For the past 100 years, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers has been encouraging the passions and talents of creative teens to create literary and visual art works ranging from poetry and sculpture, to photography and short stories.
Through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program, the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious educational initiative supporting student achievement in the visual and literary arts, students are given the opportunity to submit their creative works in the annual contest.
This year, more than 100,000 teens nationwide participated by submitting over 300,000 works of art and writing. In Maryland alone, 1,600 students entered 4,200 pieces with Gold Keys awarded to the most accomplished works and Silver Keys awarded to distinguished works, along with honorable mention for promising works. Our local teens were celebrated at a reception on March 12 at the Baltimore Museum of Art in recognition of their outstanding work.
Four Dulaney High School students were awarded with Gold Keys in writing. With recognition in the Science Fiction and Fantasy category were juniors, Keira Nelson for her piece, “A Kiss on the Neck,” and Feiyang ‘Sunny’ Shen for “Witch Hunt.” Two seniors took home honors in the short story category with Sarah Ikonomi for “Fifteen Cents” and Gabriela Roberts for “The Warmth of Her.”
All four writers are on the staff of Sequel, Dulaney’s award-winning literary arts magazine which features stories, poetry, art, music and photos. The 2023 edition will be the 35th volume produced and will available both in print and on the school’s website in June.
Several Dulaney students were honored with Silver Keys for their writing, including Teryn Butler, Rebecca Madsen, Kaitlyn Petroski, Alexis Russell, Takara Wilson, Emma Wise and Emerald Xu. Wilson was also recognized with a Silver Key for photography in the Art category.
As a magnet program, the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson offers specialized programs in the arts and many of their students found success at the national level of the Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards program after winning at the state level. All Gold Key winners were automatically forwarded for consideration at the national level, resulting in works by nearly 2,000 students earning national awards.
Taiwo Adebowale earned the program’s highest honor when she was named a Gold Medal Portfolio recipient and awarded the Harry and Betty Quadracci Writing Portfolio Award. She is just one of eight graduating seniors nationwide to earn this literary honor, along with the $12,500 scholarship.
Marissa Bookoff, a senior at Carver, received a Silver Medal with Distinction for her art portfolio when she was awarded The Derek Fordjour Art Portfolio Award along with a $2,000 scholarship.
Several other Carver Center students received recognition in the national program including Gold Medal visual artists, Vivian Orta, Sydney McDonald and Jada McAliley; and Silver Medalists, Nate Fink, Dua Naqvi and Bookoff. The students receiving honors for their literary offerings include Adebowale, Lila Kassouf and Avery Yoder-Wells with Gold Medals; and Silver Medals for Lewis Hahmini, Abby Yusuf, Jamie Griffin and Tiara Izella Aragon.
Congratulations to all the winners!