The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Harris County Department of Education

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Regional Sponsor: Harris County Department of Education

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 winners 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.
2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Ceremony Highlights
HCDE Scholastic Promo, Support Scholastic and Art Writing

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Program

Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program is the longest-running, most prestigious initiative of its kind, having fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students through recognition, exhibitions, publications and scholarships. Over the past five years alone, students have submitted more than one million works of art and writing and more than $40 million has been made available in scholarships and awards to top winning participants.

What are the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards?

  • The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards recognize student achievement in the visual and literary arts in 29 categories, including editorial cartoon, poetry, graphic design, fashion, science fiction, video game design and more.
  • Since 1923, the Awards have recognized and encouraged millions of students, including Truman Capote, Philip Pearlstein, Sylvia Plath, Andy Warhol and John Updike, who won when they were teens. In more recent years, famous names such as Stephen King, Myla Goldberg, Zac Posen, Lena Dunham and Richard Linklater have become alumni of the program.
  • An Award signifies to parents, teachers, the community and colleges that a student is an accomplished artist or writer.
  • The Awards offer opportunities for creative teens to earn recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarships.
  • In the 2015 program year, 16 high school seniors received the Portfolio Gold Award, which includes a $10,000 scholarship.
  • Through the Scholarship Provider Network, $10 million in scholarships is set aside specifically for Scholastic Award–winning high school seniors to apply for at more than 60 colleges and universities who have partnered with the Alliance.
  • Additional cash awards are offered to students in all grades, as well as teachers.
  • More than 100 Regional Affiliates throughout the country run the Awards in their local communities and areas of operation.
  • Nearly 70,000 teen artists and writers are recognized in their regions each year. More than 1 million original works have been submitted and over $40 million has been made available in scholarships and awards to top winning students over the past five years alone.
  • Each work of art and writing is blindly adjudicated, first locally through the more than 100 affiliates of the Alliance, and then nationally by panels of judges comprised of renowned artists, authors, educators and industry experts.
  • Works are judged on originality, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision or voice.
  • To learn more about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and to read the full rules, visit:
National Scholastic Art and Writing

Click here to learn more about the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Deer Park ISD student, Peyton Vasquez, selected for the RBC Flaunt It Award

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2016 National Scholastic Board of Directors Reception

The Board of Directors Reception was held on June 02, 2016 at Carnegie Hall. The event gave students the change to meet representatives from the organizations that sponsored their Awards.

From left: Andrea Segraves, Regional Scholastic Affiliate from Harris County Department of Education, Deer Park ISD's, Paula Shamburger (selected for the Susan O’Connor Writing Educator Award for the Harris County Department of Education Scholastic Art and Writing Awards), National Gold Medalist, Deer Park ISD seventh grader, Taylor Gleason, Deer Park eighth grade teacher, Veronica Serna, Peyton Vasquez, and Deer Park ISD seventh grade teacher, Bethany Bradley.

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National Gold Medalists stand to be recognized at the National Scholastic Art and Writing Ceremony held on Thursday, June 2, 2016 at Carnegie Hall in NYC.
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Peyton Vasquez- 8th grader- Deer Park ISD quoted on the wall of the National Scholastic Art Exhibit at Pratt Gallery Manhattan

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Empire State Building lit up GOLD the night of the National Scholastic Art and Writing Ceremony!

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A Letter from a Student

Dear Ms. Segraves,

When I first received the news that I had won a National Gold Medal at the Scholastic Competition, I was relieved. After two years of attempting to even be recognized by Scholastic, I had finally won something. However, the true greatness of this feat hadn’t sunk in for me or my family. Scholastic was merely a competition that I participated in annually but never received any award for. We were excited, but we did not fully grasp the situation (especially considering my sister had been accepted into M.I.T. the preceding day). I had assumed that many of my friends had won, as well, similar to what had occurred when our entries were still at the regional level.

However, when my Language Arts teacher emailed my mother the following day to inform her that I was the only Gold medalist at my school (there were two other Silver medalists), I began researching Scholastic, and I reviewed the email Scholastic sent my mother. My excitement grew as I read names such as Truman Capote, Lena Dunham, and Stephen King (the author of Carrie, an amazing novel); if incredible writers like those could win this competition, what did that make me? And what did that make the thousands of other students who also won?

To be able to go to Carnegie Hall (Carnegie Hall!), the place where these amazing legends perhaps once stood to accept their award would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Writing is a skill -- a habit -- that I have had all my life, and to be able to be awarded for something I have spent years harnessing and perfecting is truly an honor. Also, to be even considered as one of the most creative middle school writers in America is not only inconceivable for me, but for all of the students who were also awarded.

The city of New York may be a novelty; however, for me, to be able to accept this award, to be told that I am as good as incredible writers who were awarded before me, is the biggest prize of all.


Melanie Menkiti

The Village School

Houston, Texas

Meet Taylor Gleason - Scholastic Art & Writing

A Note from Paula Shamburger, 7th Grade ELA Teacher Deer Park ISD and Recipient of the 2016 Susan O'Connor Writing Educator for HCDE's Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Wow! I am speechless! I feel very honored. I am looking forward to being there on March 5th will all of my students. The Scholastic Writing Awards mean so much to me because they are what really made me want to be a writing teacher. Many years ago, before I was even aware of the awards, my own daughter received a gold key award for an editorial she wrote in the eighth grade. I was very shocked and stunned when we learned she also won a national gold key. Undoubtedly, one of the proudest moments of my life was watching her take a bow on stage in Carnegie Hall. Four years later, I became a teacher and practically begged for the 7th grade ELA position. Being a writing teacher is very challenging and taxing at times ( I spend my life grading ), but when I read my students’ work this year, I was just so proud of their creativity and hard work. I am so blessed. Thank you so much!

Paula Shamburger

Meet Karina Perez - Scholastic Art & Writing
Meet Anna White - Scholastic Art & Writing

Scholastic Recognition Across Harris County

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HISD's seventh grader, Andrea Conley received a Gold Key at the Regional Awards at HCDE and went on to be selected for a National Gold Medal. She will be honored in the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall on June 3, 2016.
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A Letter from a Student

Dear Ms. Segraves,

I have always had doubts about whether or not my artwork would really get anywhere outside of the classroom. Throughout last year, I especially struggled with confidence in my artwork. Scholastic has played a huge role in my life this year, it has pushed me through many doubts that I had earlier in the year. When I look back at last year, I realize that I’ve grown so much and learned so many of the crucial aspects of art making that have built me up for that moment I took “Tok Tok”. From not knowing a single thing about film photography to being able to set up a film camera in seconds is a huge accomplishment I take pride in. All of the work that I put into my photography and digital media class last year has given me tools in my tool box to work with and to help craft my art. It is so crazy to think that that specific moment in time Is what brought me here today. It has inspired me to continue photography and really value the aspects of it. Knowing that my artwork has received a gold medal in a national competition confirms that I can execute my photography in a way technical skill and creativity is present. It was already hard for me to believe that I received a gold key so receiving a higher award was so surreal and almost crazy. Knowing that I received the same award as artists like Andy Warhol makes me feel like I am on the right path. It has boosted my self-confidence and has introduced me to other artists work. Going to New York would make everything happening now real life. It makes being a gold medal winner a full experience actually being there with my artwork. When I see my artwork in an exhibit it becomes something tangible. I know that the moment I see my artwork will be a milestone in my life because it’s something I never thought would ever happen.

Judy Labib, Student Cy-Fair ISD

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