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DIRECTORY

Best Critical Essay Writing Scholarships in 2024

Showing 38 scholarships that match your search.

The Immerse Education Essay Competition provides the opportunity for students aged 13-18 to submit essay responses to a pre-set question relating to their chosen subject. 10 winners will receive a 100% scholarship, with runner-up prizes also awarded. 100% Scholarship Award For Cambridge, Oxford, Sydney & London Summer School Essay Competition.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: Immerse Education.

Deadline: January 04, 2025.

Additional awards: Runner-ups: 50% of scholarship.

Categories: Critical Essay.

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The winner will be offered the opportunity to occupy during her or his first academic year the residence room where J. D. Salinger lived; and Leadership standing in the Ursinus writing community. The winner will be expected to join the previous award winners in reading subsequent creative portfolios, and will help the Office of Admission in selecting the next winner. Award winners are also expected to be prominent members of Ursinus’ Literary Society, The Lantern, and the creative writing community.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: Ursinus College.

Deadline: January 15, 2025.

Categories: Critical Essay.

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Do you know of an unsung history-maker in your community? Is there an organization in your community working to keep the legacy of a historically significant, but often overlooked, individual alive and relevant? Identify a person living or from the past whose professional work, activism, or personal story has made a significant impact on you or your community. Describe why their story is unique and explain how they have changed history. Response should be limited to 350 words.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House.

Deadline: March 26, 2025.

Categories: Critical Essay.

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The winner of this award receives $1,000, an invitation to accept the award at our annual awards ceremony, promotion on our website, and a feature of their work in our Magajournal and quarterly newsletter. Candidate must submit an essay not to exceed 800 words on the topic "The Power of The Written Word."

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: Go On Girl! Book Club.

Deadline: March 31, 2025.

Additional awards: Invitation to awards ceremony, promotion through website and publications.

Categories: Critical Essay.

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The Dr. Jerry Pournelle Scholarship may be awarded to a candidate of any gender majoring in engineering, math, biological or physical sciences, or “science fiction as literature” as an eligible field of study. Applicants must submit a 500-1,000 word essay on one of several scientific topics.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: The Heinlein Society.

Deadline: April 01, 2025.

Categories: Critical Essay.

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The Dr. Yoji Kondo Scholarship may be awarded to a candidate of any gender majoring in engineering, math, biological or physical sciences, or “science fiction as literature” as an eligible field of study. Applicants must submit a 500-1,000 word essay on one of several scientific topics.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: The Heinlein Society.

Deadline: April 01, 2025.

Categories: Critical Essay.

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Each year, qualified African-American and Black junior and senior high school students participate in the Essay Contest and Issue Forum. Students are presented with a topic that embodies some of our communities’ most pressing issues and are asked to write an essay to defend their research, analyses, and opinion.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Deadline: May 04, 2025.

Additional awards: $1,000 for second place, $750 for third place, invitation to awards ceremony in Washington, D.C..

Categories: Critical Essay.

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This scholarship, named in honor of Sigma Tau Delta's Executive Director, recognizes academic excellence and outstanding service to the Society at the local, regional, and/or national level. This scholarship requires applicants to submit, in addition to the application information and scholarship essay, a paper originally submitted as coursework and a declaration of authorship.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: Sigma Tau Delta.

Deadline: April 05, 2025.

Additional awards: 2 runner-up awards of $2,500 each.

Categories: Critical Essay.

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The Bennett Place Support Fund, Inc. will award this $1000 scholarship to a deserving student who is a current senior of an accredited high school in North Carolina. To apply, students must write three short essays (400-600 words each) on topics related to the historic site of Bennett Place.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: The Bennett Place Support Fund, Inc..

Deadline: April 03, 2025.

Categories: Critical Essay.

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This award is offered annually to students of Italian ancestry who are majoring in journalism or media communications. Award is $2,000 and is available only to residents of the Chicago metropolitan area. All applicants must submit a typewritten essay of 500 words on a topic related to the Italian-American experience, portrayal in the media, and/or history.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans.

Deadline: April 30, 2025.

Categories: Critical Essay.

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Have you read Ayn Rand’s Anthem? Enter this Ayn Rand Institute essay contest for your chance to win one of countless scholarship prizes! To apply, submit a 600-1,200 word essay on one of three designated topics related to Anthem. Entrants must be in high school at the time of the contest deadline and are limited to one entry per student per contest.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: Ayn Rand Institute.

Deadline: April 29, 2025.

Additional awards: 3 second place prizes of $250, 5 third place prizes of $100, and 50 runner-up prizes of $25 each.

Categories: Critical Essay.

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Have you read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead? Enter this Ayn Rand Institute essay contest for your chance to win the top prize of $10,000! To apply, submit a 800-1,600 word essay on one of three designated topics related to The Fountainhead. Entrants must be in 11th or 12th grade at the time of the contest deadline and are limited to one entry per student per contest.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: Ayn Rand Institute.

Deadline: April 29, 2025.

Additional awards: 3 second place prizes of $2,500, 5 third place prizes of $500, and 50 runner-up prizes of $50 each.

Categories: Critical Essay.

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The purpose of the James B. Boskey Student Essay Competition is to create greater interest in the field of dispute resolution among law students. The essay may address any aspect of dispute resolution practice, theory or research that the contestant chooses. Essays must be limited to 15-30 typewritten pages, including footnotes or endnotes.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: American Bar Association.

Deadline: June 14, 2024.

Additional awards: Winning and runner-up essays will be posted online .

Categories: Critical Essay.

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This scholarship is for undergraduates and graduates majoring in psychology who seek a career in relationship counseling or a related field. Applicants will be judged based on academic achievement and an essay entitled “The Psychology of Online Dating” (500-900 words). The essay should address the psychological issues and challenges facing singles, given the growing popularity of online dating, and how relationship professionals can help online daters navigate these challenges.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: DatingAdvice (dot) com.

Deadline: June 30, 2024.

Categories: Critical Essay.

Apply now →

The mission of AEL is in its strong belief in "American exceptionalism", i.e., that our country is exceptional in the history of the world. This essay contest is an opportunity for undergraduate students to express their equally strong belief in American exceptionalism. Essay should be between 1,500-2,000 words, including any footnotes or bibliographic citations.

Categories: Critical Essay

Organization: Americanism Education Leaders.

Deadline: June 30, 2024.

Additional awards: $1,500 for second place, $1,000 for third place.

Categories: Critical Essay.

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.)

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