Sabine Ellison ‘21, News Reporter
The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are part of a national recognition program. Teens from grades 7-12 can submit work in 28 categories of art and writing, from sculpture to critical essays. The works are judged according to the Awards’ core values: originality, technical skill and emergence of a personal voice or vision. Mercersburg community members have probably heard of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards before. Maybe it was in an email from Michele Poacelli, English faculty member and Writing Center Director, urging students to submit their work, or in an announcement about award winners in our very own Mercersburg community.
A number of Mercersburg students submit to the competition each year, in both art and writing. The Awards allow students to share their works with the world and receive recognition on the national level. Lian Wang ’21 said that submitting to the Awards’ is “a great way to get my thoughts and words out there to a larger audience of people.” Carina Cole ’22 said she “knows it is a great way for artists to be recognized.” Mrs. Caretti said that submitting to the Awards “gives the student artist an experience being critiqued by others beyond our campus and against the rest of state, region and country.”
Students who participated in the competition found the process of creating and submitting their work to be an enjoyable experience. Mel Cort ’23 said it was “really fun to curate a collection” and submitting to the Awards’ has been “rewarding.” Jay Howley ’21 said that receiving positive critiques is “really gratifying.”
Students even discovered that they learnt more about themselves through participating in this competition. Wang used the personal statement part of the submission process “to reflect upon what writing meant to [her].” Meanwhile Cole learnt that she really is her own “harshest critic.” Cort said that the Awards have taught them “how to be proud even if a work doesn’t get recognized, which is a really important skill for any artist or writer.”
Both the students and faculty who have been involved with the Awards’ want to encourage Mercersburg students to continue submitting their work. Poacelli hopes that “number of Scholastic submissions double or even triple next year.” If you decide to submit your work in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, do not worry about a lengthy or complicated submission process. Cort said, “It’s wildly easy to submit.” Alexa Marsh ’21 said, “It is important to believe in yourself and not to let any doubt or lack of confidence in your abilities prohibit you from seeking opportunities. You only limit yourself by not trying!”