Crystal Ball, Rachel Johnson, Photography, Gold Key. Stuttgart High School, APO, AE. Michael Mosby, Educator.

From September 12 through December 3, tens of thousands of young artists and writers in our Region-at-Large program– along with their support system of educators, parents, and guardians– put in hours of work (and fun!) to the 2020 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Hundreds of talented jurors from across the country– including educators, artists, published authors, and so many more– spent their winters reviewing and appreciating every piece submitted to the Awards. And now, we are ready to celebrate the fruits of that labor…

Happy Regional Notification Day!

Congratulations from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers team!

The 2020 Region-at-Large Scholastic Art & Writing Awards received more than 55,000 submissions from students around the world. That is no small feat! Congratulations to every young person who elected to share their creativity and voice with the Scholastic Awards this year; that alone is a huge accomplishment. We hope that every young artist and writer in our RAL family is proud of themselves for taking this jump!

Dedicated RAL jurors tackled the challenging task of choosing which of the incredible submissions would receive an Honorable Mention, Silver Key, or Gold Key Award. Let us tell you: the decisions were not easy.

We would like to offer a special congratulations to all RAL Award winners, and an additional good luck to our RAL Gold Key and American Voices & Visions Nominees whose pieces will be considered for awards at the national level. We could not be more proud to have you representing our RAL community to the nation!

What did jurors have to say?

We asked our jurors for feedback based on their experience this year. Here’s what they had to say!

What did we love?

  • The addition of American Voices & Visions nominations for domestic RAL regions! It was so hard to choose.
  • Consuming the works of talented young artists and writers that we would otherwise never see. We’re continuously impressed by their mature thinking.
  • Seeing works from a wide area of the country!
  • The originality! So many students found original ways of expressing ideas, many of which were larger than the single work of art or writing.

Tips for future submissions


A small sample of our many talented RAL writing jurors, courtesy of the University of Mississippi Writing Project.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread!
  • Experimenting with symbolism, metaphor, and other literary devices is phenomenal, but not at the expense of the meaning and clarity.
  • Start as strong as you finish– hook the reader with a vivid setting or mood.
  • Format for your reader– indenting paragraphs or skipping a line between paragraphs can make it easier to read your piece. This gives the reader more time to focus on the content.
  • Consider the question, “What is the point of this piece?” Then, go back and see if the “point” is well communicated.
  • Add as much detail as possible without going off topic.
  • Pay attention to language and tone– make sure it is fitting for your genre.


A concentrated group of jurors from Alfred University’s Art Force 5 evaluating RAL art submissions.
  • Image quality is important! A grainy and crooked image of a painting with a messy desk in the background is difficult to judge. Take care to make sure the picture of your work that you’re uploading is clear, focused, and high quality.
  • Make sure your image is correctly uploaded– be sure you see a thumbnail of the work in your dashboard.
  • Go beyond the classroom assignment! Add your own personality and vision to the piece.

Celebrating our first-ever RAL American Voices & Visions Nominees!

For the first time, domestic RAL regions each selected five students in art and writing as American Voices & Visions Nominees. These works were carefully selected as the most standout pieces in the region. All nominees will be considered at the national level for an American Voices & Visions Medal. The final medalists will be invited to New York City in June to attend the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall!

Below are just a few of the amazing works being considered for an American Voices & Visions Medal. Congratulations and good luck to all of our nominees!

Previewing our American Visions Nominees

Previewing our American Voices Nominees

How can I see who won an Award?

If you are a student who submitted to the Awards…

Log in to your student dashboard to see if you won an Award! All Award recipients will see an option to download a digital congratulatory letter and certificate from the main page of their dashboard. These downloads will be available until March 15, 2020. To see a full list of Award recipients in your region and more information about award materials, check out your regional web page by searching your zip code here.

If you are an educator with students who submitted to the Awards…

Log in to your educator dashboard and click the link that says “Regional Award Certificates and Notification Letters.” Here, you will be able to access all congratulatory letters and certificates for students connected with your account who received an award. Visit your regional web page for more information about what your Award recipients can expect.

Don’t have an educator account? Check out your regional web page to see a full list of Award recipients in your region. You can find your regional web page by searching your zip code here.

If you don’t have an account and are just curious…

Search for Award recipients in your area looking up your area’s regional web page here. Search for the “Notification” section of the page to see a full list of regional Award recipients.

What’s next?

For all students who submitted to the Awards, keep creating this year! The new projects you’re exploring this spring are eligible for the 2021 Awards– hang onto them until September when you can start submitting again. Check back in on the RAL blog over the summer to participate in our Start.Write.Now competition and share your latest and greatest creations. We can’t wait to see what you do next!

To all of our Gold Key Award winners and American Voices & Visions Nominees, stay tuned for National Notification Day on March 16. Over the next few weeks, scores of writers and artists from around the country will review the highest awarded regional works in consideration for National Medals. On March 16, check or your dashboard to see our 2020 National Medalists!

Looking for more opportunities to be recognized? Students of African descent are invited to participate in local and national ACT-SO competitions! NAACP’s ACT-SO is a community-based program that provides forum for youth of African descent to receive recognition for their achievements in academics, literary arts, visual arts, and the sciences.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are open for submissions annually from September through December. See upcoming important dates to learn more about submission deadline for RAL this year.

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