Ceremony, Skype with author Jessica Brody this Saturday

Award-winning young authors welcome to invite family members, your teacher, and a friend to Arizona’s Scholastic Writing Awards state ceremony on April 13th 
Young authors pose after the YAA's inaugural awards ceremony on April 14, 2012. RSVP to this year's ceremony by filing out the 2013 AZ Scholastic Writing Ceremony RSVP form on the right-hand column of this page.
Young authors pose after the YAA’s inaugural awards ceremony on April 14, 2012. RSVP to this year’s ceremony by filing out the 2013 AZ Scholastic Writing Ceremony RSVP form on the right-hand column of this page.

It’s official! The Scholastic Writing Awards finalized all national awards on March 15th and six young authors of Arizona have been invited to the national ceremony at Carnegie Hall.  These six and nearly a hundred more peers also earned recognition in the state of Arizona.

All 2013 Scholastic Writing Awards authors that earned Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention for the YAA (Young Authors of Arizona) region are invited to attend Arizona’s annual Scholastic Writing Awards ceremony to receive their awards and meet peers, fellow grade 7-12 standout authors from around the state.

The Saturday, April 13th ceremony will be in the auditorium of Arcadia High School in Phoenix. Doors open at 5:00 pm, the ceremony will be held from 5:30 – 6:30, and light food and refreshments will be served at our reception from 6:45 – 7:45.

How to RSVP

Ceremony admission is free for you the author, your family members, and a friend. Please consult with family and fill out the RSVP survey on the right side of this page.

Mentor teachers, too, are welcome to attend, bring a guest, and receive recognition. Let your teacher know by directing him or her to TeenTrails.org to RSVP!


Dress is encouraged to be semi-formal but, like your writing, we don’t want to censor you.



Six works, five authors earn national recognition in the 2013 Scholastic Writing Awards

Young writers join a prestigious list of Awards alumni including Zac Posen, Lena Dunham, Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Joyce Carol Oates & Robert Redford 

New York, NY — March 5, 2013 — The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country’s longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative teenagers, announced its 2013 National Award recipients. Arizona had six students awarded national medals from a panel of distinguished The students all submitted their work to the competition through the Young Authors of Arizona affiliate.

More than 1,600 of the most talented and ambitious students in grades 7-12, representing 47 U.S. states, as well as students in Washington, DC and American schools abroad, were chosen to receive national medals.

Students’ works were blindly adjudicated, first locally through the 116 affiliates of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the presenting nonprofit of the Awards, and then nationally by panels of judges comprised of renowned artists, authors, educators, and arts professionals. This year’s list of jurors included Edwidge Danticat, Myla Goldberg, Kurt Andersen, Althea Harper, Red Grooms, and Andres Serrano.

Works were judged on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal vision or voice. Teachers of national winners were also recognized with awards. 2013 marks the 90th anniversary of the Awards, and this year’s program attracted more participants than ever before. More than 230,000 submissions were received in 28 categories, including dramatic script, journalism, humor, novel-writing, science-fiction, as well as painting, sculpture, photography, fashion design, film and animation, and video game design, among others.

In Arizona, the following students were honored:

  • Haley Lee, Scottsdale, BASIS Scottsdale, American Voices Medal, Poetry
  • Aamena Mookadam, Scottsdale, Desert Canyon Middle School, Silver Medal, Poetry
  • Savannah Spotts, Flagstaff, Northland Preparatory Academy, Silver Medal, Poetry
  • Pauline Shongov, Phoenix, Phoenix Country Day School, Silver Medal, Writing Portfolio
  • Pauline Shongov, Phoenix, Phoenix Country Day School, Silver Medal, Flash Fiction
  • Stirling McDaniel, Scottsdale, BASIS Scottsdale, Silver Medal, Science Fiction/Fantasy

A complete list of winners across the United States is available here.

