We are pleased to announce the inaugural Reedsy Creative Writing Scholarship, a biannual award for writers and novelists in further education. As the world’s leading marketplace of book publishing talent, Reedsy is passionate about nurturing the next generation of fiction authors. We have designed this scholarship to award a student whose writing displays a clear and unique voice with the potential to thrive in the competitive literary landscape.
Awarded twice a year, successful candidates will receive $1,000 towards educational expenses and be eligible for further sponsorship from Reedsy while they develop as a writer.
To be eligible for the Reedsy Creative Writing Scholarship, applicants must be:
- United States, Canada or Australia Citizens or Permanent Residents; and
- Accepted to, or currently enrolled in an accredited college, university, or graduate program within the United States, Canada or Australia.
Your application must include the first chapter (1,500 to 7,500 words) of an original novel you are currently writing, or have written but not yet published.
All applications must be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include:
- Your name, address and contact number;
- The name of the college or university you are attending or planning to attend;
- Your sample chapter attached to the email in .doc or .docx format with a written introduction. Google Doc links and PDFs will not be accepted.
Five finalists will be selected from each application pool. If your submission is shortlisted, your sample will be featured on Reedsy’s blog and social media channels. This will not affect your rights as the copyright holder.
To be considered for the Spring semester scholarship, applications must be received by February 21, 2018.
Next deadline will be September 21, 2018 for the Fall semester scholarship.
The scholarship must be applied to tuition and other education-related expenses. A wire transfer for $1,000 will be made payable to the recipient’s educational institution directly.
Address: Reedsy Ltd. Seedcamp 4-5 Bonhill St, Shoreditch, London EC2A 4BX
Phone: +44 20 3108 9367
USA: +1 (407) 233-3331
Spring Semester Winner, 2018 — Evan Miles Gorzeman (Columbia University)
Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Evan studied Political Science and English at Loyola Marymount University. Currently, he is enrolled at the MFA program in Fiction at Columbia University in New York City. Some of his favorite novels are Train Dreams by Denis Johnson and Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. He lists authors such as Raymond Carver, Karen Russell, and Tom McCarthy as major influences in his work.
The first chapter of his winning entry, Useful, Like a Two Dollar Bill was selected due to its excellent imagery and compelling character development straight out the gate.
Useful, Like a Two Dollar Bill follows Stiff, a middle-aged, single, and aloof cemetery manager whose life has not gone according to plan. A local psychic by the name of Gummy gives Stiff a prophecy to right his unfulfilled life. This sets Stiff on a journey to find what he's been missing. Haunted by the powerful women of his past, Stiff dives into the seedy criminal underbelly of his hometown Emma, Louisiana where he meets a man brought back to life after a lightning storm, a matriarchal lumber and drug mogul, and ghosts of people whose lives have petered out all around him.
Fall Semester Winner, 2017 — Namdi Nwasike (NYU)
A native of Huntington, New York, Namdi studies Biology at NYU and is on the pre-med track. Despite his science background, his passion has always been for writing: as a hyperactive and imaginative child, he would write short stories and create comics. Among his favorite books are Salinger's Catcher in the Rye and Walk the Two Moons by Sharon Creech.
His winning entry, The Fool's Gold, is a Young Adult novel whose first chapter is packed with well-observed character details and a compelling hook that left our judges desperate to read more:
Recently accepted to her dream school, Rosa Diosa embarks on a journey to become the first member of her family with a college degree. She soon discovers that Manhattan isn’t the city she expected... literally. Unseen, supernatural forces are at play and New York is revealed to her as the epicenter of an invisible war. With the help of her new friends and a snarky professor, Rosa must protect the people she loves, maintain her grades, and deal the daily challenges of living in a big city.
Spring Semester Finalist, 2018 —Mackenzie Gibson (University of Chicago)
Mackenzie Gibson is currently a seventeen-year-old high school senior from the small town of Elkhart, Kansas. She plans to attend Wichita State University in the fall and major in creative writing. She has loved to read and write from a young age and plans to continue by becoming an author. Her favorite book is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling because it was the first book to teach her to love and appreciate the beauty of reading and writing.
Her entry, The Buried Society, was selected as a finalist for the 2018 Spring Semester prize:
In a post-apocalyptic world turned to ice, black tiled walls, silence, and torture is all Athena Clark ever knew. As a child of Program X, that’s all she was allowed to know. When forced to take part in an expedition team to the surface, she must act against her morality to survive. Dark secrets unfold in the institute she was forced to live in for her entire life; Athena must choose between doing what is right and surviving to see the next day of the ongoing struggle.
Spring Semester Finalist, 2018 — Esther Spurlock (University of Chicago)
In 2015, Esrther graduated from Seton Hill University with a Masters of Science in Mathematics and a dual minor in Computer Science and English literature. This past year, she has been volunteering for Mercy Volunteer Corps working at St. Boniface School in Cincinnati, Ohio. After her year of service ends, I am going to graduate school at the University of Chicago for their Masters of Science in Computational Analysis and Public Policy. With this degree, she hopes to use data to create social change. Her favorite books since childhood are The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle and Ferdinand the Bull by Munro Leaf. Her favorite authors are currently Alice Walker and Toni Morrison (although this changes frequently).
Her entry, The Second 10 Years, was selected as a finalist for the 2018 Spring Semester prize:
150 years in the future, American finds itself in the grips of a second Civil War. While the first Civil War was sparked over rights of African slaves, this Second Civil War was sparked over rights for artificial humans. Two such artificial humans - Helen and Jack - cycle through the second ten years of the conflict, grappling with what people on all sides of the conflict believe about their place in society and their humanity.
