Welcome to the new Awards year!

As of September 1, 2020, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are open for submissions! 2020 may have been a year of unexpected challenges, but also of new frontiers and great resourcefulness. The Awards held its first virtual National Ceremony, and teens, parents, and educators came together to share inspiring resources and tools to cope with a pandemic that swept the world. While we continue to fight together through these uncertain times, a new Awards year means a new opportunity to wield your artistic voice and make your mark. Calling all teens–we need your voices now more than ever!

We are so proud of all the RAL artists and writers who bravely shared their work with the Awards last year. All students who enter the Awards, regardless of whether or not they receive an award, achieve a remarkable accomplishment by completing their piece and choosing to share it with the world.

Before we start preparing for the 2021 Awards, let’s take a moment of reflection, and celebrate a few of our many spectacular RAL artists and writers recognized through the 2020 Awards. Then, keep reading for important updates and pro-tips for entering the 2021 Awards!

Jack Anderson, Southeast Art RAL, 2020 Drawing & Illustration Gold Medalist and The Alliance/ACT-SO Journey Award Winner

JACK ANDERSONScribble Portrait, Drawing & Illustration. Grade 10, Maret School, Washington, DC. Carlotta Hester, Educator. Gold Medal and The Alliance/ACT-SO Journey Award

Jack received a National Gold Medal and a $1,000 scholarship for his drawing, Scribble Portrait. Using scribbling as his sole method, Jack created a unique portrait to represent and honor Black success. Learn more about his inspiration and process for his work in the Scholastic Awards online gallery.

Soma Andrews, West Art RAL, 2020 Art Portfolio Silver Medalist with Distinction

SOMA ANDREWS, Homelessness in America, Mixed Media. Grade 12, Friday Harbor High School, Friday Harbor, WA. Andrew Anderson, Educator. Silver Medal with Distinction, Art Portfolio

Soma received a National Silver Medal with Distinction and a $1,000 scholarship for her art portfolio, Homelessness in America. Through the use of alternate mediums, Soma’s series focuses on the homeless crisis in America and the major factors that contribute to the escalation of this social issue. See Soma’s full portfolio in the online gallery.

Aliza Li, Southwest Writing RAL, 2020 Writing Portfolio Silver Medalist with Distinction

Excerpt from A Letter to Myself, a piece from Aliza’s portfolio Déjà raconté.

Aliza received a National Silver Medal with Distinction and a $1,000 scholarship for her writing portfolio, Déjà raconté. Framed by the concept of a false belief that long forgotten events have been told before, Aliza’s series aims to tell the world something new that seems so familiar to herself. See Aliza’s full portfolio in the online gallery.

Isabella Ramirez, Southeast Writing RAL, Class of 2020 National Student Poet

Photo courtesy of the National Student Poets Program. Isabella Ramirez, Grade 11, A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, FL.

Isabella received a Silver Medal in 2020 for her poem El Inglés de Mi Mama, and went on to apply for the Class of 2020 National Student Poets Program. On September 10, 2020, Isabella will be appointed as a National Student Poet alongside four of her peers. She serves as literary ambassador for the Southeast region for the coming year. See more of Isabella’s poetry here.

Congratulations to Jack, Soma, Aliza, Isabella, and all the 2020 Award winners!

Now, let’s get ready for the 2021 Awards!

What do I need to do to enter the 2021 Awards?

  1. Visit artandwriting.org on September 1 to log in or create your student or educator account.
  2. Be sure to check the latest updates for the 2021 Awards regarding Participation Terms, Submission Process, Categories, and Special Achievement Awards!
  3. Check your deadlines and regional submission information by logging into your account and visiting the My Regional Program links. All RAL submissions (except Midwest RAL!) are due by 11:59 PM EST on December 4, 2020 (but you may not be in RAL for both art and writing, so be sure to check your account!).
  4. Follow the instructions in your account to complete your submission.
  5. Do not mail us anything! We don’t want it, and we won’t look at it.*

*Educators paying for the submissions of multiple students may mail in a single check covering the cost of all submissions. As a result of changes at the post office and our transition to remote work during COVID-19, we are experiencing mail delays. If possible, please plan to pay by PayPal or bank transfer. Find more information on paying for multiple students’ entries as an educator here.

Are there any resources or advice on entering the Awards?

  • Of course! Check out the links here and here for tips and tricks on how to get ready for the 2021 Awards.
  • Are you a senior planning to submit an art portfolio? Ashcan Studio in NYC has some super helpful tips for making your portfolio stand out.
  • Prepare for the Digital Submissions Process: Watch our How to Enter videos so you know what to expect!
  • Check out feedback from jurors from the 2020 Awards to sharpen your finished product.
  • Dive into more advice for art and writing submission from jurors here!

Have additional questions? Review our RAL FAQ to prepare for the submission process. We can’t wait to see what teen artists and writers are creating this year!

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