2019 Spring News Update

Dear NYC Scholastic Awards Community,

It’s been a long time since the last post. Consider this a March-April-May wrap-up.

Firstly, let’s give it up to the incredible teens who received National Medals in the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards! New York City claimed 69 National Medals for art submissions and another 88 National Medals for writing submissions. Impressive! Gold Medalists will be celebrated at stellar award ceremony at Carnegie Hall on June 6. The talented students listed below are the recipients of National Silver and/or Gold Medals. Congratulations on your success!

Isabel Abad-Munson
Yerkezhan Abuova
Maha Almatari
Julia Arancio
Shayan Ashraf
Sara Azcona-Miller
Tatiana Barberi
Eliza Baron-Singer
Natascha Belt
Maeve Brennan
Jinghong Chen
Yiru Chen
Chloe Chun
Cameron Clark
Madeline Colby
Katerina Corr
Hana Cruz
William Crystal
Clare D’Amato
Nikki Daniels
Cleo De Rocco
Bill Deng
Lena DiBiasio
Amelia Dinallo
Kimberly Dominguez
Gordon Ebanks
Ari El Gharsi
Allie Ennis
Vivian Fang
Julia Feinberg
Cassandra Fenwick
Tess Fleming
Halle Friedman
Logan Furlonge
Yun Gao
Senjuti Gayen
Mason Geller
Neige Giacalone
Anna Grace Goldstein
Tess Gray
Liliana Greyf
Caroline Griem
Praharsha Gurram
Darcelis Gutierrez
Chris Han
Rina Hisajima
Cindy Hou
Foster Hudson
Katherine Hwang
Annelie Hyatt
Nathaniel Hylton
Ines Im
Sabiha Imran
Juno Jahn
Iqra Jan
Ayelet Kaminer
Ana Kaufman
Asa Khalid
Iris Khim
Lauren Kim
Violet Kopp
Luke Kushner
Justin Lam
Lucinda Lansill
Reed Lessing
John Lieberman
Kevin Lin
Ashley Liu
Chance Lockard
Yuxin Ma
Jordan Mangi
Alisa Matveeva
Dassi Mayerfeld
Hannah Mayerfield
Yael Mehlman
Divya Mehrish
Simone Menard-Irvine
Kirin Moy
Aaron Muntner
Roza Nayda
Emma Netel
Andrew Ng
Lily O’Donnell
Io Perl-Strahan
Pier Paolo Piccoli
Petra Popper-Freedman
Christina Poulin
Ahna Pultinas
Isaiah Qualls
Layla Rafimayeri
Julian Raheb
Mia Reiland
Claire Reisberg
Christian Restrepo
Sasha Lynn Roberts
Clara Rosarius
Gabriel Sambar Lande
Junnuel Sanchez
Dominik Sansevere
Chiara Schmidt
Ayla Schultz
Melissa Sepulveda
Steven Shi
Ayman Siam
Mya Singh-Johal
Suhaylah Sirajul-Islam
Dana Song
Eliza Spinna
Charlotte Spohler
Jake Srebnick
Yang Su
Abigail Sylvor Greenberg
Eleanor Tapping
Karina Teslenko
Beatrice Tong
Alondra Uribe
Annabella Ursano
Princess Uwawuike
Vanessa Vasquez
Zoe Vassiliou
Aimee Veliz
Priscilla Villacres
Janna Wang
Victoria Wang
Olivia Wein
Isabella Weitzen
Abraham Weitzman
Sylvana Widman
Amadi Williams
Philip Winter
Miranda Wollen
Zoe Wu
Emily Xu
Catherine Ye
Claire Yu
JieJie Yuan
Kamila Zabinska
Tiffany Zheng
Rachel Zhu
Gertie Zwick-Schachter

The recipients of regional Silver and Gold Keys were celebrated at The New School on Sunday, March 24. The day began with assistance from Scholastic Inc.’s Event team. Thank you to Yanique Hart, Clariza Mione and Emily Prafder for arriving early to set-up for the special day.

You may have observed some changes at this year’s ceremonies. Instead of requiring students to arrive early to pick-up their certificates and pins, certificates were posted here on the NYC blog and students receive their pins on the stage. Be sure to download your certificate by September 1. They will not be available after that date.

