Writing Scholarships

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How Do You Win a Writing Scholarship?

Writing scholarships are unique since they ask you to use your words to win one. If you are an aspiring novelist, journalist or enjoy writing poems as a hobby, you may qualify.

Creative writing scholarships are about how you craft a story and develop characters. Essay contest scholarships often ask you to answer a question in a very original and clear way.

As such, each scholarship will have its own set of guidelines to follow. You may need to write a story for a specific topic and meet the word count limit. To apply for a writing scholarship, you’re going to have to write something original.

In some scholarships for writers, applicants must be literature or creative writing majors. Judges of these programs may want to see your transcripts and know about your academic goals along with a completed form.

For other essay scholarships, you might not have to be an English major at all. These can be sweepstakes where there is no essay required. Most of the time, anyone is eligible to enter these sweepstakes.

10 Writing Scholarships You Can Apply For Now

  1. Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship
  2. Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest
  3. Profile in Courage Essay Contest
  4. Ayn Rand Fountainhead Essay Contest
  5. Optimist International Essay Contest
  6. Visionary Scholarship
  7. L. Rn Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest
  8. Ayn Rand Anthem Essay Contest
  9. Morton Marr Poetry Prize
  10. National Society of High School Scholars Foundation Scholarships

What Writing Scholarships Can Students Apply for?

There are writing scholarships for eligible students at all levels of education. As long as you meet the terms the provider sets, you may apply.

Writing Scholarships for High School Students

The Profile in Courage Essay Contest is open to eligible students in grades 9 to 12. This year’s topic is about political courage. To apply, you will write an essay of up to 1,000 words that has at least 5 sources. You can submit your essay online or by mail. Just make sure to follow the guidelines.

There are 15 awards in all. One first place winner receives $10,000 and one second place winner receives $3,000. Five finalists each receive $1,000 and eight semi finalists each receive $100.

Writing Scholarships for College Students

A writing scholarship for eligible college students is the Bobette Bibo Gugliotta Memorial Scholarship.

It is available from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF). It was named to honor the author who created the idea for Mickey Mouse. There are up to two winners. Each winner receives a sum of up to $1,000.

DACA students, US citizens and legal permanent residents may be eligible. Applicants must live in Santa Clara or San Mateo County. To apply, you must send two writing samples. The other required documents are transcripts and grades, personal essay, letters of reference and proof of financial need.

What Creative Writing Scholarships Are Available to Students?

Creative writing scholarships are for eligible English majors and students who like to write a poem, script, fiction or play. You need to be very creative, imaginative and think outside of the box with the provider’s essay question.

Scholarships for Fiction Writers

Writer’s Digest offers Popular Fiction Awards. It is one of their oldest and most popular competitions. One grand prize winner receives $5,000 in cash. 10 other winners receive awards ranging from $25 to $1,000.

To apply, you need to be a US citizen or legal permanent resident and submit an entry fee. You also have to select a creative category. You can choose between spiritual, memoir, rhyming poetry, TV script, children’s fiction and more.

Scholarships for Creative Writing Majors

The Mystery Writers of America (MWA) offers the Helen McCloy Scholarship. It aims to nurture talent in mystery writing of all kinds. Writing topics may include fiction, nonfiction, play writing, and screenwriting.

Although you don’t need to be an MWA member, you do need to be a serious aspiring mystery writer. Applicants must also be a US citizen or legal permanent resident.

MWA will award $500 each to two winning writers. You may use the money to offset tuition and fees for writing workshops, seminars or college level writing programs.

How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay?

To write a scholarship essay, you want to be creative and follow the essay instructions. Here are five helpful tips to write your next winning scholarship essay.

1. Understand the essay question

You can only write a solid essay answer if you understand the question. When the question is direct, be direct when you answer it. If not, judges will spot the confusion no matter how good your writing is. Here’s an example: What are you planning to study in college and why? “In college, I plan to major in writing because…”

2. Reel the audience in

Open your essay with a hook or clear beginning. This captivates the reader’s attention. It may help judges who have to read many essays remember yours better. Of course, once you have reeled your reader in, keep up the good work.

Don’t stray off topic. Use the rest of your essay for more in depth details and examples. Then, conclude your essay to tie up all of your points. This shows the judges you used an outline and organized your thoughts well.

3. Follow the scholarship guidelines

Judges often have hundreds of essays to score. So, most essay scholarships have guidelines to help them reach a decision. Word count is the most common guideline to meet. So, even very creative essays may get points deducted if they are too wordy.

4. Spell check and proofread your essay

Make sure to proofread a few times and spell check your entire essay before submitting it. Also, proofread for any grammatical errors.  If it helps, you may print out your essay and read it off screen. Spell check software does not pick up mistakes related to context. For instance, you may spell “their” correctly but intended to write “there”. Try to avoid these mistakes along with slang.  