“This 90th year of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards demonstrates just how vital the program is to America’s creative young people,” said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. “We received more entries than ever before, and the depth of talent from all across the country is astounding. In some cases, an Award and its attendant scholarships can make the difference between whether or not a young writer or artist attends college. We are privileged to provide recognition and assistance to these deserving young people, and to celebrate the importance of arts education in American cultural life.”

This year’s National Celebration will kick off in New York City on May 31 when the Empire State Building will be illuminated in gold, and the LED super signs at 1515 Broadway in Times Square will feature the Awards throughout the day. That evening, national gold medal level winners will be honored onstage at a special ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall. In addition, for the first time ever, in celebration of the 90th Anniversary, the ceremony will be webcast live from Carnegie Hall.

Select Award- winning art and writing will be exhibited at Parsons The New School for Design and the Pratt Manhattan Gallery through June 15, 2013. The exhibition and accompanying public programs are co-sponsored by the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design.

Alumni of the Scholastic Awards have gone on to continue their education at many of the top colleges and universities across the country, including Maryland Institute College

of Art (MICA), School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rhode Island School of Desig (RISD), the School of Visual Arts, Parsons The New School for Design, Carnegie Mellon University and Columbia University. Distinguished alumni include Andy Warhol, Ken Burns, Robert Redford, Richard Avedon, Zac Posen, Joyce Carol Oates, Lena Dunham, Cy Twombly, John Baldessari, John Updike, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Stephen King and Red Grooms.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is generously supported by Scholastic Inc., the Maurice R. Robinson Fund, The New York Times, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Command Web Offset Co., the AMD Foundation, Blick Art Materials, the National Endowment for the Arts, 3D Systems, New York Life, Bloomberg L.P., Ovation, Amazon.com, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust, the Bernstein Family Foundation, Duck Tape®, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and contributions from numerous other individual, foundation, and corporate funders.

For more information, please visit the media room.

Shall we make YAAzine and an annual book?


Merging YAA’s interest in branching out, this section of the site would be dedicated to an emerging online literary magazine. For another example of an exemplary Scholastic ‘zine, check out The (Parenthetical), an online zine for Writopia Lab.

Can we make a Young Authors “Best of” book? Yes we can…

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers publishes an annual Best Teen Writing paperback book each year; the .PDF version is free for anyone to download by either going to the Alliance’s site or to the right-column footer of Teen Trails (look down for free awesome books). Since 2010, the YAA has envisioned localizing this idea by taking each year’s top Scholastic Writing Awards entrees from Arizona and compiling an annual Young Authors of AZ “Best of (each year) paperback book.

“I’ve long admired the honesty of teen compositions,” said Young Authors co-founder and Valley English teacher Billy Gerchick, “and keep asking this core question: ‘How can our best Arizona teen authors be empowered to share their writing with peers and classroom teachers looking for exemplary, engaging, cost-effective texts to learn from?’ A ‘Best of’ anthology isn’t the only answer but it’d give young authors the annual chance to have their voices heard by sharing; sharing with peers, with teachers looking for teen-synthesized writing for their classes, and for anyone to simply enjoy reading. There’s power through publishing.”

Is this already being done by a Scholastic affiliate? Yes it is…

We’re focused on publishing an annual Best of Young Arizona Authors by May of 2014, a paperback a collection of polished versions of select State-level Scholastic Writing Awards compositions.

At least one other Scholastic affiliate, Washington D.C.’s Writopia Lab, publishes their anthology: a real paperback book by teen authors, co-edited by teens and teachers. Check out Writopia D.C.’s On the Subject of Walruses and Raw Feet as examples of what Arizona could accomplish. Kathy Crutcher, director of D.C.’s Writopia Lab, has already given guidance how to meaningfully and responsibly and efficiently create our own paperback anthology.

So how much would our own book cost? It’d be free…

In an era of limited budgets for Arizona’s schools, the book would available for free in .PDF form, on the Teen Trails site, and for all Arizona teachers & young authors to download (like the free national publications below): for young Arizona authors, by young Arizona authors. Family members, friends, teachers and English departments that value purchasing the book could do so through Amazon.com.