The award ceremony for students who received regional Silver and/or Gold Keys for their art submissions began at 11:30 am. Attendees were greeted by Robert Kirkbride, Dean of Constructed Environments at Parsons School of Design and Virginia McEnerney, the former Executive Director of the Scholastic Awards. The keynote speaker was a Scholastic Awards Alum and member of Parsons’ faculty, Heide Fasnacht. Heide was also a National Art Juror. The ceremony was followed by a reception where students and their guests mingled over coffee, hot chocolate, fruit and tortilla chips with guacamole. Click HERE to view photos.

The award ceremony for students who received a regional Silver and/or Gold Key for their writing submissions began at 1:30 pm. Attendees were greeted by Keisha Davenport-Ramirez, Senior Director of Academic Advising and Career Development at the Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts and Virginia McEnerney, the former Executive Director of the Scholastic Awards. The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Oliver Colbert who delighted the auditorium with the performance of one of his poems. Oliver has a new book out, out Dope & Dangerous: A Bunch of Poems About Being Black. Check it out! Click HERE to view photos from the award ceremony and reception.

Thank you to the entire team at The New School for coordinating all of the behind the scenes logistics involved with producing two award ceremonies in one day. A special thanks goes to Alexandra Bennett, Anthony Curry and Odellia Lucius who assisted with the procurement of jurors, keynote speakers, room reservations, etc. The Scholastic Awards deeply values their partnership with The New School. Be sure to take a look at their pre-college programs.

Two days earlier, on Friday, March 22, the recipients of Gold Keys were celebrated at the Met. Welcome Remarks kicked off with Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chairman of Education at The Met. Sandra was followed by Joel Towers, Executive Dean at Parsons School of Design and Virginia McEnerney, former Executive Director at the Scholastic Awards. The remarks were followed by readings presented by Gold and Silver Key recipients. Students and their guests spent their time admiring the exhibited artwork and writings. They also had fun designing their very own tote bags and buttons using images from The Met’s collection and Scholastic Awards Alums. The exhibition runs from March 22 through May 27, 2019. Thank you to the incredible team at The Met for the lovely evening.  Click HERE to view photos from the evening.


Last month, CUNY TV interviewed two Gold Key recipients for its program, Arts in the City. Alondra Uribe received three Gold Keys for Poetry submissions. She also received two National Gold Medals. Additionally, Alondra shared one of her poems at the NYC Writing Award Ceremony and is a semi-finalist for the 2019 National Student Poets Program. Christian Restrepo received three Gold Keys for Photography submissions. He also received a National Silver Medal. Both spent the morning of Tuesday, April 23 sharing their Gold Key awarded work on exhibition and discussing their artistic practices. The segment is scheduled to air this summer.

And last but not least, Barb Edwards joined the Scholastic Awards team this month as the NYC Manager. Barb will promote awareness about the Scholastic Awards amongst school administrators and educators at schools that aren’t already participating in the program. She will also take over this blog which means you will all hear from Barb very soon!

Important Dates

June 14-15: NYC Artwork Pick-up

September 12: The 2020 Scholastic Awards open for submissions

December 3: Deadline for all NYC submissions

FREE Poetry Workshops at the Climate Museum

Free poetry workshop opportunity through Climate Speaks, a youth spoken-word training program and competition in New York City presented by the Climate Museum. All current high school students in the New York Metropolitan area are eligible to apply, and registration is free.

Climate Speaks kicks off with climate change and poetry workshops beginning March 24. For more information, please contact the Climate Museum directly at info@climatemuseum.org.



Congratulations to the 2019 NYC Scholastic Awards Participants!

Dear NYC Scholastic Awards Community,

Thank you for participating in the 2019 NYC Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. We received nearly 13,000 submissions this year from teens across New York City. The 2019 NYC Scholastic Awards Art and Writing Adjudications were organized and presented in partnership with The New School.

Jurors gathered at The New School to consider visual and written works from creative teens across the five boroughs. All submissions were adjudicated blindly so that jurors did not see information that would identify the work’s creator, like the student’s name, gender, or school. Jurors evaluated submissions based on three criteria: originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

Our deepest gratitude goes to the 110 educators, artists, curators, writers, and editors who offered their time to participate as jurors and recognize the work and talent of NYC’s creative teens. We also thank The New School for hosting us and the moderators for helping run the art adjudications process. Joining us as moderators were Kelli Atkins, Andrea Cyrille, Jacqueline Johnson, Lawson Marlowe, Dania Martinez, Ari Panagis, Jacqueline Tsang, and Claire Velazquez-Trovato.

For both writing and art, we asked our jurors to share the common themes explored by NYC teens. We also asked them for tips that teens can use to improve their next art or writing project in preparation for next year’s Awards.