5. Don’t copy anyone

Many scholarship providers do not tolerate plagiarism which is unethical. You should tell a story that resonates with your personal goals and experiences. Be original and write from the heart so that your essay stands out.

Why You Should Apply for a Scholarship?

Writing scholarships may be useful if you want to pay for college. The money can offset tuition, fees, books and other expenses. You may be able to use a scholarship along with federal grant money too. And, unlike loans, you don’t repay these funds.

According to the NCES, cost varies by type of school. Also, a four year degree in creative writing is on the rise. If you choose an in state public college, tuition is about $7,368. If you study at a private college for out of state students, tution costs $35,878. 

Many writing and essay scholarships are easy to apply for. They may also be less competitive than ones that assess your grades. A final point, if you win, you get to add it to your resume and list of accomplishments.

List of Writing Scholarships

Check out our list of writing scholarships below. We have 1,733 awards worth $59M.

Arts for Life! Scholarship

Each year Arts for Life! awards $1,000 scholarships to 25 graduating high school seniors in Florida. This award is available for U.S. and international high school seniors in Florida. Students must demonstrate artistic merit and academic excellence in creative writing, dance, music, theatre or visual arts.

Total: $50000

Awards: 25

Deadline: February 03, 2023

Porter Fleming Literary Competition

This is a writing contest for residents of Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, and North Carolina. To enter, students may submit their work in one of four categories: fiction, poetry, nonfiction or drama. Applicants should review the website for the requirements to enter their specific writing category.

Total: $12000

Awards: 12

Deadline: February 10, 2023

The R.L. Gillette, Gladys C. Anderson, and Karen D. Carsel Memorial Scholarship

U.S. female undergraduate students who are pursuing a degree in music are eligible for this award. Students must be legally blind (i.e., have best corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye, and/or a visual field of less than 20 degrees in the better eye).

Total: $7500

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 15, 2023

Charles L. Hebner Memorial Scholarship

This award is available for current high school seniors who are U.S. citizens and residents of Delaware. Applicant must plan to enroll full time at the University of Delaware or Delaware State University and plan to major in the humanities or social sciences.

Total: $142824

Awards: 2

Deadline: February 26, 2023

Achieving My Potential Scholarship

Any allegation of participating in criminal activity is a serious matter. Sadly, many people who face accusations of criminal activity are young adults or teenagers. After being accused of an offense, a child or young adult might worry about how this will impact the rest of their life. At Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm, our mission is to protect the futures of younger generations from their mistakes to help them achieve their full potential. That is why we are proud to announce our 2023 Achieving My Potential Scholarship. We are seeking students who went through the juvenile justice system or criminal justice system and have worked hard to move past their experience, seeking a brighter future to achieve their full potential. Visit our scholarship page to learn more about this opportunity. We will be accepting applications until February 28, 2023.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 28, 2023

The Nuclear Family Scholarship

Our team at the Law Office of David E. Gordon is excited to share the 2023 Nuclear Family Scholarship! This scholarship was created to help students reflect on how someone in their immediate family has helped them become the person they are today. The applicant that best answers the prompt will be awarded a $1000 scholarship to help them pursue their higher education. To be eligible for the 2023 Nuclear Family Scholarship, applicants must submit their completed application (essay, transcript(s), and resume) by e-mail to [email protected] All applications must have a subject line that reads: “[Applicant’s First and Last Name] – 2023 Nuclear Family Scholarship”. Submissions without this subject line will not be considered. The deadline for all application materials is February 28th.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 28, 2023

ALSC Frederic G. Melcher Scholarship

Graduate students who have completed no more than 12 hours in an approved MLS/MLIS program while attending an ALA-accredited school are eligible for this award. Eligible students must be U.S. or Canadian citizens and plan to work in a library in an area of service to children.

Total: $16000

Awards: 2

Deadline: March 01, 2023

Washington American Indian Endowed Scholarship

This award is available to Washington undergraduate and graduate students who are currently attending or planning to attend a postsecondary institution in Washington. The student must have close cultural and social ties to an American Indian community in Washington.

Total: $30000

Awards: 15

Deadline: March 01, 2023

Haug Family Scholarship

The Norwegian National League is an umbrella organization for all Norwegian cultural, athletic and fraternal organizations in the Chicago area and sponsors a Norwegian Constitution Day Parade in Park Ridge, a Leif Erikson Celebration and Christmas Around the World at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Total: $1500

Awards: 1

Deadline: March 01, 2023

Michigan Tuition Grant

This award is available to Michigan resident undergraduate students who are attending independent, degree-granting Michigan institutions. Students must demonstrate financial need.

Total: $2800

Awards: 4

Deadline: March 01, 2023