Young artists and writers of South Louisiana will submit art and writing to join a prestigious list of Awards alumni including Zac Posen, Lena Dunham, Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Joyce Carol Oates & Robert Redford

The Scholastic Writing Awards of Southeast Louisiana (SELA) is ecstatic to announce that it will be adding Visual Art categories to its awards program for creative teens.

That’s not all! There’s more!

SELA is expanding to include the southwest portion of Louisiana to become The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of South Louisiana (Scholastic SOLA). Scholastic SOLA’s main objective remains the same: to identify, encourage and recognize talented young writers and artists in the community. As educators, they strive to foster the love of creating in students and realize the many educational benefits creativity brings to the classroom.

“Adding the art affiliate has been a dream for several years, as has the possibility of expanding our geographical reach,” says Brad Richard, co-director of Scholastic SOLA. “We’re excited about making our affiliate’s unique opportunities available to all 7th-12th grade writers and artists in South Louisiana and we look forward to helping them and their teachers through the submission process.”

The new Visual Art categories include: Architecture & Industrial Design, Ceramics & Glass, Comic Art, Design, Digital Art, Drawing & Illustration, Editorial Cartoon, Fashion, Film & Animation, Jewelry, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Video Game Design and an Art Portfolio (graduating seniors only).

The submission period opens September 12, deadline is December 17.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country’s longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative teenagers. 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. Works are judged on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal vision or voice. Teachers of national winners were also recognized with awards.

Ken Rayes, Director of the Greater New Orleans Writing Project (GNOWP) says that “GNOWP has been proud to be part of SELA. As local teachers dedicated to our students becoming better writers, the Scholastic Writing Awards has been a valuable way to recognize the talent of our local student writers.”

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 Design (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,, 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.

Contributed by the Greater New Orleans Writing Project