Scholarships for Creative Writing

The type of creative writing scholarship you can apply for will depend largely on your year of study. Different scholarships will be available for undergraduate students than for graduate students. Sometimes they will leak into each other, but for the most part, scholarships can be broken down into those two categories.


Undergraduate Creative Writing Scholarships

Undergraduate creative writing scholarships can be found in multiple places. There are many browsing database-type websites, that help you search for scholarships in your particular area of interest. FinAid ( http://www.finaid.org/scholarships/) is one of these websites. They even have an "unusual" scholarship page where one of the categories is creativity. Also, some schools give out specific scholarships to English majors. The University of Central Florida's Burnett Honors College, for instance, offers a scholarship called Promising Scholar Awards, where students send in ten pages of writing, and if their story or poem makes the cut, they receive $100 each.

Creative Writing Scholarships for Graduate School

Graduate creative writing scholarships usually come in two forms: assistantships and fellowships. These scholarships are usually decided behind the scenes. You check a box on the application to the graduate writing program to be considered for these scholarships. The faculty decides who they think deserves the assistantships/fellowships the most, and they send out the offers with the acceptance letters. An assistantship means that a student will work, and in return that student will usually get a full tuition voucher and a stipend. Some schools offer even more, like health benefits. There are two types of assistantships. Teaching assistants (TAs) help professors in the classroom or take over classes themselves with a professor supervising them. Graduate Assistants (GAs) work jobs around campus, like a desk clerk for the English Department. Fellowships are the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If a university contacts you about a fellowship, that means they are willing to give you a stipend based on your merit as a writer. No extra work is involved. The university just expects you to do well. These come in a very large range--anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000 a year. That range may even be widened. If one receives a fellowship, the university is basically paying that person to come learn at their university.

There are other ways a writer can bring in money for school outside of creative writing scholarships. Writing contests can be found all across America. They are like creative writing scholarships because you have to send in stories or poems that will be judged against other people's stories or poems. The only difference is that you don't necessarily have to be a student to participate in the contest, and the prize is cash, so you can spend it any way you like. Poets & Writers magazine has a great list of writing contests, grants, and awards (http://www.pw.org/grants?sort=asc&order=field_deadline_value&apage=*&perpage=*). This way, you can begin accumulating money before you even enter school. It would be a great way to save up for tuition and books before the semester starts.

So, there are lots of ways to attain money to fund your education. For undergraduates, creative writing scholarships can be found in databases or from the university itself. Graduate students can find scholarships in the form of assistantships or fellowships. Both can find cash money in writing contests.