Autumn is upon us, and the deadline for the 2021 NYC Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is quickly approaching–Friday, December 4, 2020. Don’t miss out on a robust selection of scholarships for creative works. Log in today!

Having a hard time entering your work? Join the NYC team for exclusive webinars and office hours. Register today as slots are limited.

  • Virtual Office Hours on Thursday, October 29, 2020 for students, parents/guardians, and educators. Please RSVP today!
  • How to Enter Webinar on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 for students, parents/guardians, and educators.
  • Portfolio Webinar on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 (only open to students in grades 11 and 12)

Pro Tips for a Successful Entry

  1. Still need some support on how to enter your original work? Watch How to Participate in the Scholastic Awards to learn more from Alondra and Mateo about how to enter. Deadline is December 4.
  2. Reference our How to Sign a PDF blog post to learn the many ways you can successfully sign your submission and fee waiver forms.
  3. Have a trusted adult or educator provide constructive and objective criticism to enhance your work prior to the deadline.
Caitlin Yeung, 9:00 AM Acceptance, Mixed Media. Grade 12, The Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, NY. Wook Choi, Educator. Silver Medal, Gold Key, 2020.

Still need some wisdom words to help shape your entries, portfolios and artist statement? Read some advice from last year’s phenomenal jurors.


NYC Adjudications bring together a remarkable cohort of curators, gallerists, cinematographers, and visual artists, along with poets, novelists, publicists, and educators, who all believe in the transformative power of youth. Here’s what you need to know to help guide you through entering your work this year for art categories. Stay tuned next week to learn more tips for writing entries.

Learn about what things to avoid when entering from last year’s esteemed art jurors.

Tips for Art Entries


  • Be true to your artist voice.
  • Go beyond the boundaries of a classroom project, and infuse the artwork with your own personal vision and voice.
  • Art can be really profound when it goes beyond representing a perspective or advocating for a point, but shows the struggle of consideration amidst a dichotomy of views.  Students who are struggling with what to paint that “represents” them can consider something they believe in and investigate why one may believe an opposing view.  The expression of this investigation is what makes good art, excellent!
  • Stop looking at trendy photos on social media.
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Sasha Worms, Triune, Drawing & Illustration. Grade 11, Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York, NY. Emily Palmer, Educator. Silver Key, 2020.

Technical Skill

  • Use the technical skill you have to push a personal aesthetic. Less display of class projects. Take more care with documenting work.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your work – use good photos with the best lighting possible or natural light.
  • For the illustration category, images that come from the imagination as opposed to still life stand out more!
  • Be succinct and consistent. Provide at least three clear examples of any thematic piece.
  • Although conventional class training pieces (eyes, hands, general anatomy, spheres, etc.) may be useful depictions of technical skills, they are not always good examples of an emergent theme, or a student’s creative vision. Straying away from overused subject matter can differentiate you from the pack, and shows the judges your personal style.
Meet some of our national art jurors!

Capturing your work

  • Put in your best work, and make sure your files and text are working when uploaded to assure your work can be viewed. Whatever work you create, remember the devil is in the details! Every small thing on your piece can make a difference in how it’s viewed. 
  • The art submitted should be finished and well-lit for the photo. There were many pieces of art that were too light to see the details. Encourage students to send more than one photo of 3D work.
  • Make sure all submissions are professionally documented and make sure they are fully completed.

Art Portfolio

  • Cohesiveness of the portfolio is critical. Put your best foot forward. To stand out, lean in to your theme.
  • Learn how to be critical of your own work.  Edit within your portfolio – determine what you think is your favorite piece and submit that, not a full series.  Look for interesting cropping, light, or texture.  Don’t rely on a “pretty” image – demonstrate that there was thought put into the composition of your image.  What will make this stand out from the crowd? Is this a generic calendar shot? Or is this more memorable?  Please, no out of focus snapshots. Submit finalized, intentional work.
  • Sometimes less is more when it comes to art portfolios. Don’t put in weaker works that would take away the impact of the whole portfolio. Choose carefully and seek advice when selecting works.

Community Highlights

Join us for the Virtual Teens Take The Met. Register today and catch us on Friday, November 6 on the @MetTeens Instagram account.

Check out this young teen leading the way, From podcasts to orient you on the college process to writing workshops, Sapphire Hall and Creative Flow offer free tutoring, college counseling, and peer counseling. They facilitate workshops for writers and artists and soon we will be hosting their first competition. Hall is a senior of Jamaican descent who started this program freshman year so that young kids and teens can know the value of academics and creativity, and can pursue excellence in all their endeavors. They also are an international program! Working with students in Senegal, Brazil, Jamaica, etc. Learn more here.

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Erick Akosah, The Onslaught, Photography. Grade 11, Archbishop Malloy High School, Briarwood, NY. Kevin Goggin, Educator. Silver Key, 2020.

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