Spring Semester Finalist, 2018 — Emily M. Marvin (University of Iowa)
Emily is a junior undergraduate student studying English and Creative Writing at the University of Iowa. Writing has always been a passion of hers, and her goal is to become a published author and work in the publishing industry. At the moment, her favorite books include anything by Joe Hill, and the short story collection White Dialogues by Bennett Sims.
Her entry, These Bad Things, was selected as a finalist for the 2018 Spring Semester prize:
The barren town of Klickitat, Washington is cursed. After moving across the country to help his mother take care of his ailing grandfather, Conrad Townsend stumbles into friendship with Victor Vigna, a charismatic young man with a reverence for the Black Angel: a haunting old statue that stands in the mountain cemetery rumored to possess the power to kill. The two boys and their cohorts raise hell in the canyon of Klickitat until Victor, inspired by the Angel, takes things too far. Four years later, Conrad is still living with the memory of that one summer and must learn to live with the things he has done.
Spring Semester Finalist, 2018 —Jamie Walker (University of California, Los
Working towards her goal of becoming a published author, Jamie is currently completing a bachelors degree in English with a Creative Writing Concentration at the University of California, Los Angeles. While Jamie loves a good urban fantasy, she’s also drawn to other genres such as adventure and horror, and memoirs. Some of Jamie’s favorite authors include Frank McCourt, Kim Harrison, and Chuck Palahniuk.
Her entry, Blood Omens, was selected as a finalist for the 2018 Spring Semester prize:
Blood Omens is a multiple, first-person narrative that centers around 16-year-old Alice Greaves and her last year alive. After being declared terminal, Alice wants to spend the last year of her life living as much as she can while completing her so-called “Fuck-It” list. A self-professed gamer, Alice decides to venture out one fateful, Friday night to get a fake ID after making a deal with an online friend in her gaming guild for one. What should have been a short errand quickly turns into something else when Alice unwittingly stumbles into the shadow-filled fringes of our society and the ancient, secret race of immortal creatures that inhabit it.
Fall Semester Finalist, 2017 — Phoebe Angaye (Austin College)
A sophomore at Austin College, Phoebe is an economics major and a creative writing minor. A Nigerian-American who was born and raised in the US, she has won a Silver Key from the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards Competition and has been published in Sprout, Canvas, and The Sleepy Aquarium. Phoebe is a lover of various genres and generally just loves a good story.
Her entry, Era of Zodiac, was selected as a finalist for the 2017 Fall Semester prize:
The zodiacs are a group of 13 people who can travel back in time. Sana Hashimoto is the 13th zodiac and has the job of guiding the zodiacs. A faction of the zodiacs called the Nanashi that believe they can change the past for a better future. This worries the rest of the zodiacs because it is unknown what will happen if the current timeline is changed. Thus begins the fight to control time, and Sana's journey to stop the Nanashi before it’s too late. There's just one more problem: her father is the Nanashi leader.
Fall Semester Finalist, 2017 — La-Tonia Willis (Antioch University)
Born in New York, La-Tonia is currently enrolled in a Creative Writing MFA at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her favorite book of all time is Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. She is the director and producer of Profiles: Women in the Arts and Technology NW, an ongoing short series on Public Access Television in Seattle.
Her entry, The Dakota Experiments, was selected as a finalist for the 2017 Fall Semester prize:
At Ondi Systems—a prominent New York City biotech firm—molecular biologist and research scientist Amara Cayne, discovers a secret ‘Internet Room’ and a hidden agenda behind the firm’s gene modification experiments.
Fall Semester Finalist, 2017 — Hunter Mason (Yale University)
Born and raised in Mystic, Connecticut, Hunter came to love history and literature with the help of motivated parents, teachers, and books such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Les Miserables. Hunter now studies political science at Yale University, where he currently lives with his wife, Catherine.
His entry, Tide, was selected as a finalist for the 2017 Fall Semester prize:
Tide follows the life of young David Aarons, who is consumed with the idea of heroes and a longing to leave a legacy through the written word. When he is ripped from his family at the start of WWII, David finds himself confronted with the switch from writing about heroes to becoming one. As he confronts courage and cowardice, both in the hearts of others and his own, he comes to learn what true heroism is.
Fall Semester Finalist, 2017 — Joy Ferguson (Westmont College)
From Santa Rosa, California, Joy is a senior double major in English and Political Science, hoping to become a political speechwriter if this whole novel thing doesn't work out. She's a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy, but also has a soft spot for the classics she was raised on.
Her entry, The Heir of Koninia, was selected as a finalist for the 2017 Fall Semester prize:
Sheltae Oesria Teminre is the favorite servant of Corladon's Duchess, her mysterious past ignored by a community that adores her. But when the Heir of Koninia, the Princess Maya, singles her out as the One Hero prophesied to defeat the Enemy of Koninia, Sheltae must confront her origins in the Enemy's camp, and learn to make peace with the many different identities she's created to keep herself and her sisters safe. Aided by the strange Captain of the King's Guard Marcov Zierin, Sheltae uncovers who she was meant to be while discovering what it is she might become in order to defeat her oldest and most personal foe.
If you're a budding author in higher education, send the opening chapter of your novel to Reedsy for a chance to qualify for our next award in February 2018.