Scholastic Writing Awards 2013 Topics For Essays

Scholastic Writing Awards

Every day at Writopia Lab, we witness the transformative power of being heard. Because of this experience, we are dedicated to giving teen writers the opportunity to be read — and celebrated — as part of the broader literary community. To help make this possible, we run two regional affiliates of the Scholastic Writing Awards.

About the Awards

Since 1923, the Scholastic Writing Awards have recognized and celebrated teens for their creative accomplishments. Open to all students in grades 7-12, participation in the Awards can make a tremendous impact in a young person's life. Noteworthy past recipients includes Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Robert Redford, John Updike, Lena Dunham, and many more.

The Scholastic Awards is blindly adjudicated and there is no restriction on topic or content. Students can submit work to the Scholastic Writing Awards in the following categories.

  • Critical Essay
  • Dramatic Script
  • Flash Fiction
  • Humor
  • Journalism
  • Novel Writing
  • Personal Essay & Memoir
  • Poetry
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Senior Writing Portfolio
  • Short Story

Writopia and the Scholastic Awards

Writopia Lab is the official local partner of the Scholastic Writing Awards for the Hudson-to-Housatonic Region and the DC Metro Region.

If you're not in one of the locations above, you can find the local Scholastic Writing Awards program in your area.

Be a Juror

Are you a writer, educator, or literary professional? sign up to receive information about judging opportunities in the DC Metro and Hudson-to-Housatonic Regions.

School Visits

Educators and school administrators interested in learning about the Awards are encouraged to reach out to the Writopia Lab representative listed below. We are happy to provide additional materials, or schedule an in-class visit to speak with young writers about opportunities provided by Writopia Lab and the Scholastic Writing Awards.

Submission Support for Students

Writopia Lab has been helping students compose and prepare work for the Scholastic Writing Awards since 2007. In that time, Writopia students have finished and submitted more than 4,000 works of writing to the Awards!

Writopia students have enjoyed unprecedented regional and national success in the Scholastic Awards. In workshops, however, our instructors place a premium on completing and polishing a work that the student is proud to submit.

The Scholastic Writing Awards is just one of many recognition and publications opportunities that Writopia Lab encourages students to pursue. Workshop students receive a monthly newsletter with a list of publication and recognition opportunities for young writers.

Important Tips for Writopians Submitting to the Scholastic Awards

  • Students are assigned to a Scholastic Awards region based on the location of their day-school, not their home and not the location of their Writopia branch.
  • Writopia Lab Regions are listed as an "Other Educational Programs" in the Scholastic Awards system.
  • When searching the Other Education Program list for your Writopia region, type the location's zip code into the search field.
  • Students should credit all Writopia Instructors that assisted with their work when prompted during registration. If an educator is not listed, students can add them to the system. To do so, they will need the instructors email.

Art Categories

A Note on Size Limitation for All Art Categories
Affiliate Partners may limit the size of work that they accept. Please refer to your local guidelines for details.

Oversized works that earn National Medals are not guaranteed opportunities for display in the National Exhibition.

Architecture & Industrial Design

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Ceramics & Glass

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Comic Art

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Design

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Digital Art

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Drawing & Illustration

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Editorial Cartoon sponsored by The Herb Block Foundation

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Fashion

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Film & Animation

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Jewelry

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Mixed Media

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Painting

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Photography

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Printmaking

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Sculpture

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Video Game Design

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Art Portfolio

(For Graduating Seniors Only)

Category Description
A series of 8 distinct works that communicate a single cohesive idea or visual investigation. The works can come from one category or any combination of multiple categories.

Seniors may submit up to two Art Portfolios, but may not submit the same work in both portfolios.

Video Game Design and Future New Submissions may not be submitted as part of an Art Portfolio.

Special Instructions
Each work within the Art Portfolio is subject to the same upload rules as its equivalent in individual categories. For example, a sculpture entry as part of a portfolio is allowed up to four images, while a photography entry is allowed one image.

  • In addition to the artwork, students may submit a 300 word Artist Statement answering the following questions:
    • What idea or visual investigation does your portfolio explore?
    • Why is this exploration important to you?
    • What do you hope (stays with people/changes within people/people see differently) after they view your portfolio?
  •  Artist statements may be entered on the “Create Portfolio” page.
  •  Work included in a portfolio may also be submitted in an individual category (i.e. Drawing and Illustration, Mixed Media, etc.). You will be able to indicate if you want to submit a work a part of a portfolio only, an individual submission only, or both on your student dashboard.
  •  Seniors may resubmit artworks submitted to the Scholastic Awards in a previous year as part of their Art Portfolio.
  • Do not include any identifying information, such as your name, in the title of your portfolio or the works included in the submission.

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Writing Categories

Instructions for all Writing Categories

  • Submissions must be primarily in English.
  • Use a clear, standard font that is not excessively large or small.
  • The title should appear at the top of the first page; do not include a separate title page. Poems should be titled individually.
  • No identifying information, including the student’s name, should appear anywhere on the manuscript.
  • Please use fictional names for real people in non-fiction works.
  • No illustrations, photographs, graphics or hyperlinks are permitted.
  • Sources must be cited. Footnotes/works cited are not considered part of the word count.
  • Collaborative works are not allowed in any writing categories.

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Critical Essay

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Dramatic Script

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Flash Fiction

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Humor

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Journalism

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Novel Writing

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Personal Essay & Memoir

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Poetry

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Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Short Story

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Writing Portfolio

(For Graduating Seniors Only)

Category Description
A series of 8 distinct works that demonstrate versatility as a writer and diversity in writing technique and styles. The works can come from one category or any combination of multiple categories.

Graduating Seniors may submit up to two Writing Portfolios, but may not submit the same work in both portfolios.

Special Instructions
The word count for each piece submitted in a writing portfolio should adhere to the length limits listed in each individual category. The maximum length for a writing portfolio is 24,000 words (not including the writer’s statement).

  • The Writing Portfolio may include a writer’s statement. The statement should be 300 words and answer the following questions:
    • Why did you select the work you submitted for your Writing Portfolio?
    • How do you hope people will react when they read your work?
    • What role does writing play in your life?
  • Writer’s statements may be entered on the “Create Portfolio” page.
  • Work included in a portfolio may also be submitted in an individual category (i.e. Short Story, Critical Essay, etc.). You will be able to indicate if you want to submit a work a part of a portfolio only, an individual submission only, or both on your student dashboard.
  • Seniors may resubmit writing submitted to the Scholastic Awards in a previous year as part of their Writing Portfolio.
  • Do not include any identifying information, such as your name, in the title of your portfolio or the works included in the submission.

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Future New

The Future New category asks students to produce work that challenges the boundaries of the Scholastic Awards’ current categories.

Future New means on the cutting edge of creative practice. Work submitted to this category should address the issues and concerns of our time through conceptual, social, or political content. Work can be executed as—but is not limited to—installation art, performance art*, interactive text, sound art, re-purposed materials, or new and applied technologies. Along with the work, the student must submit a written statement that describes in detail the processes used to create the work and/or relevant content that situates the work as innovative. A Future New work must be both thought-provoking and reflect creative excellence.

Send Future New Submission Forms to:

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
ATTN: Future New
557 Broadway
New York, NY 10012

*Spoken word poetry should be submitted in the Poetry category as a text document.

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