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Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Award recipients announced

Photo of Kelly Sassi

Kelly Sassi

The Red River Valley Writing Project at NDSU and Plains Art Museumhave announced the regional award recipientsof the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Presented by the nonprofit organization the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the awards are the country's longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative students in grades 7–12. 

More than 350,000 works of art and writing were submitted this year to more than 100 affiliate partners across the country. In North Dakota, 417 works were submitted, and 118 received regional honors, which include Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention or American Visions and Voices.

“When we stepped up to serve as state affiliate for the awards in 2014, there were only 20 entries from the state of North Dakota. By publicizing the awards to every school in the state, participation increased exponentially to 120, then 200, then 300, and this year to 417 total submissions,” said Kelly Sassi, associate professor of English education and director of the Red River Valley Writing Project. “Every teen in North Dakota, from Belcourt to Beulah, from Williston to Wahpeton, deserves a chance to be recognized for creative talent in writing and art. Our summer workshops support both teachers and students in honing their skills.”

North Dakota Gold Key winners in writing are:

Flash Fiction:

Peyton Blotsky, Watford City


Abigail Brooks, Fargo


Sumaiyah Alyadumi, Watford City

Personal Essay/Memoir:

Megan Ausk, Kindred

Mattea Johnson, Kindred

Manisha Karki, Fargo

Annelise Klein, Bismarck

Anna Stoppleworth, Kindred


Therese Byankuba, Fargo

Srinath Kandooru, Bismarck

Sunni Parisien, Belcourt

Science Fiction/Fantasy:

Samuel Tschaekofske, Bismarck

Mason Wilmer, Park River

Short Story:

Olivia Drake, Fargo

Jacob Frisinger, Bismarck

Gold Key winners in art are:

Drawing and Illustration:

Deanna Rose (2 awards), Grand Forks

Comic Art:

Jennifer Chao, Fargo


Fischer Ackerson, Sherwood

Yuki Coyle, Fargo

Deanna Rose, Grand Forks


Jakob Bloomquist, Tower City

Ryley Dahl, Fargo

Olivia Propeck (2 awards), Fargo


Eva Sobak, Fairdale

Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention award-winning works will be on display at the Plains Art Museum’s Starion Gallery from Feb. 2-March 9. 

The state ceremony is scheduled Saturday, March 9, at 5:30 p.m. at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo. All students, educators, judges, families and friends are invited to attend. The winners of NDSU’s new scholarships in art and writing also will be announced at the ceremony by Rebecca Weaver-Hightower, chair of the English department, and Michael Strand, chair of the art department.

All Gold Key winners are forwarded to New York City for national adjudication. The national winners will be announced on March 12.

National sponsors include Scholastic Inc., The Maurice R. Robinson Fund, Command Web Offset Co., The New York Times, New York Life Foundation, The Herb Block Foundation, Blick Art Materials and Utrect Art Supplies, Golden Artist Colors, the Garcia Family Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, ESA Foundation, Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Circle, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Amazon Literary Partnership, National Student Poets Program, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Poetry Foundation and the Academy of American Poets.


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