Each year, students at Mississippi School of the Arts, as well as other schools across the state and nation, participate in the Scholastic Art and Writing competition. Thousands of submissions are juried state-by-state to see which will advance to the national level. Mississippi School of the Arts is no stranger to Scholastics, having received state and national awards since the inception of the Literary Arts program at the award-winning, public residential high school.

For the 2019-2020 Scholastics season, juniors and seniors received some of the highest number of awards, including eight senior portfolio awards and two American Voices Nominees.


Chloe Russell (senior) for her short story entitled “Cry of Love.” Imani Skipwith (senior) for her Novel Writing entitled “Vô Tôi.”


Kerri Bland received a Gold Key for “The Places We Call Home.”

Morgan Crosby received a Silver Key for “Awareness.” Victoria Jerde received a Silver Key for “Butterfly.” Savannah Phelps received a Silver Key for “Small Town Culture.”

Kerri Bland received Honorable Mention for “The People We Call Family.” Michael Coleman Jr. received Honorable Mention for “Love, Loss, and Limitations.” Caroline Nations received Honorable Mention for “Holy Frauds.” Imani Skipwith received Honorable Mention for “Verisimilitude vs. Envisage.”


Kerri Bland (senior) received Gold Keys for a dramatic script entitled “First Lady,” poetry entitled “Dolley Madison,” and a short story “I Started a Fire, and the World Began to Burn.” Maleigh Crespo (junior) on a personal essay/memoir entitled “Elephants Don’t Speak,” and poetry “Remember Who You Are; To The Men Who…Morgan Crosby (senior) for poetry entitled “You Don’t Understand” and a short story “The Extinction.” Savannah Phelps (senior) for flash fiction “Pastel,” poetry “Young and Reckless,” and a short story “Good Kids, Bad Habits.” Chloe Russell (senior) for poetry “A Wish For What I’ll Never Have” and a short story “Cry of Love; Things We Do.Imani Skipwith (senior) for novel writing “Vô Tôi” and poetry “The Nelson – Dortch Family Cemetery.”


Kerri Bland (senior) received a Silver Keys for critical essay entitled “Kerri’s Theory on the Universe,” flash fiction “To Live in the South,” and poetry “Pontotoc.” Michael Coleman Jr. (senior) for a short story “Never Too Hard to Handle.Brianna Cox (junior) for a personal essay/memoir “An Open Letter To Myself.Maleigh Crespo (junior) for journalism pieces “Does TV Capture the Diversity of America?” – “The N-Word: Creating a Community or Repeating a Cycle of Hate?” – “What White Privilege Means To Me.” Maleigh also received a silver key for poetry “Terracotta.” Morgan Crosby (senior) for short stories “Louder,” “Molotov,” and “Thicker Than Water.” Hannah Hays (junior) for poetry “The Heart Hurts” and “What’s That in the Windex?Victoria Jerde (senior) for a journalism piece “Growing Pains.Azya Lyons (junior) flash fiction “Navajo” and short story “Love and the Lack Thereof.” Callie Matthews (junior) for poetry “Naturalist Trapped in a Concrete Zoo.” Caroline Nations (senior) for poetry “Z.Savannah Phelps (senior) for a dramatic script “Something,” flash fiction “Longer,” poetry “Blue Eyed Dragon” and short story “Escorting Grief.” Imani Skipwith (senior) for a dramatic script “Dysphoria,” and poetry pieces “Duke of Durham’s Skeleton” and “In the Arsenal.” Stephyne Weathersby (junior) for flash fiction “Becoming” and poetry “The Oblivion of Dark Skin Beauty.”


Kerri Bland (senior) received Honorable Mention for a dramatic script entitled “Normal Findings” and poetic pieces “Bringing Out Your Dead,” “December 15, 2018,” “Goodbye,” “Lady Dumont,” “Painbringer,” The Woman We Call Holy.” Michael Coleman Jr. (senior) for poetry “Change Me.” Maleigh Crespo (junior) for poetry “Behind Closed Doors,” “Things My Father Taught Me.” Morgan Crosby (senior) for a short story “So What Now?” Victoria Jerde (senior) for flash fiction “Happiness Has Never Met Sadness” and poetry “The Garden In It’s Glory.” Morgan Love (junior) for a dramatic script “A Story Told more Than Once” and poetry “The Garden In It’s Glory.” Callie Matthews (junior) for flash fiction “Sun to the Moon” and short story “Fat Flies and Flickering Fingers.” Savannah Phelps (senior) for flash fiction “Mourning Waves.” Chloe Russell (senior) for flash fiction “Old Oak.” Imani Skipwith (senior) for poetry “Apiology.” Stephyne Weathersby (junior) for dramatic scripts “The Color of Love; The Mother of Struggle: A Choreopoem.

The Mississippi awards ceremony will take place April 19, 2020, at the Eudora Welty House in Jackson, Mississippi.

The Literary Arts program is a part of the suite of fine arts disciplines at Mississippi School of the Arts. Students who wish to be a part of the program must reside in Mississippi and audition during their sophomore year in high school. Students at MSA come from every corner of our state, from Southaven in the north to Biloxi in the south.

Visit the Literary Arts Blogspace to read creative writings and posts from our literary students, some of which are mentioned as winners in the Scholastic Writing competition.

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