We asked our 59 writing jurors about the common themes explored by NYC teens in their writing and what advice they would give these young writers. Please click HERE to view a complete list of the 2019 NYC Scholastic Awards Writing Jurors.

While reviewing the submissions, what emergent themes did you observe?

Immigration: Cultural assimilation versus cultural preservation, cultural belonging, and deciding to identify with their religious/cultural background after previously rejecting it.

Race and Class: Race and identity politics, poverty, privilege, and concerns about justice.

Alienation: Frustration (both with the current state of the world and one’s place in it as an adolescent), uncertainty about the future, solitude, and identity (self-identity & identity in relation to their community).

Mental health: Depression and self-harm.

Gender and sexuality: Gender disparities, concerns about gender identity, young love, and navigating sexuality.

Trauma, grief, and loss: Domestic abuse, death, death of grandparents, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and gun violence.

Politics: Increased awareness and concern of political matters compared to previous years.

Family: Relations to siblings and pressure from parents to be successful.

What advice would you give to students and their educators who are preparing to submit to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards? What can students do to make their work stand out in the judging process?

Have a friend or relative proofread your submission. This will help in catching typos, getting feedback on your ideas, and understanding how well you communicate these ideas to your audience.

Express your own ideas. Many critical essays rephrased information that can be found in existing summaries of books rather than offering the student’s personal reaction to the work. Write beyond what is required for school. Be creative! Write something you’ve never seen before, and don’t recycle characters or plots from other writers. Think about the stories you would like to read, not the stories you have read, and create an emotional pull for the reader to keep reading.

Be specific. Make sure you limit the topic you talk about so that you have the time and space to address it well and clearly. You can always write another story or poem!

Have a good title and make your opening sentences compelling. This will make sure your audience is engaged from the start. Think about the characters and their lives, and be intentional about the window of time you choose to highlight in your story—it’s often best to start in the middle of the action.

Write multiple drafts of your work and read the work aloud. Both strategies will help you catch typos and see if the writing is compelling.

Write to understand, not to “be right.” Show, don’t tell. One purpose of writing is the discovery of your own voice. Authors should show a story’s themes through events, character interactions, and descriptions rather than state them as commentary in the introduction or conclusion. In other words, authors shouldn’t state what they’ve learned; they should make their audience learn it and feel it too, as their pieces unfold. If you aren’t surprised by something in your story or poem through the process of writing it, neither will your reader.

Use simple language. A strong narrative voice is much more important than using fancy words. Words learned for use in academic papers and reports can be jarring in fiction or memoir and hurt the author’s attempt to develop a genuine voice.

If you are writing outside of your experience, do your research.

Read the work of classic and contemporary writers in your genre.

Our Writing Jurors in Action HERE.



Our 51 art jurors also noted the recurring themes in student work and offered tips that students can apply to their future artworks. Please click HERE to view a complete list of the 2019 NYC Scholastic Awards Art Jurors.

While reviewing the submissions, what emergent themes did you observe?

Common concepts

Social justice: Protest and social movements, feminism, oppression, and ways to break through oppression.

Identity: Race, queerness, gender, and culture.

American politics


Mental health: Suicide, bullying, and depression.

Consumer culture

Immigration and diaspora

The environment




Common imagery and techniques

 Visual references to the photojournalism of protest

Landscape photography of nature and cities

Images that reflect familiarity with the styles of some famous photographers

Portraits, both of self and others

Pointillism, one-line drawing, still life

Films that incorporated stylistic elements common in music videos

Animal drawings

Fantastical subjects

In fashion, garments inspired by garments from the past

In sculpture, hands and faces

Birds flying

Science-fiction aesthetics

What advice would you give to students and their educators who are preparing to submit to the Scholastic Awards? What can students do to make their work stand out in the judging process?

Finish your work before submitting it. The use of half-completed works needs to be intentional and in the service of expressing or reinforcing the message of the work, versus doing it for aesthetic purposes.

Express your individual viewpoint or perspective. We want to get a sense of the artist’s unique voice—technically strong work without creativity does not stand out. Think about what you want to say through your art practice about who you are and how you see the world. Avoid submitting what are clearly classroom projects, especially still-life images, unless the work has an original/unusual viewpoint. If submitting work with a political statement, think about how you can express your unique perspective or how you can express a larger perspective in a new and unique way. Art is transformative, it not just mirrors reality but seeks to communicate ideas.

