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 1,741 awards worth $59M.

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.
Award Amount

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline

Deadline: February 28, 2024

Brandon Wong & Associates Difference Makers Scholarship

Brandon Wong & Associates is a San Antonio-based family law firm founded on the principles of hard work and quality of representation. As a firm that practices exclusively in the area of family law, we have accumulated the depth of experience necessary to handle everything from a straightforward, uncontested divorce to high-conflict cases involving multiple contested issues, as well as high-asset matters where complex property division issues need to be addressed. With our experience representing clients from all walks of life, we can address unique concerns related to issues such as military divorce, spousal support, or business valuations.
Award Amount

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline

Deadline: May 27, 2024

Amy G Law Firm Access to Education Scholarship

The attorneys of the Amy G Injury Firm believe everyone is entitled to an equal opportunity to create a better future for themselves, their families, and society as a whole. It is a difficult reality that many individuals face circumstances that put them at a disadvantage in obtaining their goals. Our firm is devoted to working hard to give the voiceless a voice and to equal the playing field. Consistent with this philosophy, the Amy G Injury Firm has proudly established the Access to Education Scholarship. An award of $1,000 will be presented each year to the applicant who offers the most innovative and thought-provoking ideas for expanding access to higher education and a strong articulation as to why they believe that objective is so critically important to the future of our nation and the world.
Award Amount

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline

Deadline: May 31, 2024

Hoggatt Injury Law Children of Injured Workers Scholarship

At Hoggatt Injury Law, we are passionate about supporting workers and their families whose lives have been affected by work-related injuries. We know that workplace injuries can have far-reaching financial ramifications, including when it comes to a family’s ability to provide for their children’s educational expenses. We hope to help families address this challenge by offering a scholarship to the child of an employee who has been injured or killed in a work-related accident. The Hoggatt Injury Law Children of Injured Workers Scholarship provides $1,000 to assist with a student’s tuition and other educational expenses at their chosen college or university anywhere in the United States.
Award Amount

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline

Deadline: June 24, 2024

Underdog Scholarship

At Busald Funk Zevely PSC, we have dedicated our lives to representing the underdogs. We are inspired by those who accomplish their goals despite having the odds stacked against them. . Whether it be David versus Goliath, the “Miracle on Ice”, or simply passing a math test you studied tirelessly for – no underdog story is worth going untold. In order to reward and recognize those who have battled their way through adversity to achieve their dreams, we are excited to officially introduce our 2024 Underdog Scholarship! The 2024 Underdog Scholarship was created to reward a student who has gone above and beyond to achieve their goals. To apply for the 2024 Underdog Scholarship, students are encouraged to answer the following prompt: In 750-1,000 words, tell us about a time when you were an underdog. What made you an underdog, and how did you persevere against the odds to accomplish your goal? The winner of the 2021 Underdog Scholarship will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Busald Funk Zevely towards their education.
Award Amount

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline

Deadline: July 31, 2024

Fight for Freedom Scholarship

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC’s Fight for Freedom Scholarship is intended to award one student with $1,000 who shares a piece of legislation or regulation that has been a recent controversial topic, and best explains why this law should be abolished or kept in place. We ask students to please share how this law has personally impacted them.
Award Amount

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline

Deadline: July 31, 2024

Hometown Pride Scholarship

At The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers, we take special pride in serving the people of Illinois and being able to call this state our home. Whether you lived in your hometown or state your whole life, or call a new place your home, we want to hear all about why where you came from is important to you. Through our 2023 Hometown Pride Scholarship, we will award one deserving student with $1,000 to assist them in obtaining their education and their future endeavors. To learn more and apply, visit our scholarship page.
Award Amount

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline

Deadline: August 31, 2024

Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards Program

This popular fiction writing contest is open to any writer who submits a story of 4,000 words or less in one or more of the following categories: crime; horror; romance; science fiction/fantasy; thriller; young adult. Entries are accepted from U.S. and non-U.S. residents with no age restriction; entries are not accepted from Syria, Iran, or North Korea due to SEC restrictions.
Award Amount

Total: $786

Awards: 7

Deadline

Deadline: September 16

DirectTextbook.com Haiku Contest Scholarship

This Haiku contest is open to U.S. undergraduate students who have a grade point average of 2.0 or higher.
Award Amount

Total: $500

Awards: 6

Deadline

Deadline: September 18

Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards Program

This poetry contest is open to any student who submits an original, unpublished poem of no longer than 32 lines and the submission fee.
Award Amount

Total: $170

Awards: 10

Deadline

Deadline: October 01