Featured image: Vintage Modernity by Angela Tao, Painting.

Oh, hi there! Did you happen to catch the virtual regional ceremony last week? We sure did! What a privilege and honor it was to celebrate this year’s regional award winners and all who participated in the Scholastic Awards in our ~first ever~ virtual regional ceremony. Thank you to everyone who joined us for the live event. If you’d like to revisit the joyous occasion, you can find a recording of it here. Pro-tip: expand the live chat to relive the good vibes and positive energy of your RAL community!

Now that the regional ceremony is behind us, it’s time to wrap up our 2021 Regional Award Highlights blog series and set our sights on the final major event of the season–National Awards!

This year, the Scholastic Awards received nearly 230,000 entries from more than 80,000 students, and nearly 15,000 Gold Keys (the highest regional award) were awarded to nearly 11,000 students. Gold Key works and American Visions & Voices Nominees automatically advanced to national judging and are considered for national awards, including Gold Medal, Silver Medal with Distinction, Silver Medal, and direct scholarship awards.

National Medals will be announced on National Announcement Day, March 17, 2021. Log in to your account on or after this date to see if you received a National Medal, and check our website to find details about the National Ceremony in June! (For those curious about this showstopper event, last year’s virtual National Ceremony featured special guests Gal Gadot, Suzanne Collins, Chris Colfer, Jennifer Garner, Dav Pilkey, and Lena Dunham!) Works that receive a National Medal are displayed in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards online gallery, and a selection of National Medalist works will be included in the Awards’ publications, The Best Teen Art and The Best Teen Writing.

While we wait in anticipation for March 17, let’s give another shout out and wave a virtual hello to our regional award winners, and meet more of our RAL American Voices & Visions Nominees (some of whom shared samples and inspiration behind their works)! Good luck to all whose pieces are being considered at the national level. We could not be more proud to have you representing our RAL community to the nation!

Students featured: Tamara Benarroch (FL), Karina Benitez (FL), Maya Goldchtaub (NS), Jade Grech (ON), Makiyah Harris (OH), Jasmine Herri (WA), Gabriella Lipkin (NJ), Lauren Marchand (NY), Galilee Merino (CA), Zander Pryor (TX), Isabel Qin (AZ), Aurora Shi (AB), Amberlin Smith (WY), Alex Tan (CA), Angela Tao (VA), Megan Wade (UT), Yolanda Zuo (ON)

Ready to hear from some of our American Voices & Visions Nominees? Check them out below!

Zhezhong (James) Yu, Being Towards Death
2021 Gold Key, American Visions Nominee, Architecture & Industrial Design
Grade 11, Roslyn High School, Roslyn Heights, NY
Laurie Schoenberg, Educator

Jaeden Kapur, Crushed
2021 Gold Key, American Voices Nominee, Poetry
Grade 11, Eastlake High School, Sammamish, WA
Matthew Austin, Educator

An excerpt from Crushed by Jaeden Kapur, Poetry.

Gavin Steever, Raincoat
2021 Gold Key, American Visions Nominee, Drawing & Illustration
Grade 8, Wheeler School, Providence, RI
Claudia Venditto, Educator

Moriah Armstrong, Revolutionary
2021 Gold Key, American Voices Nominee, Novel Writing
Grade 9, Home School, Norman, OK
Kirsten Armstrong, Educator

An excerpt from Revolutionary by Moriah Armstrong, Novel Writing.

Samuel Garvin, Liberty’s Downfall
2021 Gold Key, American Visions Nominee, Drawing & Illustration
Grade 11, Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green, KY
Addison Downing, Educator

Ean Casey, Vantablack
2021 Gold Key, American Voices Nominee, Poetry
Grade 11, Home School, Norfolk, VA
Lydia Netzer, Educator

An excerpt from Vantablack by Ean Casey, Poetry.

What’s next?

For all students currently in grades 7–11 who entered the Awards, keep creating this year! The new projects you’re exploring this spring are eligible for the 2022 Awards–hang onto them until September when you can start submitting again. Check 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 Announcement Day. On March 17, check artandwriting.org or your dashboard to see our 2021 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 a 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 entries annually from September through December. See upcoming important dates to learn more about what’s next for the Awards.

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