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.

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.

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Why You Should Apply for a Scholarship?

Scholarships can 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.

Top 10 Writing Scholarships for Eligible Students

Here are 10 writing scholarships ranked by the award amount.

  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

List of Writing Scholarships

Check out our list of writing scholarships below.

$10,000 Scholarships HTML - Need to list out more $10,000 scholarships like Scholarship Points, etc.

Are There Really $10,000 Scholarships?

Many providers offer generous $10,000 scholarships. Unlike a loan, you do not need to pay the $10K back. And, you may use the money for college tuition, books, supplies and more.

Some of the scholarship programs that award $10,000 prizes are contests. So, to win, you may need to do something creative. Like submit a video or write an awesome essay on a given topic.

A perfect example is the Unigo 10K Scholarship. To apply you need to imagine a historical figure comes back to life. Then, in 250 words or less, describe who it is and what their favorite mobile app is.

Yet other 10K scholarships are merit awards. These may reward students of specific majors (E.g. agriculture) who also have high grades. Also, having leadership experience and skills will you make you stand out.

There are also need based awards. These scholarships award $10,000 to student’s who need help to afford college. So, for these you may have to fill out a FAFSA as part of your application.

That said, each $10,000 scholarship comes with its own rules on how to qualify. To be eligible, you often need to be a U.S. citizen, and meet the specified age.

Some providers also want to see that you are a current student in an accredited school. You may need to furnish transcripts and even a resume to apply.

Are $10,000 Scholarships the Highest Paying Awards?

The highest paying scholarships are full ride scholarships. These tend to foot the entire bill for college. So, all four years of your tuition, housing, meals, books and supplies.

Ten thousand dollars is still a lot for a scholarship though. Smaller scholarships may award from $50 to $500.

Also, the average scholarships range from $1,000 to $5,000. The max amount you can receive from a Federal Pell Grant is now $6,095.

To give you an idea of how far a $10,000 scholarship can take you, look at the cost of attending college.

At last check, undergrad tuition, fees, room, and board were around $17,237 at public colleges. The total cost of tuition and fees are $44,551 at private nonprofit schools, and $25,431 at private for-profit schools.

List of $10K Scholarships

Check out our list of $10K scholarships below.

American Bullion Scholarship

The American Bullion Scholarship is open to legal residents of the U.S. and students holding a valid U.S. visa. Students must be currently enrolled in college/university, and must submit an essay on the current year's topic relating to gold.

Total: $1000 Awards:  1
Deadline:  October 31
2020

Harvey Fellowship

This award is available for U.S. and international Christian graduate students. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement and commitment to Christian values.

Total: $12000 Awards:  20
Deadline:  November 1
2020

Kush Arora Federal Justice Reform Scholarship

The scholarship program is available to undergraduate, graduate, and law school students as well as incoming college freshmen in at an accredited institution in the United States. The candidate must be in good academic standing with at least a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA and display their interest in criminal justice reform.

Total: $500 Awards:  1
Deadline:  December 31
2020

Unigo $10K Scholarship

This $10,000 Unigo Scholarship is open to any applicant who is 14 years of age or older and is a legal resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia. The applicant must register for a free online account with Unigo.com and submit a short response to this year's topic as posted on the website.

Total: $10000 Awards:  1
Deadline:  December 31
2020

Top Ten List Scholarship

The Top Ten List Scholarship is open to US students who are 13 years of age and older and who are currently enrolled (or enroll no later than fall of 2026) in an accredited postsecondary institution of higher education. One winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship.

Total: $1500 Awards:  1
Deadline:  December 31
2020

NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund Youth Essay Contest

This contest is available for students currently enrolled in elementary, junior high or high school during the 2014-2015 school year. To apply, applicants must submit a short essay response to the question listed at the website.

Total: $475 Awards:  8
Deadline:  December 31
2020

I Have a Dream Scholarship

This award is open to all U.S. students who are 14 and older and who are currently enrolled (or enroll no later than fall of 2025) in an accredited postsecondary institution of higher education. One scholarship winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship.

Total: $1500 Awards:  1
Deadline:  January 31
2021

Sweet and Simple Scholarship

This award is open to all U.S. students who are 14 and older and who are currently enrolled (or enroll no later than fall of 2026) in an accredited postsecondary institution of higher education. One scholarship winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship.

Total: $1500 Awards:  1
Deadline:  February 28
2021

UNF Gray Scholarship

This award is available to U.S students who are planning to attend the University of North Florida as freshmen and major in a field within the College of Arts & Sciences. Students must have a UNF recalculated grade point average of 3.6 or higher and a SAT score of 1360 or higher or an ACT score of 28 or higher.

Total: $4000 Awards:  15
Deadline:  October 15

Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship for Mystery Writing

This scholarship is available for currently enrolled U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who have an interest in mystery writing (fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and/or screenwriting).

Total: $500 Awards:  2
Deadline:  February 28

IBPF High School Essay Contest

This essay contest is open to U.S. and international students who are 13 to 19 years of age and enrolled in high school. Students must write an essay discussing whether people who live with bipolar disorder are stimgatized in their community.

Total: $1000 Awards:  3
Deadline:  March 01

Iowa Scholarship for the Arts

This scholarship is available for Iowa students who have graduated this year and will be attending an Iowa college. Students must have proven artistic ability in dance, literature, music, theatre, traditional arts, or the visual arts, and major in one of those areas.

Total: $1500 Awards:  5
Deadline:  March 01