A 200-page paperback book can be printed, using Amazon.com’s “Create Space,” for less than $4 a piece and sold through Amazon.com. In-fact, books can be printed on speck which makes initial print costs manageable. An affordable and responsible price would be available and all proceeds would go to the YAA paying its affiliate fee to the Scholastic Writing Awards, putting on the annual ceremony, and putting on events throughout the state to encourage young authors. The YAA is a non-profit and all proceeds would go to benefit Arizona’s young authors.

Who would be able to earn space as a published author? You would…

Next year any grade 7-12 young author has the chance to earn print space (and online space through the YAAzine) by the quality of their submissions to the 2014 Scholastic Writing Awards’ Arizona region. Writopia D.C.’s authors earn print space by earning Scholastic Writing Gold Keys for their compositions and we’d consider that model as a criterion. Respecting Arizona’s American Voices nominees and our national Gold Medal and Silver Medal winners from 2012 and 2013, these authors would also be invited to revise and publish their work for our inaugural anthology.

If nominated for publication around mid-February of 2014, the author would have about a month to keep all content control of his or her work while revising it to meet conventions and genre formatting publication standards. You’d also would fill out an author questionnaire to share a brief bio, recognize your mentor teacher, give context to your published piece, explain one literary, stylistic, or rhetorical device that you’re proud of and would like to share, describe what you want to do with your writing talents, share a book recommendation, etc. This information would go in after your story so each published work’s educational value would increase.

We want to and can do this… with your help!

We’re looking to create partnerships with publishers and, in future years, make this publication annual. Please fill out the 2013 AZ SCHOLASTIC WRITING CEREMONY RSVP FORM if you’re interested in helping get support for, contribute to, and volunteer edit the YAAzine, TeenTrails.org, and/or the 2014 Best Teen Writing of AZ book.

2013 AZ Scholastic Awards honorees

Congratulations to the following authors for the Young Authors of AZ affiliate

Thanks to the efforts of grade 7-12 authors statewide and mentorship from teachers, parents, and other writing advocates, this year’s entries were again outstanding! Whether or not if a work placed, all young authors should be proud of creating and sharing original, technically sound, and uncensored compositions in the public sphere. That written, here’s the list of Arizona honorees for the 2013 Scholastic Writing Awards. The following works have been selected as the most accomplished works by young Arizona authors.

American Voices Gold Medal Winner

(selected by Scholastic Art and Writing Awards national judges for best work from the state of Arizona)

Lee, Haley “Something Like Hope, Expanding, Ship Knots” ~Poetry

American Voices nominees

(selected out of Arizona’s Gold Key works (across categories) as the five best works from the state of Arizona)

Garcia, Angelica “The Dictionary” ~Short Story

Ross, Caroline “Inhale” -Flash Fiction

Crichton , Savannah “The Floor, This, Jets, Indian Orange, What it Felt Like” ~Poetry

Lee, Haley “Something Like Hope, Expanding, Ship Knots” ~Poetry

Oar, Whitney “Unhygienic Brothers In The Hands Of Angry Sisters” ~Humor

Senior Writing Portfolio

Gold Key Award
Attias, Lior
Shongov, Pauline

Silver Key Award
Carrillo, Socorro
Chovanec, Regina

Honorable Mention
Choi, Stephanie
Epstein, Eric

Short Story

Gold Key Award
Garcia, Angelica “The Dictionary”
Kim, Sue “Beyond The Veil”
Wang, Christina “Chocolate Boy”
Yau, Francis “Death by Claw”

Silver Key Award
Ames, Abbey “Silent Secrets”
Han, Gina “The Elevator Shaft”
Herzog, Jackson “The Big Apples Revenge”
Lambros, Zachary “Atoll’s Island”
Laufman, Lauren “Flickering Deceit”
Martinez, Gloria “Javiera”
Mccutchen, Emma “Dear Johnathan”
Rymarcsuk, Emma “From Ocean To Pond”
Zhao, Alice “No Point”

