Getting Started & Juror Tips

We hope you are getting started on your entry for the 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. As you are entering your works, make sure to browse through some of the resources we gathered for you below. There are plenty of fall webinar offerings. Sign up to learn more about how to select your category, meet Scholastic Awards judges and more!

Watch to learn how to participate in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.


Creating an Editorial Cartoon and The Herblock Award
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 | 7:00–8:30 pm ET
Register now!
Students and educators are invited to join us for a free and interactive virtual workshop to learn the art of crafting compelling editorial cartoons that can be entered into the Scholastic Awards! Lead by cartoonist Isaiah Broussard, participants will be guided through the process of creating their own editorial cartoon. Students will have the option to get individualized feedback from the instructor on their work in the days following the workshop. Editorial cartoons entered into the Scholastic Awards are eligible for The Herblock Award for Editorial Cartoon, which offers $1,000 scholarships to students and $250 awards to educators. Four attendees will be randomly selected to receive a $50 Amazon gift card.

Processing Collective Grief Through Art
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 | 7:00–8:30 pm ET
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Teen artists are invited to join us for a workshop on processing grief through art. Whether you have experienced the loss of a loved one or are dealing with the life-changing events of the past 18 months, we are all searching for ways to express ourselves. Led by artist Jill Ziccardi, this workshop invites teens to create something new with their preferred materials and examines ways to make visual decisions that communicate their ideas. To make the most of this time, participants are asked to come prepared with 5-10 images or subjects that are meaningful to them and relate to the theme of grief and feelings of loss. Jill will dive deep into her process for creating a new piece, explore the inspiring work of other artists, including Scholastic Awards winners, and guide attendees through an exercise to start a new piece of their own.

Attendees will be able to share their work with Jill for personalized feedback after the event. Works about personal grief, loss, and bereavement are eligible for the New York Life Award, which offers scholarships up to $1,000. Learn more at

Nyier Johnson- Trujillo, Stare, Painting. Grade 12, High School of Art & Design, New York, NY. Richard Weinstein, Educator. Gold Key, Gold Medal, 2021.

Selecting a Category and Completing Your Entry
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 | 7:00–8:00 pm ET
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Not sure how to enter the Scholastic Awards or complete your entry? We’ve got you covered! Students, educators, parents, and guardians are invited to join us for a free webinar exploring how to choose the best category for your piece and complete your entry to the Scholastic Awards.

Panel: Meet Scholastic Awards Jurors
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 | 7:00–8:30 pm ET
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Entering the Awards and want feedback on your work? Look no further! Students in grades 7–12, ages 13 and up, are invited to join us for a free virtual Q&A discussion with a panel of our very own Scholastic Awards jurors. Learn what jurors are looking for when they review work and hear tips on how to make your piece stand out.

Live Q&A with Scholastic Awards Staff
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | 7:00–8:30 pm ET
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Virtual Office Hours
Students and educators are invited to sign up for virtual office hours with the Alliance! Book an appointment to meet with a member of our team. Office Hours take place on Mondays between 3:30–5:30 pm ET. Book an appointment today! Scholastic Awards Office Hours (

Watch our video with frequently asked questions answered by Scholastic Awards staff.


We asked our jurors for feedback based on their experience this year judging over 10,000 art and writing works from New York City. Here’s what they had to say!


  • How national and global events of 2020 influenced students’ works. It served as a wonderful reminder that art and writing is a great way for students to share their feelings.
  • Diverse pieces about personal struggles that range true and had great emotional impact.
  • Original art that had creative ways to express their themes.
  • The depth, thoughtfulness, and diversity of student expression was spectacular.
Fanta Diop, Sunkissed, Photography. Grade 12, Notre Dame High School. New York, NY. Bianca Farrow, Educator. Gold Key, Gold Medal 2021.



  • Try having someone else read your work aloud to you before you decide whether or not it is complete.
  • There are times to utilize SAT vocabulary words, but it’s not necessary to use them in every sentence. Writing often thrives on feeling and rhythm–sometimes, clunky vocabulary does more to distract than enhance.
  • Do not shy away from structure, formatting, and consistency! How the words appear on the page is important. Make sure your work appears exactly as you wish the reader to see it on the page.
  • Works that are able to utilize both beautiful writing and description and strong thematic elements or commentary often stand out the most.
  • Be patient with yourself and your story right to the end. Be careful not to hurry the ending and drop your reader too suddenly–we want to hang on and understand all the way through. Keep writing!
  • For those creating Writing Portfolios, be sure to include a Personal Statement and an Artist Statement! They can provide vital context to the work, as well as inform jurors of your artistic process, all of which helps to make your work stand out.


  • Be sure you know what category you’re selecting for your artwork. While there are often grey areas between categories, take the time to consider where your work fits best. It may help your work be judged more accurately and have a higher chance of advancing in another category.
  • The pieces that succeeded the most often had simple and brief, yet powerful, artist statements. These tend to do better than artworks with too lengthy of statements where lots of explaining is required to make sense of the piece.
  • Image quality and clarity is key! It is difficult to judge works if we aren’t able to see the art very well. For example, if you create a massive installation piece, consider including both macro and close-up images so jurors can experience the full scope of the work. Take care to make sure the picture(s) of your work that you’re uploading are clear, focused, and high quality.
  • There were many observant and timely pieces about current events this year that stood out! Ultimately what counts is that the work displays a strong sense of originality, personality, and vision.
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Questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions Page.

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