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DIRECTORY

Best Writing Scholarships in 2024

Showing 133 scholarships that match your search.

We now offer fully-funded tuition for our 101-day How to Write a Novel course to promising writers with financial need. Writers are invited to submit a 1,000-word writing sample along with a 300-word personal statement explaining their interest in a scholarship. NOTE: The current application period has now been extended to July 29th, midnight EST. Click through for more details.

Categories: Novel Writing

Organization: Reedsy

Deadline: July 22, 2024

Recipients: 3

Top award: $1,250

Apply now →

LearnCurious is proud to introduce the annual competition for the Phyliss J. McCarthy Scholarship for Excellence in Writing. In 3,000 words or fewer, applicants must respond to one of three creative prompts. Entrants must be high school juniors or seniors to win.

Categories: Personal Essay and Short Fiction

Organization: Learn Curious

Deadline: July 23, 2024

Additional awards: 2 runner-up prizes of $50 each

Recipients: 1

Top award: $1,000

Apply now →

The Richard G. Zimmerman Scholarship is named for a long-time National Press Club member who died in 2008 and endowed a scholarship in aid of high school seniors who wish to pursue a career in journalism. Recipients receive a one-time award of $5,000.

Categories: Journalism

Organization: National Press Club

Deadline: July 28, 2024

Recipients: 1

Top award: $5,000

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The National Press Club is proud to offer this fellowship for graduate students in journalism. The Fellowship is named for Dennis Feldman, a club member who had a long career as a journalist and public relations adviser after putting himself through grad school at night. Winners will receive a one-time stipend of $5,000 to help defray post-graduate tuition costs.

Categories: Journalism

Organization: National Press Club

Deadline: July 28, 2024

Recipients: 1

Top award: $5,000

Apply now →

AWM Austin is proud to award scholarships to college students studying media (or a related field) at a university in the Austin area. Each applicant must include a personal statement stating their area of study and how this scholarship will further their career and educational goals.

Categories: Journalism

Organization: Alliance for Women in Media

Deadline: July 28, 2024

Recipients: 1

Top award: $5,000

Apply now →

The National Press Club, the leading professional organization for journalists, wants to recruit promising future journalists who will bring diversity to American journalism. The scholarship consists of a $5,000 one-year scholarship. The award can be renewed for up to three years for a total of $20,000 toward educational expenses.

Categories: Journalism

Organization: National Press Club

Deadline: July 28, 2024

Recipients: 1

Top award: $5,000

Apply now →

The Marine Corps Essay Contest advances new thinking about how the U.S. Marine Corps will tackle the diverse and difficult security challenges of the 21st century. Dare to write about the toughest and most difficult issues; the topics that everyone knows need addressing, but some are hesitant to acknowledge. Essays should be 2,500 words maximum and this contest is open to all contributors.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: U.S. Naval Institute

Deadline: July 31, 2024

Additional awards: $2,500 for second place, $1,500 for third place

Recipients: 1

Top award: $5,000

Apply now →

The Dennis Etchison Young Writers scholarship will be open to students in grades 10-12 (or the equivalent, if home schooled), with an interest in writing horror/dark fiction. Students must provide a selection of their work, at least one letter of reference by their instructor(s), and a description of their goals with an education plan for use of the stipend. The recipient will have 2 years to utilize the funds.

Categories: Short Fiction and Novel Writing

Organization: Horror Writers Association

Deadline: August 01, 2024

Additional awards: Horror author JG Faherty will mentor the winner for 6 months.

Recipients: 1

Top award: $500

Apply now →

The Dark Poetry scholarship is designed to assist in the professional development of Horror and/or Dark Fantasy Poets. This scholarship is worth $1250, which may be spent on approved writing education over the two years following the granting of the scholarship.

Categories: Short Fiction and Novel Writing

Organization: Horror Writers Association

Deadline: August 01, 2024

Recipients: 1

Top award: $1,250

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It is clear to the HWA that there are unseen, but real, barriers limiting the amount of horror fiction being published by women. This scholarship, named after the great female horror writer, aims to encourage more female writers to enter our genre and to aid in the development of those already working within it.

Categories: Short Fiction and Novel Writing

Organization: Horror Writers Association

Deadline: August 01, 2024

Recipients: 1

Top award: $2,500

Apply now →

The Horror Writers Association Scholarship will be open to all horror writers (HWA membership is not a requirement). Scholarship is designed to assist in the professional development of horror writers.

Categories: Short Fiction and Novel Writing

Organization: Horror Writers Association

Deadline: August 01, 2024

Recipients: 1

Top award: $2,500

Apply now →

The HWA offers the Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship Fund for non-fiction Writing, an endowed fund providing grants for research and writing nonfiction relating to horror and dark fantasy literature. The Fund will provide grants annually (the amount is flexible).

Categories: Research

Organization: Horror Writers Association

Deadline: August 01, 2024

Recipients: 1

Top award: $1,000

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The Aubespin scholarship honors Merv Aubespin, a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists who greatly helped inspire the creation of ACES. Applicants should have a commitment to a career in the editing of written materials.

Categories: Journalism

Organization: ACES: The Society for Editing

Deadline: August 15, 2024

Additional awards: 4 runner-up prizes of $1,500 each

Recipients: 1

Top award: $2,500

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The Walsh scholarship honors Bill Walsh, author, blogger, and longtime copy editor at the Washington Post. The Walsh scholarship will be awarded to an applicant who demonstrates the talent and passion for language that Bill had, and who aspires to pursue the craft of editing the news.

