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Scholastic Art & Writing Contest

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. The Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent and present their remarkable work to the world through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The Awards give students opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships.

All entries are considered for Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention, American Visions Nominee, and American Voices Nominee Awards. These are presented to students along with celebration ceremonies and exhibitions in each region. Gold Key entries are automatically considered for national awards, including Gold Medal, Silver Medal with Distinction, Silver Medal, and scholarship awards. Gold Medalists are invited to a ceremony in New York City.

who should apply?any student interested in arts and/or writing
eligible grade levels7th to 12th grade (seniors for portfolio)
cost$7/entry and $25/portfolio (can be waived)
award$10,000 for Gold Medal Portfolio winners
$1,000 Silver Medal Portfolio winners
$1,000 for Herblock, NY Life, One Earth, and Civic Expression awards
$500 for Best-In-Grade awards
opensAugust 2021
deadlinevaries (LA region: December 6, 2021, 8:59 PST)
decisions releasedJanuary 28, 2022
date of programJune 2022 (Gold Medalist Award Ceremony)
locationNew York City, NY (Gold Medalist Award Ceremony)
selectivity16 Gold Medal Portfolio winners
30 Silver Medal Portfolio winners
3 Herblock Award for Editorial Cartoon winners
6 New York Life awards
4 One Earth Scholarships
6 Civic Expression awards
2 writers and artists per grade (24 best-in-grades)

In Region-At-Large:
5% Gold Keys
8% Silver Keys
12% Honorable Mention

application requirements

  • be a student residing in the United States, US territories or military bases, or Canada
  • be a student in grades 7-12 above the age of 13

application process

  • submit writing/arts piece(s) by regional deadline
    • art categories: architectural & industrial design, ceramics & glass, comic art, design, digital art, drawing & illustration, editorial cartoon, expanded projects, fashion, film & animaion, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture
    • writing categories: critical essay, dramatic script, flash fiction, humor, journalism, novel writing, personal essay & memoir, poetry, science fiction & fantasy, short story
    • seniors can submit art and/or writing portfolio(s): 6 pieces, 500-word artist/writer statement, 500-word personal statement
    • check website for individual category requirements
    • apply to scholarships based on category/topic (generally requires 50-word statement)
  • if you receive a regional Gold or Silver Key and are in grades 7-11, you are eligible to apply for a Summer Program Scholarship. Submit
    • Gold/Silver Key entry
    • up to 5 recent examples of best art/writing
    • profile + student questionnaire


  • only Gold Key and American Vision/Voices are eligible to move onto national judging, including Best-In-Grade scholarships and (for seniors) Portfolio scholarships
  • application to Summer Program Scholarship does not guarantee admission into one of your top 3 programs. You will be ghosted if you do not receive a scholarship.
  • portfolios can only be submitted by seniors, must contain 6 works total
  • Herblock Award is for entries submitted in the Editorial Cartoon art category
  • the New York Life award is for pieces submitted about grief, loss, and bereavement
  • One Earth award is for pieces about human-caused climate change
  • Civic Expression award is for pieces about political and social issues

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