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VA Teen Wins National Writing Award

Submitted Photo  Jacob Williams
Submitted Photo Jacob Williams

On Friday, June 6, 2014, Jacob Williams, a sophomore from Van Alstyne High School was honored at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the nation’s largest longest-running, most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative teens. The event consisted of the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall honoring all of the national medalists, along with an exhibition of selected national medalist art and writing at Parsons The New School for Design and Pratt Manhattan Gallery.

Williams wrote a short story titled “Mustache” in his eighth grade English class. His teacher, Korey McEwin told him that the story was really good and encouraged him to continue writing. Williams then decided to enter his work into the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards recognized his story and he received a gold medal in the Region-at-Large program. Williams’ work was recognized by a panel of creative professionals as the most outstanding work submitted among his peers in his region.

In 2014, seventh through twelfth graders nationwide submitted more than 255,000 works. Only the top 40 percent received some level of regional recognition (Gold Key, Silver Key or Honorable Mention), and 17,000 students were recognized regionally, while 2,000 were recognized nationally.

After receiving a regional gold medal, Williams’ Gold Key-winning work was reviewed on the national level in New York City by panels of creative professionals. He earned a national silver medal, which put him in the top 1 percent of all submissions.

Since 1923, the awards have recognized some of America’s most celebrated artists while they were teenagers, including Andy Warhol, Richard Avedon, Truman Capote, John Baldessari, Lena Dunham, Stephen King, Sylvia Plath, Zac Posen, Ken Burns, Jayce Carol Oates, John Updike and Kay WalkingStick.

For more information about Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, go to www.artandwriting.org or 212-343-7700.