Marlborough wins big at Scholastic Awards

Photo by Jena English

Photo by Jena English

This year participating Marlborough students won a total of 95 regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and a total of two national awards in categories such as dramatic script and drawing & illustration in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Competition.

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have recognized outstanding student artists and writers for their work and dedication to their field. Past winners include Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, and Lena Dunham.

Marlborough won 53 regional Honorable Mentions, 47 for visual art (including one Honorable Mention portfolio) and 7 for writing; 38 regional Silver Key awards, 35 for visual art and 3 for writing; 11 regional Gold Keys, six for visual art and five for writing. The one visual art portfolio consisted of 8 pieces. The highest regional award is the regional Gold Key; each Gold Key winner is then judged on the national level in New York City.

Of these Gold Key recipients, Clara Nevins ’18 and Julia Cardenas ’16 won national awards.  Nevins won a silver key in the Dramatic Script category for “Hiding in Shanghai,” while Cardenas won a silver key in the Drawing and Illustrations category for her piece “The Binding Game.”

According to Taylor Pirtle ’17, who won a Gold Key for her Digital Arts piece Bugfest, many Visual arts courses require students to submit at least one piece to the Scholastic competition. By contrast, the submissions for writing awards aren’t tied to a specific class, so the students who submit for writing must learn about the competition another way.

Imogene Wolodarsky ’20, who won two regional Honorable Mentions for writing, expressed that the Edge influenced her submission. Wolodarsky went on to say that despite the competition not being directly tied to school, she still submitted pieces she wrote for English class.

While Elena DeBrea ’18 who won two Silver and one Gold Key for writing said she submitted mostly pieces she wrote over the summer at a writing program.


Overall, Marlborough faired very well in comparison to other schools, having the fourth highest number of visual arts awards in the 10-state large region, according to visual art instructor Kathy Rea.


“It varies each year, but Marlborough consistently does very well in the judging for regional and national art competitions…Typically, Marlborough students win more regional Scholastic Art awards than any other independent school in the greater Los Angeles area…I think that’s impressive and speaks to the quality visual arts program we have here at Marlborough,” she said.