Alliance for Young Artists & Writers / Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

The Scholastic Awards Writing Rubric: What Is It and How Can It Improve Your Writing?

When jurors review writing works during the awards selection process, they must keep in mind the Awards’ three 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 Voice or Vision

Work with an authentic and unique point of view and style.

We’ve used the same judging criteria since the Awards began in 1923 and have found it useful for identifying works that show promise. But how are those criteria used when reviewing teen writing? To assist our judges with making their selections, we’ve put together a rubric that offers guides to help the jurors determine which works meet the criteria and which works exceed them.

Students and educators may want to review the rubric to see where their works fall and what they can improve. For instance, rambling sentences can drown out a strong voice, and works that are grammatically correct can fall short of the originality criteria if they don’t present any new ideas. Like any skill, writing can be improved with practice, and reviewing the rubric may help.

Featured Image

Zoya Makkar, Awake from an Ignorant Slumber , Photography. Grade 10, Plano East Senior High School, Plano, TX. Karen Stanton, Educator ; Region-at-Large, Affiliate . Gold Medal 2021


  1. Writing Rubrics for Primary Grades

    writing contest rubric

  2. Creative Writing Rubrics

    writing contest rubric

  3. Writing Rubrics For Primary Grades

    writing contest rubric


    writing contest rubric

  5. Kindergarten Writing Rubrics by Sarah Paul

    writing contest rubric

  6. College writing rubric

    writing contest rubric


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