The Western PA Writing Project is proud to serve as the host for the Pittsburgh Region of the Scholastic Writing Awards.
Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. Each year, increasing numbers of teens participate in the program, and become a part of our community–-young artists and writers, filmmakers and photographers, poets, and sculptors, along with countless educators who support and encourage the creative process.
Students across America submitted 255,000 original works during our 2014 program year.
The Awards are presented by The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers , as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent and present their remarkable work to the world through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Students receive opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarship.
Since its founding, the Awards have established an amazing track record for identifying the early promise of our nation’s most accomplished and prolific creative leaders. Alumni include artists Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein, Cy Twombly, Robert Indiana, Kay WalkingStick, and John Baldessari; writers Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Bernard Malamud, Myla Goldberg, and Joyce Carol Oates; photographer Richard Avedon (who won for poetry); actors Frances Farmer, Robert Redford, Alan Arkin, and John Lithgow; and filmmakers Stan Brakhage, Ken Burns, and Richard Linklater. Outside the arts, Awards alumni employ their creativity to become successful in any number of ways – leaders in fields including journalism, medicine, finance, government and public service, the law, science, design, and more.
Students’ submissions are blindly judged by leaders in the visual and literary arts. Many past award recipients have lent their expertise as jurors, including Michael Bierut, Phillip Pearlstein, Edward Sorel, Red Grooms and Gary Panter, and they have been joined by luminaries including Judy Blume, Billy Collins, Robert Frost, Paul Giamatti, Langston Hughes, Francine Prose, David Sedaris, Lesley Stahl, and Roz Chast. Jurors look for works that exemplify the Awards’ core values: originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal voice or vision.