Think about how you crop or frame your subject. For photography, eliminate clutter at the edges and pay attention to reflections of the photographer within the image—either eliminate them or be deliberate about them.

Make sure there is a focal point in your work. This is especially true for photography.

Check the category descriptions to make sure you choose the one that best describes your work.

Take clear and high-quality photographs of your art. Photographs that are poorly lit or at odd angles can make it difficult for the jurors to properly evaluate the work, so make sure there is good lighting and no distractions in the background. The image of the work should be cropped to the dimensions of the work itself. Scan or photograph your work as clearly as possible. If it is 3D, show as many angles as possible.

Portfolios should be visually and conceptually consistent. When submitting a portfolio, students should think about how the pieces relate as a cohesive whole. Jurors looked for bodies of work and how images went together visually. Some really strong portfolios had one or two pieces that really didn’t belong. After curating your work, show a friend or teacher and ask them if there are any outliers.

Avoid common subjects in photography. Don’t submit photos of your pet. Snapshots or travel photos, no matter how tastefully executed, are not engaging. An expensive camera does not guarantee a golden photo. Concepts carry the image further then pretty subjects.

See Some of Our Art Jurors in Action

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The NYC Scholastic Awards thanks all jurors who provided these insightful and valuable reflections on this year’s submissions. We hope that students and educators find these comments helpful as they prepare for the 2020 Scholastic Awards.

This Year’s Recipients

In the meantime, the results of the 2019 NYC Scholastic Awards are in! Congratulations to all Award recipients!

 ** Gold Key works are automatically advanced to the national round of adjudications, where they will have the opportunity to be awarded a Silver or Gold Medal. The list of 2019 National Silver and Gold Medalists will be published on the artandwriting.org website on March 13, National Notification Day.

***All certificates are available digitally. They must be downloaded by September 1, 2019. They will not be available after that date.

****Student and educator names appear exactly as they were entered into ORS. Scholastic Awards staff will NOT accommodate requests to edit spelling, capitalization, etc. Certificates of Achievement will bear students’ names exactly as they are listed in ORS. Scholastic Awards staff will NOT accommodate requests for edits.

*****Silver and Gold Key recipients must attend the award ceremony on Sunday, March 24 at The New School to  receive their pin(s). Likewise, American Visions and Voices nominees must attend the award ceremony on Sunday, March 24 to receive their American Visions/Voices seals.

2019 NYC Writing Award Recipient List

2019 NYC Writing Award Congratulatory Letters

2019 NYC Writing Award Certificates (Abraham-Inouye)

2019 NYC Writing Award Certificates (Isko-Salvage)

2019 NYC Writing Award Certificates (Samuels-Zyada)

2019 NYC Art Award Recipient List

2019 NYC Art Award Congratulatory Letters

2019 NYC Art Award Certificates (Abad-Fann)

2019 NYC Art Award Certificates (Feldman-Li)

2019 NYC Art Award Certificates (Lin-Simonson)

2019 NYC Art Award Certificates (Simotas-Zwick)

And last but not least, congratulations to the two art educators who have been selected to receive $75 Blick gift cards! We admire your support of creative teens and hope that you continue to encourage your students to participate in the Scholastic Awards.

Gayle Asch, Bronx High School of Science

Lara Hill, Brooklyn High School of the Arts

Well done! We hope to see you on Sunday, March 24 at the NYC Art Award Ceremony.

2018 NYC Gold Key Art Exhibition at The Met

Dear Students, Parents, and Educators,
You’re invited to the Opening Reception of the Gold Key Art Exhibition at The Met on Friday March 23, 6:00-8:00 pm. The exhibition features Gold Key artwork and writing created by NYC’s most talented teens. All are invited and no RSVP required. Come celebrate the 2018 NYC award recipients and create something special too!

Read More »

NYC Deadline is December 14

The NYC submission deadline is Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time. If you have any questions, visit our FAQ page. If the answer to your question is not provided on the FAQ page, send a detailed e-mail to info@artandwriting.org.

Do NOT wait until the last minute to send your inquiry. Customer Service will prioritize responding to inquiries that are not already answered on the FAQ page.

Read More »

The 2018 NYC Scholastic Awards Are Open for Submissions!

The 2017-2018 Awards season is here! The deadline for NYC submissions is Thursday December 14th! DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO SUBMIT!

The 2017-2018 NYC Scholastic Awards will be administered by the Alliance’s national office in New York City in partnership with Parsons School For Design and Eugene Lang College for Liberal Arts.Read More »