The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program and the largest source of scholarship funds in the nation for creative teens. Every year, the Awards receive nearly 350,000 submissions in 29 different categories of art and writing from students in grades 7–12 in all 50 states. The Awards give creative teens opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships.
The Awards were established in 1923 by the visionary founder of Scholastic Inc., Maurice R. Robinson, as a small writing contest with just six winning applications. Over the course of the next seven decades, they were run as a division of Scholastic Inc., growing to become a national program administered by the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, in partnership with Affiliates across the country. These Affiliate Partners manage regional art and writing awards programs in their communities, conducting outreach, overseeing adjudication, and hosting exhibitions and awards ceremonies.
Over the course of their history, the Awards have established a significant track record for identifying the early promise of our nation’s most accomplished and prolific creative leaders. An impressive roster of notable alumni includes Tschabalala Self, Stephen King, Kay WalkingStick, Charles White, Joyce Carol Oates, and Andy Warhol. Outside the arts, Awards alumni employ their creativity in any number of ways—becoming leaders in fields including journalism, medicine, finance, government and public service, law, science, design, and more.
As they move into their second century, the Awards continue to encourage, inspire, and celebrate millions of young artists and writers and empower teens to share their voices and visions with the world. For many teens, receiving a Scholastic Award is life-changing and sets them on the path to becoming passionate creators and supporters of the arts. Richard Avedon described receiving his Scholastic Award as “the defining moment of my life.”