Colored pencil drawing for July Start.Write.Now by Mwansa M.

See what fellow RAL artists and writers created!

Although we’re sad to see July go, we could not be more excited to celebrate the brilliant works created in response to Hannah Jones’s July Start.Write.Now prompt. And of course, with the first day of August, comes the start of August Start.Write.Now!

Thank you to everyone who participated in July Start.Write.Now. Whether you emailed in your creation or not, we hope that thinking from a different point of view got your creative juices flowing. We certainly know it did for the artists and writers who did email in!

Even with only three short weeks to create a piece in response to the prompt, we saw amazingly original ideas shining through the works shared with us. From everyday technology, to underwater worlds, to historical figures, and beyond, these talented artists and writers stretched their minds to take the viewer on an exploration. Every single piece emailed in was reviewed by at least one member of the team here at the Alliance office, and let me tell you: they really made us think.

Fortunately, we received so many responses we cannot fit them all on the blog! But of course, unfortunately, that means we cannot share all of the inventive works shared with us on the blog! Instead, we randomly selected a handful of pieces to feature, and of course randomly selected our two $25 Amazon gift card winners. Take a look at what your peers created (and who won the gift cards!)!

The Prompt:

Create your own persona piece! Think from the perspective of a shoe, a character from history, a laptop, or whatever else, and run with that idea in your writing or artwork.

And our lucky gift card winners are…

Jungbin P., CA

by Jungbin P., CA

Artist’s Statement: I have drawn my piece from the perspective of an iPhone. I have watched all my friends and family stay glued to the screens of their smart devices. I can only imagine what the phone sees when it is being used by a person. The phone users are entranced by the contents of its screen. This is the view of the iPhone looking at my uncle. I used graphite and markers to accentuate the texting fingers.

Pencils by Jocelyn G., ID

Writer’s Statement: My work is a poem about a pencil putting a writer’s thoughts to paper. I was inspired to write about a pencil because a pencil is what enables me to share my thoughts and feelings with the world!

Now more creations from RAL artists and writers!

My Archer by Christina P., CA

Check out the full piece here
See more of Christina’s work on the website

Writer’s Statement: This is my submission for the July Start Write Now prompt about creating a persona piece! “The Archer” is a love story from the perspective of a dying tree.

Not Wrong to Love (Long Live/Gone) by Sam H., MT

See more of Sam’s work on Instagram @spaceboysammy

Artist’s Statement: I do a lot of what I would consider “persona” pieces already, as I’m always using art as a way to express myself. This piece is called “Not Wrong to Love (Long Live/Gone)” and is a representation of myself creating stories and worlds and characters and realizing that I am, in a sense, the god of these characters by creating them, and the power that comes with that sense of creation, even fictional. It represents the comfort I find in creating my stories, and how, despite being broken, they are very dear to me.

The Scale by Aljona C., NJ

Writer’s Statement: For my take on the given prompt, I wrote in the perspective of a weighing scale. I based it off of my experience with an eating disorder called, Anorexia Nervosa. The prompt was rather interesting for it provided a unique insight on Anorexia. It has been a year since I began my recovery and journey from the bottomless pit that was my eating disorder. I wrote this poem titled, “the scale” as proof to myself that despite speaking about a time of suffering, I stand healthy today, feeling self-love and appreciation.

Luciana A., TX

Artist’s Statement: So for my piece I wanted to make a persona from a character that I don’t seem to resemble at all. I’m typically a little timid or quiet so I thought, “Let me try someone who’s totally not that.” The first character that popped in my mind was the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland and all the different interpretations of the story. I figured it’d be a fun challenge–to make me a confident, loud queen–but still with my own touch to the character. Instead of the classic telling of the red hearts , I used blue and wanted to try for some of the “heart-esque” clothing style. Plus, blue is my favorite color ( which I wear basically every day) and happens to be the color of tranquility, which is fitting to me in my opinion!

Poem in the Perspective of a Lighter by Maria Helena S., CA

Writer’s Statement: After I read the prompt, I looked around the house and saw a lighter on my dad’s counter. I feel that smoking is something that is “secretive”, almost as if it’s an affair. When I wrote in the perspective of a lighter, that feeling became more apparent.

