Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

2022-2023 Harris County Regional Awards Program Resources

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Harris County School District Scholastic Leaders,

Thank you very much for your daily commitment to students in Harris County.

HCDE has proudly served as a regional sponsor for The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards since 1993. Established by Maurice Robinson, founder of Scholastic Books Inc., it is the largest and most prestigious recognition program and source of scholarships for creative teens in the U.S.

Each fall, area schools and districts submit students’ best artwork and writing to compete at the regional level. Entries are judged by panels of highly-qualified professionals who select Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention recipients. Gold Key award recipients go on to compete at the national level. More than 1,500 students receive national awards each year. Past winners include Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford and Joyce Carol Oates.

Norma Rodriguez and I are excited to partner in this work with you again this year! We are here to help provide support for you, as you support the teachers and students in your district.

We are looking forward to another great year!

Andrea Segraves

Director of the Teaching and Learning Center

Regional Affiliate for Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Harris County Department of Education

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  • September 01 PROGRAM LAUNCH
  • Sept. 01- Dec.02 Educators check uploaded works for program criteria: Originality, Vision and Technical Skill
  • December 02 DEADLINE for Scholastic Art & Writing Submissions
  • December 09 Art Adjudication
  • December 09-22 Online Writing Adjudication Window
  • February 07 ART DROP OFF
  • Feb.10-March 19 Exhibits (Location to be determined)
  • TBD 7-8th Grade Regional Gold and Silver Key Art and Writing Ceremony
  • TBD 9-12th Grade Regional Gold and Silver Key Ceremonies
  • TBD National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall NYC, NY


The 2022-2023 Scholastic Awards season is here, and with it are some changes to the program. Every year, the national office makes improvements to the technology, the entry process, and sometimes the categories so that participating in the Awards is easy for everyone, whether they are returning to the Awards or new to the program. Keep reading to find out what’s changed and our scholarship opportunities for 2023.
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Entry Fees are $10 for an individual entry and $30 for a portfolio.

If the fee is a barrier to any teen's participation, we will waive the fee.

The letter notifying the community of these changes is available here. If you or educators in your region have any questions, please reach out to us at

Portfolio Awards will include the Gold Medal Portfolio, a $12,500 scholarship for 16 graduating seniors, and the Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolio, a $2,000 scholarship for 24 seniors.

Flaunt It Award is developed in collaboration with Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It, a non-profit organization that works to advance acceptance, tolerance, and mutual respect for people’s visible or invisible differences.

Two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to teens whose outstanding work explores the theme: “The things that make me different make me, me.”

Same as last year but notable...

Entry Forms

Educators are not required to sign entry forms. However, students must still select an educator when they enter their work. Some awards include cash prizes for both the student and their educator, so it’s important to select an educator for each work.

Entry forms still require the signatures of the student and their parent or guardian.

Portfolio Requirements and Statements

Art and Writing Portfolios must include six works. Seniors can enter up to two art and/or two writing portfolios, but the same works cannot appear in multiple portfolios.

Portfolio entries must include two statements: an Artist or Writer Statement and a Personal Statement. These statements will be important elements for the consideration of scholarships. If you have questions about the difference between an Artist or Writer Statement and a Personal Statement, check out our blog post for help.

We celebrate creative teens locally and nationally with awards, exhibitions, publications, and scholarships.


All entries are considered for Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention, American Visions Nominee, and American Voices Nominee Awards. Awards issued digitally and students honored at 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.

A list of all of the National Medalists is published on our website each spring.

Scholarships and Cash Awards

Applying for scholarships is easy! Some scholarships require simply checking a box at the end of the application, while others ask for a short 50-word statement. Find out more about our different scholarships and how to apply for them below.

The Alliance/ACT-SO Journey Award

The Alliance/ACT-SO Journey Award, in partnership with the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO), offers full-tuition scholarships to attend summer art or writing programs to ACT-SO scholars (in grades 7–11) who apply to the Scholastic Awards and receive a Gold or Silver Key.

How to apply: During the online entry process, ACT-SO scholars should select ACT-SO as their “Other Educational Program” or opt in to the Alliance/ACT-SO Journey Award at the end of their application.

Best-in-Grade Award

The Best-in-Grade Award, sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies, offers $500 scholarships to 24 Gold Medal winners (two artists and two writers per grades 7–12.)

How to apply: All Gold Medal-winning work will be considered.

Civic Expression Award

The Civic Expression Award, underwritten by the Maurice R. Robinson Fund, offers $1,000 scholarships to six students whose works explore political or social issues.

How to apply: At the end of your application, opt in to the Civic Expression Award. You will be prompted to include a short statement of 50 words or more about your work.

The Herblock Award for Editorial Cartoon

The Herblock Award for Editorial Cartoon, underwritten by The Herb Block Foundation, offers $1,000 scholarships to three students whose visual art offers commentary or criticism on current events, social events, or political topics.

How to apply: Select “Editorial Cartoon” as your art category when applying.

