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.

Center for Alcohol Policy Essay Contest

This essay contest is open to all persons who are over the age of 18 as of the entry deadline date. Essays of all formats are accepted as long as they are on the current year's topic.

Total: $5000 Awards:  3
Deadline:  January 17

Carlozzi Family Scholarship

This scholarship is available for women in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania who are majoring in journalism or communications. Applicants must demonstrate academic achievement and recognition for a talent in writing.

Total: $2500 Awards:  1
Deadline:  January 24

Parker and Virginia Howell Scholarship Fund

The Parker and Virginia Howell Scholarship Fund is available for graduating high school seniors and undergraduarte students from the city of Ventura, California. Applicants must have unmet financial need, a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and must be planning to major in creative writing or engineering.

Total: $600 Awards:  1
Deadline:  January 26

Charline E. McCue Memorial Scholarship

This award is available for U.S. and international undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in culinary arts, dance, music, fashion design, theater, or writing. Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Total: $500 Awards:  1
Deadline:  January 31

Josephine De Karman Fellowship

This award is for college seniors who will receive a bachelor's degree by June and candidates for a Ph.D. who will defend their dissertation by June.

Total: $25000 Awards:  8
Deadline:  January 31

Intercollegiate Studies Institute Graduate Fellowship

This fellowship is available for U.S. graduate students who plan to teach at the college/university level. Students must be enrolled full time in a non-professional program of study.

Total: $10000 Awards:  15
Deadline:  February 01

Oak Ridge Rotary Club Brad Sturm Memorial Scholarship

This essay contest is open to students enrolled at Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, TN. Interested students must contact the school guidance office or economics teacher for an application.

Total: $500 Awards:  1
Deadline:  February 01

M.F.K. Fisher Scholarship

Students applying as freshmen to the Culinary Institute of America in New York who have a demonstrated interest in food writing are eligible for this award.

Total: $2000 Awards:  4
Deadline:  February 01

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: $2000 Awards:  12
Deadline:  February 01

Arts for Life! Scholarship

This award is available for U.S. and international high school seniors who are residents of the state of Florida and attend high school in Florida. Students must demonstrate artistic merit and academic excellence in creative writing, dance, music, theatre or visual arts.

Total: $2000 Awards:  25
Deadline:  February 03

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

Davidson Fellows Award

This award is available for U.S. students who are 18 years of age or younger as of October 1, 2018. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of a significant accomplishment(s) in science, technology, mathematics, music, literature, or philosophy.

Total: $50000 Awards:  15
Deadline:  February 12