The Belin-Blank Center is proud to serve as the Iowa and Midwest Region-at-Large Affiliate for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program. As Affiliate for these two regions, we accept art and writing submissions, judge those submissions, hold an awards ceremony recognizing regional winners, and provide summer programming for talented young artists and writers.

About the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program is the nation’s longest-running, largest, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. For the past 100 years, the Awards have recognized and encouraged artists and writers such as Sylvia Plath, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Robert Redford, Tom Otterness, and Zac Posen, among countless others.

After You Win

Students who earn Honorable Mention, Silver, or Gold Key Awards in either Art or Writing in the Iowa or Midwest Regions will be recognized at the Scholastic Celebration. The Celebration also recognizes the teachers who are listed on the submission forms of student pieces. In all, over 1000 students and almost 500 teachers are invited to attend the event, which premiers Saturday, March 5, 2022. More information will be available in February.

Gold Key works automatically advance to national judging. National Awards will be announced on March 23, 2022 at

The Iowa & Midwest 2022 Scholastic Celebration

We are excited to invite all students and teachers to our virtual Scholastic Celebration on Saturday, March 5th, 2022. This year, the Celebration will be made up of two parts:

  • First, the Belin-Blank Center will host live breakout sessions on Zoom where you will hear and learn from amazing artists and writers from across the Midwest.
  • Then, we will send you via YouTube Premier to our Celebration of this year's Scholastic Art & Writing Awards winners!

Professional Artists & Writers: Zoom Sessions

1:00pm - 1:50pm CST


Allison Rowe, Moderator

Allison Rowe is a Canadian socially engaged artist, educator, and researcher, as well as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Art Education at the University of Iowa.

Read more about Allison Rowe

Thalassa Raasch, Artist

Thalassa Raasch is a French American artist, educator, and beekeeper based in Iowa and Maine, as well as an Assistant Professor of Photography and Experimental Media at the University of Iowa.

Read more about Thalassa Raasch

Monica Correia, Artist

Monica Correia is a Professor and the head of the 3D Design Program at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History.

Read more about Monica Correia


Loren Glass, Moderator

Loren Glass is the chair of the English department at the University of Iowa, and the author of several books, including Authors Inc..

Read more about Loren Glass

Inara Verzemnieks, Writer

Inara Verzemnieks is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Iowa. She recently released a new memoir, Among the Living and the Dead.

Read more about Inara Verzemnieks

Louisa Hall, Writer

Louisa Hall is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Iowa. She has authored several books, including The Carriage House.

Read more about Louisa Hall

2:00pm - 2:50pm CST


John Engelbrecht, Moderator

John Engelbrecht is a visual artist, arts organizer, and educator. He is currently the Executive Director of Public Space One in Iowa City, IA.

Read more about John Engelbrecht and Public Space One

Janiece Maddox, Artist

Janiece Maddox is an interdisciplinary artist based in Iowa City, Iowa, currently working towards her BFA in ceramics at The University of Iowa. She is a 2021-22 recipient of the Excellence In Undergraduate Research Award from the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Jill Wells, Artist

Jill Wells is a Des Moines based award-winning artist who has been in practice for more than 20 years. She recently received the Iowa Arts & Culture Resilience Grant for the development of her mentorship program, Artist X Advocacy [A.X.A].

Read more about Jill Wells


Nina Morrison, Moderator

Nina Morrison is a playwright, screenwriter, director, as well as an instructor for the Summer Writing Residency, Workshop for Young Writers, and Writers Room at the Belin-Blank Center. She was previously the Provost's Postgraduate Visiting Writer in the Department of English at the University of Iowa.

Read more about Nina Morrison

Deb Marquart, Poet

Debra Marquart is a Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University and Iowa’s Poet Laureate. She recently published The Night We Landed on the Moon: Essays Between Exile & Belonging.

Read more about Deb Marquart

Shreya Khullar, Poet

Shreya Khullar is a high school senior from Iowa City, Iowa. She currently serving as Iowa’s first Student Poet Ambassador.

Past Award Winners

How to Apply

Submit Your Work

Every year, we accept and judge submissions to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards from Iowa and the Midwest Region-at-Large. 

To submit your work, you will first need to visit the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards website. There, you will find important dates and instructions for signing up to participate in the competition. 

While you wait for your work to be judged, be sure to check our art and writing summer programs! Priority is given to students to participate in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Winning an Award

Beginning in late January, the award winners will be announced online. All participants will be invited to the Belin-Blank Center Scholastic Celebration, honoring award winners!

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