The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which began as a writing competition by Scholastic with six winners in 1923, has since expanded to welcome more than 185,000 works of art and writing from more than 90,000 seventh through twelfth graders nationwide – and winning on both the regional and national levels in 28 categories. Now presented by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the annual Awards have been a mainstay for D-E students in recent years – and for 2015, 16 students were honored.
This year, senior Olivia Yi ‘15 was a National Medalist in two art categories:
On the regional front, eighth grader Janis Chen ‘19 won a Silver Key in Photography for her piece, “Clouds,” while freshman Madeleine Kachikian ‘18 received a Gold Key in Photography for her work, “Frozen Thirst.”
As for the writing, 18 regional awards were won by students in our Middle and Upper School divisions:
Michelle Rowicki ‘16, honorable mention, poetry
According to eighth grade English teacher Lisa Quirk, “We had two Gold Keys in the Middle School, one Silver Key, and four honorable mentions (one student got two of those for two different pieces). I always email the Scholastic competition information to my students in the fall, and it is up to them whether or not they submit. I am psyched this year that some students submitted pieces they wrote for class. Others submitted poetry they wrote on their own. They were very excited.”
Regional Gold Key winners were invited to a reading on February 25 at McNally Jackson, an independent bookstore in downtown Manhattan, and featured several guest speakers from the writing program at the New School. Senior Shereen Al-Sawwaf ‘15 attended, along with English Department Chair Fred Daly, and shared these words about winning her Gold Key in poetry and the reading itself:
“I was in ninth grade when I first heard about the Scholastic competition, and often looked up to the older Dwight-Englewood students who had won Gold Key honors. Now that I’m in their position, I am truly honored. Attending the reception just added to my excitement. Writing can sometimes be a solitary activity, so being able to meet with other writers and hear their work really brought me out of my shell and into the literary world.
“It’s always nice to meet with other young writers. While we all had pretty different writing styles, it was so awesome to hear them perform such amazing work. We met the facilitators of the competition as well as some students and faculty from Eugene Lang College–New School. Even though we were still pretty young, they were all so supportive of our work. I was really appreciative of that.”