Scholastic Stars Shine in Art, Writing

Frances Wu, Asst. News Editor

It’s no secret that many students at Diamond Bar High School have talent, and recently, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards proved this once again by recognizing seven Brahmas for their submissions in the annual contest. Writers Brian Chang, Irene Chang, Gaby Dinh, and Frances Song and artists Joseph Chang, Eunice Chung, and Connie Mach received various awards for their entries in several different categories.

There are three levels of regional recognition: Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention. With her personal essay, titled “9 Words Irrational, 1 Word Sane,” Gaby Dinh was awarded a Gold Key while Frances Song, Brian Chang, and Irene Chang all received honorable mention: Song for her personal essay, “Home, as Told through the Five Senses,” Chang for both his short story, titled “Snapshot,” and his critical essay, “Internet Aff,” and Chang for her short story, “Clair de Lune.”

Meanwhile in the art category, three students received Silver Keys for their submitted works. Joseph Chang received a Silver Key in the category, “Drawing and Illustration,” for his art entry, titled “Building Blocks of Life,” Eunice Chung was awarded for her paintings, “Largo” and “Vivace,” and Connie Mach for her paintings, “Track,” and “After the Rain.”

Brian Chang, who entered in the contest and received honorable mention last year as well, was encouraged to submit his works by a summer school teacher.

“Think about what you want to write in small chunks. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, thinking you have to finish your entire story in one sitting; spread it out so it’s easier to write,” he said via Facebook.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have been held annually since 1923, making it the longest running competition for teenagers in the United States. Today, over 90,000 students around the country in grades seven through 12 submit a total of over 185,000 works in 28 different art and writing categories each year.

While regional awards have already been designated, works are still being considered for national awards. All works that receive Gold Keys are sent to New York City, where the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers hosts a panel of judges that selects entries that will receive either Gold Medal, Silver Medal, or the American Visions or Voices Medal.

In addition to recognizing creative young minds for their literary and artistic talent, the Awards are a large source of scholarships for high school students. For example, in the writing portfolio category, which is only open to seniors, 15 Gold Medalists receive $10,000 and numerous scholarship opportunities from over 60 colleges, universities, and summer programs each year.

The Awards have recognized several notable figures in past years, including Truman Capote, noted author of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “In Cold Blood,” in 1932, fashion designer Zac Posen in 1998, and pop artist Andy Warhol in 1945.