You want to be a writer – a novelist, a poet, a journalist, or a content writer. You plan to go to college and pursue that dream. Too often, though, aspiring writers neglect efforts to find scholarships in their fields. This is probably because they think scholarships are usually awarded to students with high GPA’s, with ACT and/or SAT scores, or with real talent in high scientific or technical careers. Yes, there are probably more for those categories, but still, there are plenty out there for writing in all genres. You should look into the possibilities. Even though some of them may be a bit small, every chunk of money that whittles away at your student loan debt is well worth it. Here are some of the most prominent writing scholarships that are awarded every year – check them out.
Scholarships From Organizations and Publications
These awards often come in categories – fiction, poetry, travel, non-fiction, marketing, etc.
1.The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers
You can begin to compete for scholarship money long before your senior year in high school. This organization sponsors “The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards” which gives out over $1 million a year. There are 10 writing categories, with five $10,000 awards to the best writers, along with hundreds of other smaller awards.
2.The Free Spirit Scholarship
This organization was founded by Al Neuharth, from USA Today, and it is specifically for students who intend to major in journalism in college. There is a winner in each of the 50 states every year, the award amount being $1000. You have to submit three samples of journalistic writing that exhibit “free spirit” in writing.
3.National Press Club
This is a $5000 scholarship award for students intending to pursue a career in journalism. You have to be a high school senior and submit 3 samples of your writing. The title of the award, if you intend to pursue it, is the “Richard G. Zimmerman Award.”
4.Penguin Publishing Group – Signet Classics Student Scholarship
If your preferred genre is literature, this organization awards five $1000 scholarships each year, based upon an essay written on a selected piece of literature. Candidates must be in their junior or senior years of high school, and an English teacher must verify the essay
5.Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarship/Society of American Travel Writers
If you see yourself traveling the world and writing for National Geographic or some other travel publication, then you should be interested in this competition. You have to write a blog post about a travel experience that was the most memorable to you – adding photos or videos if you like. Awards range from $250 to $1000.
This retailer is located all over the country. It sponsors a creative writing scholarship competition every year. You have to be in high school and planning to major in writing for publication in college. You have to submit an original children’s book, and the award is $5000 – actually a few of them.
Scholarships From Publicly Funded Organizations
1.National Endowment for the Arts
This scholarship award is for students who are in graduate school, in the fields of creative writing and/or literature. Awards are up to $25,000, so if you are good, go for it!
2.The Fulbright Scholar Program
These scholarships and fellowships go to students majoring in liberal arts areas, and one of those areas is American literature. Because the “definition” is quite liberal, students in creative writing should also apply.
As you apply to colleges, you should definitely check with the English or journalism departments to see what types of scholarships may be available from those departments specifically. Here are a couple of examples:
1.University of Missouri – Kansas City: There is a strong creative writing program at this school, and offers scholarships in the areas of poetry and fiction – even children’s literature. You have to submit a portfolio of original work, and awards range from $75 all the way up to $25,000.
2.Washington University, St. Louis, MO: Every year a $3000 scholarship is awarded to ten students. The title of the scholarship is the “Howard Nemerov Writing Scholarship.” Check it out.
3.U. of Kentucky School of Journalism: Lots of scholarships are awarded for promising journalism students, and many of the awards are pretty substantial. Preferences are given to disadvantaged and minority students
This is a huge field of scholarship possibilities, and you should explore all of them, if you really need/want the money. You can enter any or all of these competitions, and, even if the award amounts are relatively small, a stack of them can add up! These are usually sponsored by private organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus or the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and most provide an essay prompt for writing. Some are also based upon specific ethnic or ancestral backgrounds, so don’t ignore those either.
Every year, a lot of scholarship money is not awarded because there have not been applicants. Conducting a search for all of this potential funding can be pretty daunting, but technology has made it somewhat easier. You can Google for scholarships based upon the particular type of writing you intend to pursue for a career, as well as for essay-based scholarships, and for those awards based upon your heritage. Often, it is the persistent students who ends up with a bunch of college money from several different sources.