10 Exonians win medals in 100th Scholastic Awards

Andrew Yuan ’24 claims two golds, one silver in nation’s longest-running arts and writing awards program.

Sarah Pruitt '95
March 23, 2023
"Layla," painting by Lionel Hearon

"Layla" by Lionel Hearon '25, won a gold medal in the 2023 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. 

Ten Exonians have captured medals at the 2023 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, announced this week. The nation’s longest-running recognition program for teen writers and artists reported a large jump in student participation in its 100th anniversary year, with over 100,000 teens from U.S. territories, Canada and every state in the nation submitted more than 300,000 works for consideration.

Among the some 2,000 works that were recognized with national medals, Andrew Yuan ’24 took home two golds and one silver medal in the writing category, including a gold medal for his poem “To Paraphrase Immigration,” excerpted here:  

In Maine woods in oblivious childhood
Lewis Carroll taught me English words like
“Mustard,” “flamingo,” and “citrus”:
a misshapen gift for seven-year-old
biting his riotous Oriental tongue
he slithers back into remnants of his
identity. I was him—the textbook taught me
tenses well—like my brother was alive and I
I was busy learning a language before I learned

Among the other winners were Lionel Hearon ’25, whose painting “Layla” won a gold medal in the art category. Amber Zou ’24 also captured gold for her poem “self-portrait as an ampersand," as did Lianna Yang ’24 for her piece “Dear Color Blind Country.”

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have honored the nation’s most talented high school students for both their visual and written creations. Celebrated writers as varied as Sylvia Plath, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Joyce Maynard ’71, Stephen King and Amanda Gorman all won Scholastic awards in their time, as did famed artists Andy Warhol and Richard Avedon, filmmakers Ken Burns and Richard Linklater and actors Robert Redford, John Lithgow and Lena Dunham.

A complete list of Exeter's 2023 honorees:

Joy Chi ’23, silver
Leonardo Chung ’25, silver
Lionel Hearon ’25, gold
Anna Kim ’24, silver
Sophie Ma ’24, silver
Ariana Thornton ’24, silver
Riya Tyagi ’24, silver
Lianna Yang ’24, gold
Andrew Yuan ’24 – two golds, one silver
Amber Zou ’24, gold