2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: Submissions are now open

Michael Barrett  //  Sep 13, 2017

2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: Submissions are now open

Calling all creative teens!

Today, The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers announced that the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is now accepting submissions from students across the country in grades 7–12 for the 2018 awards!


Now in its 95th year, students can join the ranks of notable alumni recipients including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Sylvia Plath, Charles White, Kay WalkingStick, Ken Burns, John Baldessari, Mozelle Thompson, Joyce Carol Oates, Hughie Lee-Smith, Robert Redford, Zac Posen, and Lena Dunham. Be sure to check out the Alliance’s Facebook or Twitter accounts to stay up to date on news and more (#GoldKey).

Here are some important things to keep in mind for this year, including details about the submission process.

Check out the videos below to help answer top submission questions, as well as helpful tips to ensure a student's work remains original and fulfills the judging guidelines.



  • Gold Medal Portfolio is the program’s highest national honor, which awards 16 high school seniors a $10,000 scholarship for their writing or artwork portfolio.
  • The New York Life Award sponsored by the New York Life Foundation recognizes teens exploring issues of grief and bereavement in their creative work and providing six young artists and writers with $1,000 scholarships.
  • The Herblock Award for Editorial Cartoon sponsored by The Herb Block Foundation provides three young artists with $1,000 scholarships for their outstanding editorial cartoons.
  • The Civic Expression Award in partnership with the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools and sponsored by the Maurice R. Robinson Fund provides $1,000 scholarships to six students whose art or writing promotes responsible civic life.
  • A full list of special awards and scholarships are available at: http://www.artandwriting.org/scholarships/

CRITERIA AND GUIDELINES FOR the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards:

  • Students in grades 7–12 in the U.S. and its territories, as well as American schools abroad, are invited to submit creative and original work in any of the Awards’ 29 art and writing categories, including architecture, paintingflash fiction, poetryprintmaking, and video game design.
  • All works are evaluated through blind adjudication first on a regional level by more than 100 local affiliates of the Alliance and then nationally by an impressive panel of creative industry experts. This past year’s group of distinguished jurors included cartoonist Leela Corman; writers John Corey Whaley, Edwidge Danticat, and Baratunde Thurston; artist Dread Scott; and curator and art critic Hrag Vartanian.
  • At each level of judging, all works are reviewed based on the same criteria that have represented the program since its founding in 1923: originality, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision or voice.
  • More information is available at artandwriting.org/guidelines.

2017–18 TIMELINE:

  • Winter 2017: Deadlines vary by region and are followed by local announcements of Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention recipients as well as American Visions & Voices Nominations. These students and their teachers are honored locally through community ceremonies and exhibitions. All Gold Key recipients are forwarded for the next round of national awards and honors.
  • March 2018: National Recipients and Special Awards areannounced.
  • June 2018: National Gold Medal Portfolios, Gold Medalists and Silver Medal Portfolios with Distinction are honored at Carnegie Hall with their families and educators. Last year’s ceremony included special appearances by Paul Chan, Ellie Kemper, Hunter March, Amy Schumer, and Allison Williams.
  • Summer 2018: Select 2018 National Medalists’ works will be highlighted in the Art.Write.Now.Tour – a traveling public exhibition displaying teen-produced art and writing. Writing recipients may have their work published in The Best Teen Writing of 2018, an anthology showcasing stories, essays, and poetry of teen authors. The 2017 edition is currently available at artandwriting.org/publications and on Amazon.com.