New York Life Award

The New York Life Award, underwritten by the New York Life Foundation, offers $1,000 scholarships to six students whose works explore personal grief and loss. State scholarships of $500 are also available to two students from each of the following states: Arizona, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, and Tennessee.

How to apply: At the end of your application, opt in to the New York Life Award. You will be prompted to include a short statement of 50 words or more about your work.

One Earth Award

The One Earth Award, underwritten by the Salamander Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation, offers $1,000 scholarships to four students whose works address the pressing issue of human-caused climate change.

How to apply: At the end of your application, opt in to the One Earth Award. You will be prompted to include a short statement of 50 words or more about your work.

Portfolio Awards

The Portfolio Awards, made possible by generous individual donors and other supporters, offer 16 Gold Medal Portfolio winners with $10,000 scholarships and 30 Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolio winners with $1,000 scholarships.

How to apply: All Gold Key-winning portfolios will be considered.

And that’s it! You’re all caught up and ready to enter your work into the 2022 Scholastic Awards. If you have questions about the entry process, please visit our FAQ page or contact us at

The 2022-2023 Scholastic Awards will open for entries on September 01, 2022!

Students and educators can create their accounts and begin uploading original works of art and writing. Participating in the Awards is easy—it takes just three steps to enter your work into the longest-running, most prestigious awards program for creative teens!

  1. Go to to create your account.
  2. Upload your best art or writing.
  3. Upload your submission form.
  4. Make payment or upload fee waiver.



Scholastic Art and Writing Awards 2022
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Each year we recognize our National Medalists during celebrations in June. Students who receive Gold Medals or select scholarships, their educators, and their guests are invited to a celebration of their remarkable accomplishment. Watch last year’s ceremony below.
National Ceremony 2022

Click here to watch the 2022 National Ceremony

Who's Who on the HCDE Team?

We know that not every work will fit perfectly into a category. It’s up to students and educators to read the category descriptions and choose the category that best fits their work. Please direct students with questions about categories to

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Ceremony Highlights
Oprah Winfrey Introduces the National Student Poets at the Scholastic Awards' 2021 National Ceremony


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About the National Student Poets Program

The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers partner to present the National Student Poets Program (NSPP), the country’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work. Five outstanding high school poets whose work exhibits exceptional creativity, dedication to craft, and promise are selected annually for a year of service as national poetry ambassadors. National Student Poets are chosen from among the National Medalists in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards with input from a jury of literary luminaries and leaders in education and the arts. The Poets receive academic awards and opportunities to present their work at writing and poetry events during their year of service. They develop and lead community-focused projects for a wide range of audiences in underserved communities throughout their regions. National Student Poets Program Alumni remain connected to the Program, often continuing their community projects after their terms have concluded, and mentor each incoming class. The National Student Poets Program is supported by funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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Kechi was one of five students selected from across the entire nation as a 2020 National Student Poet, the nation's highest honor for youth poets presenting original work. The Class of 2021 will serve as ambassadors for poetry through a partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Science. These talented teens will present in spaces across the nation, inspiring curiosity and new visions of our collective future.
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What are the submission fees?

$10.00 per individual submission and $30.00 per portfolio submission.

The Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and its Affiliate Partners. Submission fees support both your local Affiliate and the Alliance to cover the cost of processing, customer service, scholarships, ceremonies, exhibitions, publications, and other general operating costs.

What should I do if I can’t afford the submission fee?

If the submission fee is a barrier to your participation in the Awards, we will waive the submission fee when you submit a Fee Waiver Form. In your account, go to the payment page and check the box indicating you will be submitting a Fee Waiver. A link to a Fee Waiver Form will appear. Complete the form and submit it with your submission form. A parent or guardian must sign the form certifying in good faith that the submission fee presents a barrier to participation.

Submission forms received without payment or the Fee Waiver Form will be considered incomplete and may be disqualified.

Online Galleries- Art & Writing Examples

Visit online galleries to see art and writing from current and past Scholastic Awards recipients.

As an educator, can I waive the submission fees for my class?

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and its Affiliates will waive the submission fee if it presents a significant barrier to participation and if the student submits a Fee Waiver Form. Each student and their family should make this determination for themselves.

Fee Waiver Forms are individual, and we do not accept blanket Fee Waiver Forms for schools or classrooms.

A parent or guardian must sign the Fee Waiver form certifying in good faith that the submission fee presents a barrier to participation. Educators are not required to sign this form.

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How to photograph your art
Scholastic Gold Key YouTube Channel

Click here to watch highlights from previous years' national ceremonies.

What is Copyright & Plagiarism?

Copyright is a form of legal protection prohibiting others from copying one’s creative work without permission. A copyright is a property right. Copyright law grants the creator of an original work the exclusive rights for its use and distribution.

Plagiarism is an ethical violation resulting from failure to cite sources and engaging in the act of passing someone else’s work or ideas off as one’s own. This applies even if you have only copied a part, rather than the whole, of another’s work.

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Follow me on Social Media @AndreaSegraves

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