Poetry Scholarships

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How to Find and Apply for Poetry Scholarships

There are many scholarships for students who enjoy poetry and creative writing. Poetry scholarships often nurture young poets, encouraging them to pursue higher education.

They also provide a forum for students to showcase their poetry and voice. If you win, you may get money and the chance to have your poetry published.

Many scholarships honor a past poet and their style of poetic writing. But give you an opportunity to share your talents as you wish. You may only have to submit original work in a specific format.

For other scholarships, you may need to stick to a theme or style of prose. One example is the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award.

It asks for a sample of writing that relate to Jewish Experience. Although you do not need to be Jewish to take part.

How do you evaluate a poem?

Some of the criteria used to judge your poetry for a scholarship might include:

  • Creativity
  • Originality
  • Imagery
  • Artistic quality
  • Mastery of poetic expression
  • Theme or style requirements

Who offers poetry scholarships?

Poetry scholarships come from colleges, poetry magazines, foundations, community organizations and private donors.

To be eligible for a poetry scholarship, you usually need to be a U.S. citizen. Some also set age criteria. Or, in the case of the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, be willing to travel.

Many such awards are from contests which any young and gifted poet might enter. In these cases, you may need to pay a submission fee for each poem you submit with your application.

This usually covers the cost of judges and administration. But if you don’t feel comfortable, move on to other options that are free. One example is the Scholarship Poetry Contest.

Available from the Live Poets Society of New Jersey, there is no fee to enter the contest. Prizes range from $100 to $500.

Can you go to college for poetry?

You can study poetry in college. When a college offers a poetry scholarship it may be for incoming or current students.

These merit awards are often for those pursuing a creative writing degree. Like an English degree or even a Master of Fine Arts (MFA).

Sometimes to get these scholarships you need to fill out a FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid determines your financial need.

Why Consider Poetry Scholarships?

Getting a scholarship for your poems is gift money. It is one reason to apply because you do not need to pay the money back.

This may be a perfect way to fund a college degree. At last check, 42,795 students earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature.

While many people write because they enjoy the craft, others do it as a vocation. Professional writers and authors earn between $31,700 and $121,670.

If this is your goal, most writers and authors start out with at least a bachelor’s degree. Any experience they get along the way may improve chances of landing a job.

Top Poetry Scholarships

Many college’s English Department or writing center may have local poetry contests and scholarships to look into. Here are some top poetry scholarships that are easy to apply to.

1-800-Wheelchair Scholarship Fund

International and U.S. undergraduate students with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher are eligible for this award. Students must be 16 years of age or older. Preference will be given to students with a mobility disability.

Total: $500 Awards:  2
Deadline:  May 30

National High School Poetry Contest

U.S. high school students are eligible to enter this poetry contest. Students must submit a poem of 20 lines or less on a topic of their choice.

Total: $500 Awards:  9
Deadline:  June 30

Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship

The American poet Amy Lowell died in 1925. In her will she established an annual scholarship to support travel abroad for gifted American-born poets. The scholarship is administered by the Trustees under her will at the law firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart in Boston, Massachusetts.

Total: $30250 Awards:  2
Deadline:  October 15

Scholastic Art & Writing Award

This award is for students attending U.S. or Canadian schools, or American schools abroad. Students must be in grades 7-12 and submit a written work or original work of art.

Total: $10000 Awards:  30
Deadline:  December 01

Slipstream Poetry Contest

This award is for students who have an interest in writing poetry. The applicant may be a high school senior, undergraduate or graduate student.

Total: $1000 Awards:  1
Deadline:  December 01

Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award

The Anna Davidson Rosenberg Awards for Poems on the Jewish experience were established by Nedda Fratkin, Marvin Rosenberg and Violet Ginsburg in memory of their mother, Anna Rosenberg, née Davidson in 1987. The 2020 annual poetry competition is sponsored by Poetica Magazine, Contemporary Jewish Writing.

Total: $1000 Awards:  3
Deadline:  January 15

Power Poetry Scholarship Slam

This poetry contest is available for young poets in the United States who submit an original poem on the current scholarship slam topic.

Total: $1000 Awards:  1
Deadline:  February 06

Kurt Brown Prizes

The Kurt Brown Prizes is available for applicants who wish to attend a writers’ conference, center, retreat, festival, or residency.

Total: $500 Awards:  3
Deadline:  March 30

Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry

High school seniors and older students interested in writing poetry are eligible to apply for this award. To enter, students must submit one poem or series of poems that total three to ten pages in length.

Total: $3000 Awards:  2
Deadline:  April 15

Ruth Lily and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships

The Poetry Foundation and Poetry Magazine offer annual Ruth Lily and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships. Among the largest awards offered to young poets in the United States, the grant is intended to encourage the further study and writing of poetry.

Total: $25800 Awards:  5
Deadline:  April 30