Honorable Mention
Anagnostopoulos, Dimitri “Paul Stevenson”
Basu, Anamika “A Necklace”
Carrillo, Socorro “Glow”
Gregory, Cooper “Too Late”
Lambros, Zachary “Poligeddon- Chapter 1”
Lambros, Zachary “A Stroll Of Desperation”
Perina, Del “Lost In The Wild”
Rubin, Kaylah “The Life Of Bryan”
Walsh, Holly “The Shower Scene”
White-DeCosta, Diamond “Insight Through Flames”

Flash Fiction

Gold Key Award
Gay, Grace “Torture”
Ross, Caroline “Inhale”
Shongov, Pauline “Chasing Desert Rain”

Silver Key Award
Bello, Araceli “My Brother”
Bui, Catherine “That Poor Fellow”
Dasari, Navya “Silence Is Golden, Sometimes”
Hammond, Sarah “Logic”
Martinez, Gloria “Scream Your Silence No Longer”
Rucker, Stuart “Barking Goodbye”
Schnoor, Sarah “Black and White”
Stoll, Sarah “Butterfly In The Darkness”
Zapata, Dominique “The Beginning, Breaking, And Ending Of Us”

Honorable Mention
Abbajay, Frazier “The Bully”
Ausdemore, Jake “The Blood Bowler”
Babey, Alex “The Future”
Epstein, Eric “That Differing Journey of Becoming a Thief”
Gilbard, Addison “The Adoration Syndrome”
Hoffmann, Kevin “The Fog”
Kim, Sue “A Second Chance”
Silva, Isabela “Application To Heaven”
Silva, Isabela “A Welcome Distraction”
Stoll, Sarah “The Blue Wonder”
Tauer, Adam “Prison Break”
Woner, Catherine “The Last Broadcast”

Personal Essay/Memoir

Gold Key Award
Byrnes, Lea “What Happens In The Arena”
Cerwinske, Mikayla “Losing My Religion”
Stoll, Sarah “The Angel In Our House”
Vu, Angela “Wire”

Silver Key Award
Carrillo, Socorro “Filipino By Association”
Davis, Kate “Miracle Baby”
Elizondo, Stephanie “The Hospital Visits”
Elizondo, Stephanie “Please Don’t Grow Up”
Lahoti, Vedant “Mastering Confidence Through Chess And Charity”
Liu, Caroline “How I Found The Secret To Happiness”
Manor, Cameron “My Kingdom of Quiet Peace”
Mones, Emma “Uncle Pie And Cousin Pie”
Spire, Lydia “A Memoir Of Caroline – Pampering for Laughs”

Honorable Mention
Bentley, Sophia “This I Believe”
Carbajal, Chalsie “Friend Or Foe?”
Gupta, Anvita “The Pursuit Of Pomegranate”
Hayes, Jacob “Wash, Rinse And Repeat As A Dog Hunter”
Pernick, Max “Incomplete”
Rosellini, Alex “Media In My Life”
Smith, Breanna “Only Time Will Tell”
Vu, Angela “Your Red Car, My Red Car”
Whooley, Max “We Have Chickens!”
Woner, Catherine “The Choice”
Yamazaki, Misako “The Monster”

Persuasive Writing

Gold Key Award
Contreras, Michelle “Reduce Consumption, Don’t Recycle It”

Silver Key Award
Carrillo, Socorro “Bullying: Harmful And Cruel Or Essential Part Of Adolescence?”
Nguyen, Kendrick “Wind As A New Alternative Energy Source”

Honorable Mention
Goldfine, Jonah “A Minute With A Shark”

