Featured image: Chelsea An, Boundless, Digital Art. Grade 11, San Marino High School, San Marino, CA. Joohyun Pyune, Sarah Rowe, Educators.

With National Medalists announced, it may seem like the Scholastic Awards are drawing to a close . . . but au contraire! Not only are we just beginning to celebrate the 2021 National Medalists, but we are already looking ahead to the 2022 Scholastic Awards. The Awards open for entries in September, so now is the time for teens across the country to start creating their next amazing piece! Be sure to sign up here for a reminder email when the 2022 Scholastic Awards open for entries. But in the meantime . . . let’s start creating!

Searching for inspiration? We’ve got you covered!

1. Start with a prompt: The DCB Memoir Project

You may have already put some thought into a portrait of your own life or your own memoir, but how about someone else’s life? Our partners at the High Desert Branch of the California Writers Club (HDCWC) invite you to be inspired by their Dorothy C. Blakeley (DCB) Memoir Project.

A selection of members of the High Desert Branch of the California Writers Club, holding their published works.

About the Project: The HDCWC, one of twenty-two Writers Club branches throughout the state of California, is a group of seventy-five passionate writers, ranging in age from twelve to ninety-three. Open to anyone with an interest in writing, the HDCWC works to promote excellence in writing in all genres, at all levels through supportive critique groups, publication opportunities, and community outreach. Each year, the HDCWC partners with a high school class of juniors and seniors to publish an anthology of memoirs, written by the students, detailing the lives of senior citizens in their area. HDCWC members guide the students in interviewing a senior citizen, selecting a topic for the memoir, and constructing a well-written memoir. By the end of the project, each student is a published writer!

For further information on how to get your high school involved in the DCB memoir project, or to become a member of the HDCWC, email hdcwcpresidentdnorris@gmail.com.

The Prompt: Interview a senior citizen. Write up to a 4,000-word memoir on some aspect of the senior citizen’s life.

Check out excerpts from previous anthologies of memoirs written during the DCB Memoir Project to get started.

Live with courage and keep writing!
– Dwight Norris, HDCWC President

2. Free Scholastic Awards webinars this spring

Join us in free upcoming webinars to start getting your creative juices flowing and thinking about your next steps to prepare for the 2022 Scholastic Awards!

  • Classroom Resources: Healing Through Creativity, Tuesday, April 20, 7:00 pm ET
    This webinar is open to all educators. Join us for an introduction to Scholastic Awards classroom guides and how they might fit into your classroom. Dave Binkard and Katie Breidenbach, authors of “Healing Through Creativity: Writing Educators’ Guide” will lead a deep dive into the lesson plans. Register here.
  • Art Portfolio Panel, Tuesday, April 27, 7:00 pm ET
    This is open to all, but especially relevant for students in grades 10 and 11. Whether you’re preparing a portfolio for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, college application, or personal website, this webinar is for you. Hear from a panel of artists, educators, and Scholastic Awards jurors on how you can make a standout portfolio that showcases your talent and vision. Register here.
  • Don’t worry, writers, we’ve got you covered! Check out our Writing Portfolio Panel for advice on putting together a strong portfolio that showcases your unique voice and talent.
  • Cash Awards & Scholarships for Your Students, Tuesday, May 4, 7:00 pm ET
    This webinar is open to all educators. Learn about cash award and scholarship opportunities available to both educators and students through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and how your students can start preparing now. Register here.
  • Applying for Scholarships and Cash Awards, Thursday, May 6, 7:00 pm ET
    This webinar is open to all students, parents, and guardians. Learn about cash award and scholarship opportunities available through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and how you can start preparing now. Register here.

3. Get inspired by previous Awards winners!

Check out the Online Gallery at artandwriting.org to explore National Medal works and gain inspiration from your peers.

4. Other resources from the Alliance

We at the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers have compiled a list of resources across different categories and scholarship award themes, including prompts and lesson plans. Start perusing—you never know when inspiration will strike!

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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