About YAA

Now our trails are digital; digitally we can connect Arizona’s young authors–artists and writers.Since 2012, Young Authors of Arizona (YAA) has facilitated the Scholastic Writing Awards in the state of Arizona; since September of 2014, YAA also offers grade 7-12 Arizonans Scholastic Art Awards participation. All entry fees go toward YAA’s affiliate fee with the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, hosting our annual spring awards ceremony, and extending community outreach for future years. Working pro-bono, we encourage young authors.

Young Authors of Arizona (YAA) is a State of Arizona and 501(c)(3) non-profit organized exclusively for charitable purposes, within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Without limiting ourselves, YAA is focused on growing responsibly and is now positioned to:

  1. Conceive, develop, implement, sponsor, and maintain progress in all aspects of language and media arts, which will advance the interests of and provide the incentive for the growth and appreciation by the public of language and media arts in Arizona and beyond.
  2. Undertake projects that will encourage and assist young authors and young-author advocates by helping them achieve standards of excellence and bringing these projects before the public.
  3. Strengthen scholarship, research, creative work, publication, exhibition, and performance in language and media arts throughout Arizona and beyond.

Our first four years

Thanks to individuals and sponsorship from the Arizona English Teachers Association (AETA) in 2012, YAA became Arizona’s first Scholastic Writing Awards affiliate in Awards’ history. Our inaugural year blazed the authorship trail with 200-plus Scholastic Writing Awards entries from grade 7-12 students from Bullhead City to Phoenix to Tucson. Scottsdale’s Coronado High School hosted the spring ceremony, where Valley poets Tomas Stanton and Myrlin Hepworth wowed the crowd. Five Arizona authors earned invites to Carnegie Hall in May, and 14-year old Haley Lee became Arizona’s first American Voices Medal winner. Haley’s poem, “They Are the Patriots,” earned publication in the national Best Teen Writing of 2012 book.

2013 saw entries increase: the spring ceremony was hosted at Arcadia High School in Phoenix and featured a Skype chat with acclaimed author Jessica Brody. Beyond YAA recognition, six young authors of Arizona earned invites to the national ceremony. Haley Lee repeated as our American Voices Medal winner, and two works earned publication in the national Best Teen Writing of 2013 book: Lee’s poem “Expanding” and 13-year old Gloria Martinez’s science fiction/fantasy story “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.”

2014 saw even more entries, necessitating a bigger venue for the spring ceremony: Mountain View High School in Mesa. At the national level, eight Arizona entries earned invitations to Carnegie Hall, and 14-year-old Nicole Dominiak earned the Arizona’s American Voices Medal for her short story “Gifts, Ghosts, and God.” Some key precedents and organizational growth have truly made 2014 a year of, well, “bloom” for YAA.

2015 saw even more entries and more award-winning works than ever. At the national level, eleven Arizona Writing entries and two Art entries earned invitations to Carnegie Hall. 16-year old Kimaya Lecamwasam earned Arizona’s American Voices Medal for her personal narrative “The Other” and 16-year old Amanda Amador’s comic art “Creepy Beanie Babies” earned her Arizona’s American Visions Medal.

Help YAA grow from July 2015 – July 2016

Our state has over 1,700 middle schools and high schools combined, with many more home schools. Started in July of 2015, YAA’s outreach campaign seeks to involve more Arizonans with the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards as the scope and centerpiece for our growth. We welcome involvement from:

  1. Professional language and media arts leaders—teachers, librarians, sponsors, luminaries—to support and promote this book.
  2. Educators, parents, and volunteers to be outreach leaders in specific counties, districts, and professional communities.
  3. Students to enter the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards by December 16, 2015.
  4. Business and civic leaders, volunteer educators and parents, and other supporters to forge financial partnerships with YAA to create scholarships for Awards participants and to continue growing YAA.

If interested in partnering with YAA, please complete YAA’s Partner, Sponsor, and Organizational Involvement survey.

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