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Where do the Digital Is icons come from?

Written by Elyse Eidman-Aadahl
September 06, 2010

You have likely been noticing some of the many interesting and evocative images that mark the collections across the website. We are pleased to report that many of the come from our most talented artists…under the age of 18.

These images are windows into some of the extraordinary work by creative young people who are honored each year by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, a national program formed to support aspiring young artists and writers by administering the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. By special arrangement with the Alliance, we hope to bring this amazing artwork to larger public attention.  The icons give you only a small look at the larger art pieces from the students.  To see the full pieces, visit


The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the oldest recognition program for creative teenagers in the United States. Founded in 1923 by Maurice R. Robinson, the program has, to date

  • encouraged more than 13 million students
  • recognized more than 9 million young artists and writers
  • distributed more than $25 million in awards and scholarships.

“For eighty-seven years, winning an Art & Writing Award has provided early recognition and support for teenagers, many of whom have gone on to produce pioneering creative work with worldwide impact. We are excited to encourage new generations in their creative and professional development,” said Virginia McEnerney, executive director of the Alliance.

Evaluating Submissions

Each year, the Alliance receives close to 150,000 works of art and writing, submitted through regional affiliate programs that range across a variety of organizations from entire school districts to arts councils to Writing Project sites, for consideration in over 30 categories.

The submissions are evaluated locally and nationally by panels of jurors comprising renowned artists, authors, educators, and arts professionals.  Many National Writing Project sites participate as well.  In 2010, for example, the California Writing Project, Chicago Area Writing Project, Philadelphia Writing Project, Hoosier Writing Project, and Southern Maine Writing Project are among Alliance affiliates in its ninety-six different regions (for more, read Writing Project Sites Get Involved in The Best Teen Writing).

The regional affiliates will recognize more than 30,000 young artists and writers with a variety of awards.

How Students Can Apply

Perhaps you know a young writer or artist whose should consider applying.  Every year, the process begins on October 1 as young artists and writers submit  their creative works to the affiliate in their region.

The awards are open to students in seventh through twelfth grades from public, private, and parochial schools throughout the United States (and its territories), as well as American-run schools abroad and community programs also serving eligible student populations.