A Hero’s Death is a Death Nonetheless by Gwendolyn S., NY

Writer’s Statement: I’ve always been interested in science, especially the field of astronomy. When given the prompt of a persona piece, I immediately began thinking about the perspective of the first creatures to reach outer space. In the end, I settled on writing in the point of view of Laika, the first animal to ever go into orbit. As a stray dog-turned-“astronaut”, Laika proved to be an incredibly interesting character to research and weave a narrative around.

Gillian M., PA

See more of Gillian’s work on Instagram @fallen.gaze

Artist’s Statement: Hannah’s prompt made me think of the dolls I work with, and what they would see when they look in the mirror. Do they see empty glass eyes held in with putty, or a soul lovingly hand crafted by an artist who painted each freckle, attached each strand of hair. Does she know how much she means to her artist?

I. sari by Riya S., NY

Writer’s Statement: July’s prompt inspired me to think of various items I could step into the shoes of, but the most prominent idea that kept circling back to me was the vision of saris I no longer wear that are hanging in my closet. Every sari is a piece of artwork, stitched and crafted with tremendous effort, but unfortunately I have outgrown or stopped wearing many of them, leaving me to wonder now what they might be thinking, and if they feel betrayed. The prompt also led me to think of how clothing can be a powerful connection to a cultural identity and promote positive self expression.

The Sad, Sad Life of an Elderly Doorhandle by Juliet G., AR

Writer’s Statement: This prompt inspired my work because it made me think a little more out of the ordinary and out of my comfort zone. I usually stay within the bounds of the scientific world and inanimate objects with the capability of thought definitely doesn’t fall into that realm. I could have done a Historical Figure which probably would have been simpler for me but I am glad that this prompt got me thinking more creatively.

Junho L., CA

by Junho L., CA

Artist’s Statement: After reading the biography and highlight of Hannah Jones, I thought carefully about the intent of art. It is a perspective, a window, that displays a deeper meaning that conveys an emotional response. My piece displays the perspective from the sole of a shoe. The shoe provides an added comfort to people. It is a comfort that we as humans feel, but the sole does not see it the same way. Instead, it sees the points of feet as strain and compression. It highlights the various points where the feet will interact and touch the sole. The piece is 17 by 18 inches. I used charcoal and acrylics.

from a tree in iraq by Kaylee C., SC

Writer’s Statement: I find it interesting how what humans consider sophisticated, such as new technology, can be barbaric in its use (e.g., bombs), while what humans consider unsophisticated, like nature, can outlast everything man-made. I combined those ideas and wrote from the perspective of a tree in a war-torn country, mostly because trees have long been a symbol of longevity and peace.

Emily C., VA

See more of Emily’s work at

Artist’s Statement: This prompt of a “persona piece” from the perspective of an object and how I identify with it in my life inspired me to do this piece. Right away I thought about clocks, and I always thought about how they represent the ticking of the time in people’s lives and how much time they have left. I wanted to represent people in my life who have died with their time being over as well as people who are still alive and their clocks still ticking. The lady in the middle is a lady who I used to have nightmares about as a kid and she was the goddess of death who I thought controlled who lived or died over time, and that she was the person taking my family members away from me by cutting the string of fate with her scissors and her vulture doing the job for her to take the people away after their time is up. This perspective of the clocks is how they control life and who lives or dies and I identify with it so much because of how much of an impact this idea has had in my life. It is mixed media including acrylics, silver leaf, fabric, rope, paper, wire, various clocks as well as hand made clocks out of wood, and metal from found items.

Ode to Writersfrom the Instrument that Makes It Happen by Kira V., VA

Writer’s Statement: This prompt inspired my work, because I have always liked exploring the idea of the observer, the person who looks in from the outside and records every bit of information they see with the genial air of knowledge: following this tack, the idea of an inanimate object being the observer, particularly a seemingly commonplace object like a pen, really inspired the short work I managed to pen for this prompt.

Disclaimer: The thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in the above pieces of writing and artwork belong solely to the student author or artist. These do not represent the views of the RAL Scholastic Art & Writing Awards or the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. The Alliance does not have ownership or copyright over the works shared in this post; they belong solely to the student author or artist.

Thanks to everyone who had fun creating a persona piece, and to all those who shared their works with us! We cannot wait to see what you come up for August Start.Write.Now!

One response to “Wrapping up July Start.Write.Now: Check out the Responses and Gift Card Winners”

  1. Sam Habein Avatar
    Sam Habein

    oh that’s neat seeing my piece up there with all the others! glad y’all enjoyed it

    Liked by 1 person

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