Categories: Journalism

Organization: ACES: The Society for Editing

Deadline: August 15, 2024

Additional awards: Financial aid to attend the annual ACES conference

Recipients: 1

Top award: $3,500

Apply now →

To apply for this scholarship, write an essay of at least 600 words about your career aspirations and how your current studies will help you achieve success in your career. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? Thinking outside the box is encouraged! Any current college student of an accredited U.S. college or university in good academic standing (3.0 or higher) is eligible.

Categories: Personal Essay

Organization: Clubs of America

Deadline: August 31, 2024

Recipients: 1

Top award: $1,000

Apply now →

What are writing scholarships?

Writing scholarships are financial awards given to students based primarily on written work, though other factors are usually taken into consideration as well. Most writing scholarships involve a prompt or series of prompts to which applicants must respond. Some writing scholarships — especially those that award large amounts of money — require applicants to submit past writing samples, or even a full portfolio.

The good news is that, with so many writing scholarships to choose from, you don’t have to apply for any that are “out of your league.” Indeed, though most students have heard of writing scholarships, you may not realize just how many different varieties there are! Here are five of the most common types of writing scholarships, all of which you can find in this directory.

1. Personal essay scholarships

Personal essay scholarships involve writing on a topic related to your own experience. You’ll often see personal essay prompts like, “How have your experiences influenced your choice of major?” and “What are your career aspirations and how do you plan to achieve them?” Other prompts may ask you to write about a role model, a life-changing event, an aspect of your identity, etc. Suggested length is usually about 500-1,000 words, but varies depending on the level of detail requested and how many essay questions are provided.

Just about every scholarship these days has a personal essay component of some kind. This is because personal essay responses both demonstrate writing skills and give the judges a clear sense of each applicant’s goals. No one wants to throw away money on an aimless student — so if you’re applying for a personal essay scholarship, make sure to convey both your writing abilities and your ambitions in your work!

2. Critical essay scholarships

Critical essay scholarships are more in line with what students might consider  “academic” essays. The prompts typically ask applicants to analyze works of literature. However, unlike open-ended English class essays, most critical essay scholarships provide a very specific prompt (e.g. “Examine The Great Gatsby in the context of its World War II-era revival”).

Critical essay scholarships can also involve non-literary subject matter. Some may ask applicants to evaluate a historical event or figure; others may ask them to defend their stance on a political or legal issue. Though the line between critical and personal essays can sometimes blur, for the purposes of this directory, we define critical essays as those that use evidence from an external source to prove a point.

3. Short fiction scholarships

Short fiction scholarships include scholarships for short stories, one-act plays, poetry, and any other form of fiction that isn’t a novel or full-length script. Short fiction scholarships tend to be easier to find than long-form fiction scholarships, since most judging panels don’t have time to read more than a few thousand words per entry. Therefore, if you write fiction and you’re hoping to nab yourself a scholarship, this category is the way to go! (That said, if you’re a hardline novelist, some places will accept a sample chapter or two as short fiction entries.)

4. Journalism scholarships

Journalism scholarships are for students interested in pursuing a career in news, magazine, and/or online journalism. These scholarship applications almost always ask for writing samples to show the candidate’s interest. Depending on the organization, they may prefer topical news reports, informative articles, thinkpieces, or a mix. Some journalism scholarships provide a prompt and ask applicants to write a new article, but the focus is usually on samples. Speaking of which…

5. Portfolio scholarships 

Portfolio scholarships are the most rigorous kind of writing scholarship, requiring a substantial body of work from each applicant — usually 5-10 pieces of writing, if not more. The upside is that awards for portfolio scholarships tend to be pretty sizable, and may even cover your entire tuition!

If you decide to apply to a portfolio scholarship, make sure you have several strong pieces of work in your oeuvre, and consider writing a few new pieces as well. What you shouldn’t do is rush through a dozen new pieces to throw together as a portfolio. If you don’t have samples at the ready from previous assignments or projects, you’ll be better off applying to a less intensive writing scholarship.

Why apply to writing scholarships?

Applying to writing scholarships is a huge undertaking, especially if you’re pursuing multiple scholarships at once. It can sometimes feel like the effort isn’t worth it, or that you have little chance of actually winning any awards. But in truth, submitting to writing scholarships is one of the best investments you can make in your education, your creative writing skills, and your professional life.

Scholarships for larger amounts do attract more applicants, but that doesn’t mean they’re impossible to land — only that you have to work a little harder to stand out. And you can definitely sway the odds in your favor by applying to lots of small scholarships ($500 or less) for which you’ll have fewer competitors. Remember that every little bit helps! For example, if you plan on taking out student loans, even a $500 scholarship could save you much more in interest down the line.

Another compelling reason to apply to writing scholarships is that oftentimes, you’ve already done the work, or the work required is minimal. For scholarships that require writing samples, you’ll simply submit what you’ve already written in the past — and even for scholarships with specific prompts, you rarely have to write more than a couple of pages. If you were seriously committed, you could apply to a scholarship every day, spending a single concentrated evening on each application.

Jumping off that thought, as English majors love to say: the more writing scholarships you apply for, the better a writer you’ll become. Writing tons of scholarship essays will make you a much more creative and efficient writer. Not only will this help with your personal writing projects, but it will also be invaluable to your education and even your career! Writing is a crucial skill for every major — you’ll always have to write papers and emails to professors, after all — and even if you don’t plan to pursue a writing-based job, you'll still need writing skills to polish your résumé.

Finally, remember that there’s a writing scholarship out there for everyone, no matter what your interests or intended field. This directory includes plenty of creative writing scholarships, yes; but there are also personal essay scholarships for future doctors, lawyers, salespeople, and so much more. You have nothing to lose by giving it a shot, so why not start searching for your dream writing scholarship today? (And if you’re unsure about your writing skills, you might benefit from some of the resources below.)

Resources to strengthen your writing skills

Learning | September Scholarships | 2024-07

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