The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition initiative for creative teens. Maine’s regional Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention, and American Visions & Voices Nomination recipients are honored locally through community ceremonies and exhibitions.

Maine students are invited to submit creative and original work to any of the Awards’ eighteen creative categories, including architecture, photography, sculpture, comic art, painting, video game design, fashion, and more. At each level of judging, all works are selected to move on to the next stage based on the same three criteria that have represented the program since its founding in 1923: originality, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision or voice.


Regional and National Awards

Regional — Gold Key
The very best works submitted to local programs. Gold Key works are automatically considered for national–level recognition. See the winning 2019 Gold Key awardees here.

Regional — Silver Key
Stand-out works submitted to local programs that demonstrate exceptional ability. See the winning 2019 Silver Key awardees here.

Regional — Honorable Mention
Accomplished works submitted to local programs showing great skill and potential. See the winning 2019 Honorable Mention awardees here.

Regional — American Visions & Voices Nominees
Five works, from across all categories and grades, are selected from those earning Gold Keys as the “Best-of-Show” for each local program as nominees for the American Visions & Voices Medals.

National — Gold Medal
The most outstanding works in the nation.

National — Silver Medal
Works demonstrating high honors on the national level.

National — American Visions & Voices Medals
One work from each local region, from the five American Voices & Visions Nominees, will earn an American Visions & Voices Medal.

National — Gold Medal & Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolios
Seniors with outstanding portfolios are recognized with Gold Medal Portfolio and Silver Medal with Distinction Portfolio Awards. These honors include scholarships.

National — Special Achievement Awards
Additional awards and scholarships are presented through the support of Scholastics sponsors.

Student Eligibility

Public, private, or home-school students in the U.S., Canada, or American schools abroad enrolled in grades 7–12 (ages thirteen and up) are eligible to participate in the Scholastic Awards. Students can compete in up to 18 different art categories. The Scholastics national website opens in mid-September for 2020 Competition.

Judging Criteria

Work that breaks from convention, blurs the boundaries between genres, and challenges notions of how a particular concept or emotion can be expressed.

Technical Skill
Work that uses technique to advance an original perspective or a personal vision or voice, and shows skills being utilized to create something unique, powerful, and innovative.

Emergence of a Personal Vision or Voice
Work with an authentic and unique point of view and style.

Steps to Enter

The deadline to enter the 2020 Scholastics Art Awards was Thursday, December 12, 2019.

1. Sign up on or after September 12, 2019
Create an account at to submit your work to the 2020 Scholastic Awards.

2. Create and Upload Your Work
The Scholastic Awards look for work that demonstrates originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. After you have created your work, you can upload it to your Scholastic Awards Account. Once you have logged in, follow the instructions to upload all of your submissions into the system.

Every category has specific requirements so please read the guidelines and category descriptions carefully. Note that you will need your art educator’s email address.

3. Send in the Required Forms
After uploading your work, print your submission forms and have a parent or guardian and an educator sign them. Submit the form(s) and fee(s) following the instructions on the Submission Form and the guidelines below. Please carefully read through the instructions as you go through the registration process.

Submission Fees

$7 for Individual Submissions and $25 for Portfolio entries.

Submission fees can be submitted online via PayPal or mailed in by check. If paying by check, make it out to Maine College of Art and send to:
Maine College of Art
Attn: Maine Region Scholastic Art Awards
522 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

Image Requirements

Digital Image Requirements
Artwork must be submitted as a digital file in JPG, GIF, or PNG format (PSD, BMP, PDF, RAW, or TIF files are not accepted). Print dimensions must be at least 5” x 7” or approximately 13 x 18 centimeters, and image resolution must be 300 dpi. 3-D submissions may include up to 4 images. Please include a ruler or object for reference to indicate scale in at least one of the images.

Submissions allowing for video uploads must be .mp4, .mov, .wmv, .avi, .mpg, or .mpeg files. Video Game submissions must be .exe, .zip, .rar, or .swf files, must also include a 250-500 word gameplay summary in the provided text editor, and a gameplay video.

Mailing Address
Maine College of Art
Attn: Maine Region Scholastic Art Awards
522 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

Contact email

Do not mail artwork for the judging process. Judging is done from your digitally submitted entry.

Details will be emailed to each student after the judging of digital art has taken place. Only bring or mail artwork if it has been invited to be displayed.

Photography has a limit of 16 entries. Portfolios are limited to high school seniors; (grade 12) and 2 portfolios of 8 pieces each. Portfolio pieces can also be entered as individual pieces. No other limits on submissions. The “Future New” category can only be entered Nationally. It can not be entered into the regional competition.


Communications will all be via email.

Dates & Deadlines

The digital submission deadline was Thursday, December 12, 2019. The submission period has closed and we are no longer able to accept additional submissions for 2020. Paperwork, including forms and payment, must be received in office by Thursday, December 12, 2019.

The 2020 Maine Region Scholastics Exhibition will take place at Maine College of Art from Friday, February 28 through Saturday, March 14, 2020. Students who receive Silver Key or Gold Key awards for individual works or portfolios will be invited to exhibit their winning work at Maine College of Art.

Drop off for qualifying work: Gold Key and Silver Key winners for individual pieces and portfolios can be dropped off at Maine College of Art on a date to be confirmed soon. Work must be framed or matted and in good condition. Winning artists with Gold or Silver Key portfolios may select one representative work from the portfolio to exhibit.

The 2020 Maine Region Scholastics Award Ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 14, 2020. The award ceremony for grades 7–11 will begin at 10am; the award ceremony for grade 12 will begin at noon. Winners for the Congressional Art Awards will take place at noon as well.

We will notify all winning students of their awards with an invitation to the ceremony. Students will be asked to RVSP so we can make the event as smooth as possible for all.


Header Image

Leora Doyle, Ghosts, Silver Key Art Portfolio