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. These 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 for poetry 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 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 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 could 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.

List of Poetry Scholarships

Check out our list of poetry scholarships below. We have 78 awards worth $572K.

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. Click here to learn more and apply today!
Award Amount

Total: $25800

Awards: 1


Deadline: April 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. Learn more and apply today!
Award Amount

Total: $30250

Awards: 2


Deadline: October 15

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.
Award Amount

Total: $3000

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. Power Poetry is an online poetry founded on the belief that words and poems can have power to change the world. Click here to learn more and apply to one of the poetry programs today!
Award Amount

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. Each year AWP offers three annual scholarships of $500 each to emerging writers who wish to attend a writers’ conference, center, retreat, festival, or residency.
Award Amount

Total: $500

Awards: 3


Deadline: March 31

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. One to two $500 awards are offered each year. Preference will be given to students with a mobility disability. Click here to learn more and apply today!
Award Amount

Total: $1000

Awards: 2


Deadline: May 20

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. ALL WINNING POEMS WILL BE PUBLISHED. If you are dead set against having your poem published, we suggest you do not enter. Click to learn more and apply today!
Award Amount

Total: $2400

Awards: 9


Deadline: December 31

Eleanor Wegg Poetry Scholarship

This scholarship will grant three annual awards. Two awards will be in the amount of $500 and one will be in the amount of $1000. You may apply for this scholarship if you are a rising junior or senior undergraduate at one of the University of Michigan campuses with a major or minor in the English Department.
Award Amount

Total: $2000

Awards: 3


Deadline: January 01