Writing encompasses creative nonfiction, novel, play or script, poetry, short story and spoken word. The strongest submissions demonstrate a sense of inventiveness, show attention to the complexities and technical aspects of language, and have a clear, original, and distinct point of view.

Are you a writer who is 15–18 years old or in grades 10–12?

The 2022 application is open June 22-October 15, 2021.


To be eligible, you must be able to answer ”Yes“ to these statements:

  • I am either a citizen of the United States, a permanent resident/green card recipient, or I can demonstrate that I am legally able to receive taxable income in the United States.  
  • I am in grades 10–12 or 15–18 years of age on December 1 of the year I am applying. 
  • If I’m selected as a Finalist, this would be my first time attending National YoungArts Week.

Application Requirements

All the requirements for the 2022 competition are listed in the downloadable PDFs.

Ask a question – artist to artist

Want to know more about the YoungArts community and pursuing a career in the arts? Complete the following form and you’ll get insight from a previous YoungArts award winner about YoungArts programs, pursuing a career in the arts, the benefits of applying and your artistic discipline. You will receive a response via email.

For questions about the application process, requirements and eligibility, please check out our FAQs or email [email protected].

Hear from Winners and Guest Artists

Sarah Braunstein, Guest Artist

John Murillo, Guest Artist

Rhiannon McGavin (2016 Writing)

Christopher Castellani (1992 Writing), National Selection Panelist

Vanessa Garcia & Grace Talusan, National Selection Panelists

Nicole Cooley (1984 Writing), National Selection Panelist

View select works from winners here.

For the first time, I felt confident and so centered in my art—for the first time, I had the opportunity to talk to talented and powerful artists my age and learn from them.”

— Sarah Mohammed (2021 Writing)