without Our Laughter

Lorna Dawes

Natalie Diaz, author of When My Brother Was An Aztec, Post Colonial Love Poem (March 2020 from Graywolf Press)

Mitchell L. H. Douglas, author of dying in the scarecrow’s arms: Poems, \blak\ \al-fə bet\: Poems, and Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem

Cornelius Eady, author of “When You Go To Sleep, Do You Think You’ll Wake Up In America?“, All the American Poets Have Titled Their New Books The End, and The War Against The Obvious; Co-Founder at Cave Canem

Claire Farley, Co-founder and Editor at Canthius: Feminism & Literary Arts

Harold Green, Executive Director at Flowers for the Living Foundation

Cassie Guinan

Mwende K. Katwiwa, author of Becoming//Black

Chip Livingston, author of Owls Don’t Have to Mean Death, Naming Ceremony, and Crow-Blue, Crow-Black

Maurice Manning, author of One Man’s Dark, The Gone and the Going Away, and The Common Man

Trapeta B. Mayson, author of Mocha Melodies, She Was Once Herself

Tony Medina, author of Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy, I Am Alfonso Jones, and Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky

Richard Michelson, author of “More Money Than God“, “Battles and Lullabies“, and “The Language of Angels

Michael Northern, author of Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, The Right Way to Be Crippled and Naked; Editor at Wordgathering

Biljana Obradovic, author of Incognito; Cat Painter: An Anthology of Contemporary Serbian Poetry; and World Literature Today

Linda Rodriguez, author of Dark Sister: Poems, Heart’s Migration, and The World Is One Place: Native American Poets Visit the Middle East

Erika L. Sánchez, author of Lessons on Expulsion and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Safiya Sinclair, author of Cannibal

Asiya Wadud, author of Crosslight for Youngbird, contributor to Counter-Desecration: A Glossary for Writing Within the Anthropocene

Brian Phillip Whalen

Kobi Yamada, author of What Do You Do With An Idea?, What Do You Do With A Problem?, and What Do You Do With A Chance?

George Masao Yamazawa

Javier Zamora, author of Unaccompanied

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Quenton Baker, author of This Glittering Republic

Tobias S. Buckell, author of Arctic Rising, Hurricane Fever, and The Tangled Lands

Jennifer A. Nielsen, author of THE TRAITOR’S GAME, RESISTANCE, and WORDS ON FIRE

Anthony Ryan, author of Blood Song, The Waking Fire, and The Wolf’s Call

Bryan Thao Worra, author of DEMONSTRA, Before We Remember We Dream, and On The Other Side Of The Eye; President at Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association

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

Short Story

Kali Fajardo-Anstine, author of Sabrina & Corina

Joseph Tyler Arnold

Rafael Casal

Cecil Castellucci, author of Don’t Cosplay With My Heart, Soupy Leaves Home, and Tin Star

Angela Cervantes, author of Gaby, Lost and Found; Me, Frida and The Secret of the Peacock Ring; and Lety Out Loud

Pearl Chan, Co-director and Fiction Editor at “The Impressment Gang

Sophie Charles, author of Bunheads

Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes, The Welsh Girl, and Equal Love

Tim Floreen, author of Willful Machines, Tattoo Atlas, and Feral Youth

Lucy Ives, author of Impossible Views of the World and Loudermilk: Or, the Real Poet; Or, the Origin of the World

Fabienne Josaphat, author of Dancing in the Baron’s Shadow

Jason Erik Lundberg, author of Diary of One Who Disappeared, Red Dot Irreal, and Embracing the Strange

Brendan Mathews, author of This Is Not a Love Song and The World of Tomorrow

Vynetta A. Morrow

Douglas F.R. Murano, Jr.

Francisco X. Stork, author of Disappeared, The Memory of Light, and Marcelo in the Real World

Jeff Weigel

Carter Wilson, author of “Mister Tender’s Girl“, “The Dead Girl in 2A“, and “Revelation

Tim Wynne-Jones, author of The Ruinous Sweep, The Emperor of Any Place, and Blink & Caution

Writing Portfolio

Antonio R. Aiello

Corina L. Apostol, author of Making Another World Possible—10 Creative Time Summits, 10 Global Issues, 100 Art Projects, Demanding Justice: Social Rights and Radical Art Practices, and Artists Against Precarity and Violence—Resistance Strategies, Unionizing, and Coalition Building in a Time of Global Conflict and Contradiction; Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at Creative Time

Dan Barden

Cinelle Barnes, author of Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir, Malaya: Essays on Freedom

Danielle Bennett, author of Havemercy, Dragonsoul, and Steelhands

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

Ching-In Chen, author of recombinant, The Heart’s Traffic, and The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities

Summer Edward, author of New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean and New Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent; Editor-in-chief at Anansesem

Philip Elliott, author of “Nobody Move“, The Impending Heat Death of the Universe & Other Things That Stop Me from Caring, and “Hunger & Hallelujahs“; Founder/Editor-in-Chief at Into the Void

Kij Johnson, author of The River Bank, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, and At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories

Michelle Koufopoulos

Meghan Lamb, author of All Your Most Private Places

Charles J. Malone, author of Questions About Circulation and Editor of A Poetic Inventory of Rocky Mountain National Park; Program and Outreach Manager at Wick Poetry Center, Kent State University

Chris McKinney, author of The Tattoo, Boi No Good, and Yakudoshi: Age of Calamity

Brad Aaron Modlin, author of Everyone at This Party Has Two Names and Surviving in Drought; Reynolds Endowed Chair of Creative Writing at University of Nebraska

Wayetu Moore, author of She Would Be King

Kevin Murphy

Diana Khoi Nguyen, author of Ghost Of “It’s All About You + Reading” with Steve Almond and Chris Castellani

Monica Prince, author of Instructions to Temporary Survival, Letters from the Other Woman

Jonah Lloyd Rosenberg

Olga Rukovets, author of “In Memory“, “Leonard“, and “Dacha

Alanna Rusnak, author of The Church in the Wildwood and The Ghost of Iris Carver; Editor in Chief at Blank Spaces Magazine

Eleanore Jeanne Scott, Program Coordinator at Aspen Words

Jasmine Frances Sealy, Prose Editor at PRISM international

Hasanthika Sirisena, author of The Other One

Nic Stone, author of “Dear Martin“, “Odd One Out“, and “Jackpot

Brian Turner, author of My Life as a Foreign Country; Here, Bullet; and Phantom Noise

Derek Updegraff, author of Paintings That Look Like Things, The Butcher’s Tale and Other Stories

Ava Forte Vitali, author of Art and Its Histories: From Prehistory through Gothic

Marion Winik, author of The Baltimore Book of the Dead, First Comes Love, and The Glen Rock Book of the Dead

James Chien-Hwa Yeh

Arnold Zar-Kessler, Executive Director at Inspiring Educators

Multiple Categories

Robert Beatty, author of Serafina and the Black Cloak, Willa of the Wood, and Serafina and the Splintered Heart

Brandon Ray Christophe

Evan Lavender-Smith, author of From Old Notebooks

Sherri Winston, author of Jada Sly, Artist & Spy; President of the Whole Fifth Grade; and The Sweetest Sound

Jeff Wheeler, author of The Muirwood Series, The Kingfountain Series, and The Harbinger Series; founder of Deep Magic E-Zine