Gold Key Award
Araujo, Alexya “I Am From… I Was… I Am , Water , Sorry , Never Sorry”
Bernier, Hannah “The Fallen Tree And The Farm”
Crichton , Savannah “The Floor, This, Jets, Indian Orange, What it Felt Like”
Lee, Haley “Something Like Hope, Expanding, Ship Knots”
Luu, Christina “Impasto”
Mookadam, Aamena “Orange”
Schwartz, Paulina “Dawn, End Of The World, Are You There?, Shattered Time”
Spotts, Savannah “The Seer, Becoming Me, The Soldier and the Executioner, Hush”
Yamazaki, Misako “Save Me, Realization, Take Back, The End”

Silver Key Award
Albal, Karishma “Balancing Act, Falling Into Darkness, The Color Of Life, Letting Go”
Criswell, Sami “Hate Noise”
Fiock, Kimberly “Food for Thought”
Garcia, Angelica “Only Tonight, Help, A Lament of Justice, Beautiful Sacrifice, Plastic”
Jun, Hyunjeong “Eastbound”
Kelly, Kionae “Disappointment At Its Finest”
Lambros, Zachary “The Sky I See”
Lee, Haley “Sir, Have You Lost Your Way?, Always: A Prose Poem”
Liu, Caroline “Preface, People Are Stars, Your Eyes, The Florist, Our Story”
Martinez, Gloria “Looking For My Friend”
Murtic, Bianca “White Walls And Memories”
Ramaswamy, Anita “Chance”
Russell, Lauren “No Longer Beating”
Spire, Lydia “My Ménage, A Metaphor”
Thomas, Chanel “’Not a Wrong Number…’ and ‘Y5-85’”

Honorable Mention
Angle, Dylan “King Of The Sky”
Bai, Stephanie “Haiku”
Carver, Ian “Nirvana, Life Goes On, Scenery, What “It” Means To Me”
Castaneda, Veronica “A Perfect World”
Epstein, Eric “The Land of Shifting Sand”
Greer, Emily “Relaxation”
Hoffmann, Ryan “Mogollon Rim”
Jones, Lorelei “Your Addiction”
Lambros, Zachary “Darkness”
Lambros, Zachary “Salvation”
Lesniak, Ariana “Force Of A Poet”
Magdaleno, Angelic “My Darling”
Magdaleno, Angelic “These Broken Dreams”
Scaven, Joey “Plans, Impulses, Obsolete”
Sherman, Kara “I Am Rainbow And Beautiful Girl”
Sorensen, Stephanie “Goodbye, My Love. More Than Friend.”
Stoll, Rebecca “I’ve Always Wondered Why”
Stoll, Rebecca “Manhunt”
Stoll, Rebecca “The Sun On My Face”
Stoll, Sarah “Circus On A School Night”
Stoll, Sarah “The Unicorn Is Me”
Straker, Emma “Paths/Hidden”
Te Velde, Keane “Grounded, the Hunt, The Dawn And Dusk Of Autumn”
Thomas, Chanel “”The Music Disturbed” and “A Float And A Crash””
Thompson, Tara “Harsh Words, Mask Slipping, The Two That Are One, Hidden Animal, Cracked Promises”

Science Fiction/Fantasy

Gold Key Award
Luu, Christina “Meant To Be”
Martinez, Gloria “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark”
McDaniel, Stirling  “The Griffin”
Saxena, Aakanksha “The Necklace”

Silver Key Award
Jones, Maddy “The Land of Mirrors”
Koliopoulos, Arion “Rails”
Koliopoulos, Arion “Gouge”
Mendoza, Andrea “Nephele’s Garden”
Woner, Catherine “What You Wish For”

Honorable Mention
Bartlett, Max “The Unknowns”
Bizon, Zavier “The Trip Of The Impossible”
Dumaine, Katie “The Assassin’s Son”
Epstein, Eric “The Feathered Hat”
Eubanks, Tanner “The Minotaur”
Oar, Whitney “The Snow Continued To Fall”


Gold Key Award
Manor, Cameron “My Secret Survival Skill”
Oar, Whitney “Unhygienic Brothers In The Hands Of Angry Sisters”

Silver Key Award
Epstein, Eric “Electoral College Admissions”

Dramatic Script

Silver Key Award
Claus, Spencer “The Mocking Games”

Honorable Mention
Thomas, Jade “Impossible Courage”
Whittington, Blake “Let It Snow: The Tale Of A Teenage Scrooge”


Silver Key Award
Liu, Caroline “A Degenerate Generation: The Consequences Of Pop Culture”

Honorable Mention
Bartlett, Max “Video Game Speedrunning”
Manor, Cameron “Saving the Titanic: How Teachers are the Key to Better Schools”
Michira, Brian “A Glance In The Juvenile Facility”

2012 AZ Scholastic Awards honorees

Congratulations to the following inaugural authors for the Young Authors of AZ affiliate

The Young Authors of Arizona and its sponsor, the Arizona English Teachers Association (AETA), are pleased to recognize the Scholastic Writing Awards honorees of 2012!

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Gold Medal Winner

(selected by Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for best works, nationwide)
Haley Lee “Back of an Ambulance, They Are the Patriots, Suicide Summer, Cement Breath” Poetry

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Silver Medal Winners

(selected by Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for best works, nationwide)
Elise Boyle writing portfolio
Priscilla Back “A Temporary Fixation” poetry anthology

American Voices Honorees

(selected as top five works, statewide, by the Young Authors of Arizona judges)
American Voices winner: Haley Lee “Back of an Ambulance, They Are the Patriots, Suicide Summer, Cement Breath” Poetry
Madelyn McCaleb “For a Minute There, I almost Lost Myself” Personal Essay/Memoir
Sarah Stolll “The Yellow Umbrella” Short Story
Sabrina Ramirez “The Hands of a Child”
Julie Bizon “The Story of a Stray”

Young Authors of Arizona Gold Key Winners

(selected through blind adjudication by the Young Authors of Arizona volunteer judges)
Max Bartlett
Priscilla Beck
Julia Bizon
Stephanie Bosic
Elise Boyle
Catherine Bui
Lea Byrnes
Jeremy Cappello Lee
Rachel Henson
Paulina Jenney
Bridget Johnson
Haley Lee
Katherine Leung
Madelyn McCaleb
Sabrina Ramirez
Jeannine Robiso
Sarah Stoll
Alyssa Tilley
Hannah Weisman

Young Authors of Arizona Silver Key Winners

(selected through blind adjudication by the Young Authors of Arizona volunteer judges)
Steven Adelberg
Max Bartlett
Cintia Burciaga
Chloe Carriere
Amy Chase
Jade Dugger
Amy Edgerton
Bennett Estrada
Amber George
Mia Glenn
Marena Guzman
Katherine Leung
Jacqueline Montoya
Destynee Norwood
Sabrina Ramirez
Josef Robbins
Jeannine Robiso
Ayanna Siders
Jessica Sola
Sarah Stoll
Drew Thompson
Catherine Woner

Young Authors of Arizona Honorable Mention Winners

(selected through blind adjudication by the Young Authors of Arizona volunteer judges)
Kelly Bossert
Isabel Brunetti
Savannah Crichton
Elle Dietz
Paul Fried
Olivia Gardner
Whitney Gies
Mia Glenn
Alexis Gomez
Nichole Gray
Tess Grossman
Sam Hastey
Natalie Jones
Kali Romero
Emily Kunkle
Shea Lenniger
Katherine Leung
Kristina Levi
Melody Maas
Madelyn McCaleb
Elizabeth Nichols
Alice Olvera
Eli Ozaki
Taylor Page
Vivian Quijada
Dana Rosansky
Alison Ross
Andrew Sheesley
Pauline Shongov
Blair Stingley
Sarah Stoll
Trevor Sullivan
Drew Thompson
Alyssa Tilley
Alyssa Tufts
Charlie Unfricht
Frances Yau
Nicholas Zhu