Bookworms wishing to turn their love of reading into a gratifying career can greatly benefit from scholarships for creative writing degrees.
Whether at the bachelor’s or master’s level, creative writing majors teach students how to successfully construct prose and poetry.
Creative writing students spend considerable time examining literary works and unleashing their own imagination onto paper. Creative writing graduates excel as published authors across diverse genres from children’s literature to science fiction.
Gained skills can also be applied in editing, publishing, marketing, journalism, and more. According to the BLS, writers and authors bring home an average yearly salary of $69,130. Competition is strong though, so put your best manuscript forward by earning a creative writing degree.
The following 20 creative writing scholarships will allow you to study the intricacies of language.
1. Bobette Bibo Gugliotta Scholarship
Deadline: February 24th
Created in 1995 to honor the late author who penned several books, including Pigboat 39 and Mysterious Mesa, the Bobette Bibo Gugliotta Scholarship awards $1,000 annually from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Eligible graduating seniors must reside in California’s San Mateo or Santa Clara counties, be accepted at an accredited four-year college, have a passion for creative writing, and submit two writing samples. U.S. citizens, legal residents, and AB 540 students may apply.
Bobette Bibo Gugliotta Scholarship
1300 South El Camino Real Suite 100
San Mateo, CA 94402
2. Brady and Patrick Gallagher Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
Sponsored by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, the Brady and Patrick Gallagher Scholarship grants up to $3,000 yearly to graduating high school seniors who exhibit sincere interest in the arts, such as music, drama, painting, creative writing, and poetry. Qualified applicants must attend Kalamazoo Public Schools, be enrolled full-time at an accredited four-year college, actively participate in artistic activities, and have unmet financial need.
Brady and Patrick Gallagher Scholarship
402 East Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
3. Dr. Julianne Malveaux Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Inc. offers the Dr. Julianne Malveaux Scholarship annually for $1,000 to African American women who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in journalism, creative writing, English, public policy, or related fields. To apply, candidates must be sophomores or juniors, have U.S. citizenship, attend an accredited four-year university, possess a cumulative 3.0 GPA, and write a 1,000-word essay about their career plans.
Dr. Julianne Malveaux Scholarship
1806 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20009
4. Florence Kahn Memorial Award
Deadline: January 15th
The National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS) hosts an annual college poetry competition to award scholarships for creative writing degrees, including the $500 Florence Kahn Memorial Award. Eligible participants must be enrolled full-time in four-year, accredited U.S. universities and submit 10 original, unpublished poems no more than 80 lines each. Selected scholars will also receive a chapbook of their poetry, travel stipend for the NFSPS Convention, and free one-year membership.
Florence Kahn Memorial Award
P.O. Box 1352
Los Lunas, NM 87031
5. From Failure to Promise Essay Contest
Deadline: July 31st
Annually, Dr. C. Moorer & Associates holds the From Failure to Promise Essay Contest to award $10,000 scholarships to high school seniors or college students attending accredited institutions in the United States or Canada with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Creative writing majors must write an original, 1,500-word essay discussing the most important life lessons learned from Moorer’s inspiring book. Essays are judged on creativity, research quality, and effectiveness of presentation.
From Failure to Promise Essay Contest
145 South Livernois Road Suite 336
Rochester Hills, MI 48307
6. Go on Girl! Aspiring Writer Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
Valued at $1,000, the National Chapter of the Go On Girl! Book Club presents the Aspiring Writer Scholarship each year to African American women who are enrolling full-time as sophomores or juniors at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, English, literature, or closely related major with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 is required. Interested applicants must submit an 800-word essay discussing the “Power of the Written Word.”
Go on Girl! Aspiring Writer Scholarship
P.O. Box 3368
New York, NY 10185
7. Helen McCloy Mystery Writing Scholarships
Deadline: February 18th
Through the Mystery Writers of America (MWA), the Helen McCloy Scholarships award $1,000 annually to U.S. citizens or legal residents who exhibit financial need for attending college-level creative writing programs to improve their writing techniques. Applicants must be serious aspiring mystery writers, but have not received monetary compensation for novels or short stories. Online submissions must include the writing class syllabus, mystery writing sample, and 500-word essay outlining career goals.
Helen McCloy Mystery Writing Scholarships
1140 Broadway, Suite 1507
New York, NY 10001
8. Helen Steiner Rice Scholarship
Deadline: March 2nd
Each spring, the Helene Steiner Rice Scholarship is granted by the Community Foundation of Greater Lorain County for $1,000 to Ohioans who are pursuing creative writing or related literary majors at an accredited four-year institution in the United States. Eligible candidates must have unmet financial need, carry a minimum overall GPA of 2.0, show active community involvement, live within the Greater Cleveland area, and submit three writing samples. Preference is given to non-traditional, adult learners.
Helen Steiner Rice Scholarship
9080 Leavitt Road
Elyria, OH 44035
9. Herb Alpert Scholarship for Young Artists
Ranging from $2,500 to $40,000, the Herb Alpert Scholarship for Young Artists is one of the most lucrative scholarships for creative writing degrees available. Through the CSSSA Foundation, one-time awards are gifted to California high school seniors in seven categories: animation, film production, creative writing, dance, music, theatre, and visual arts. Applicants must have financial need, exhibit extraordinary artistic talent, and be likely to succeed in an accredited four-year U.S. college.
Herb Alpert Scholarship for Young Artists
85 South Grand Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105
10. James R. Buescher Scholarship
Deadline: January 15th
Named for an accomplished writer who died unexpectedly at just 34, the James R. Buescher Scholarship bestows $500 annually for Pennsylvania residents who are pursuing collegiate study in creative writing, English, literature, or journalism. Eligible candidates must have graduated high school in Lancaster County, attend an accredited U.S. institution full-time, maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA, and exhibit financial need. Scholarships can be renewed for each undergraduate year.
James R. Buescher Scholarship
24 West King Street Suite 201
Lancaster, PA 17603
11. J.D. Salinger Creative Writing Award
Deadline: January 1st
As the Catcher in the Rye author’s alma mater, Ursinus College provides a lucrative, four-year J.D. Salinger Creative Writing Award for $33,000 annually. Winning this competitive award will require satisfying freshmen admission requirements, ranking in the top 25th percentile, achieving a minimum 3.0 GPA, and submitting a portfolio of 10 creative works with outstanding originality. Chosen scholars will also live in the dorm occupied by J.D. Salinger and gain leadership in Ursinus’ writing program.
J.D. Salinger Creative Writing Award
601 East Main Street
Collegeville, PA 19426
12. L. Ron Hubbard Writers Contest
Deadline: September 30th
Started in 1983, the L. Ron Hubbard Writers Contest promotes 12 annual scholarships for creative writing degrees ranging from $500 to $5,000 to amateur writers specializing in science fiction and fantasy. Eligible U.S. college students must have not professional published a novel or more than three short stories in any literary medium. Contest participants must submit English works of prose up to 17,000 words, which will be judged by a panel of prominent sci-fi authors.
L. Ron Hubbard Writers Contest
7051 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
13. Leyla Beban Young Authors Scholarship
Deadline: February 1st
In partnership with Bluefire Productions, the Leyla Beban Young Authors Foundation gifts a $1,000 scholarship annually to high school students who show outstanding promise for the creative writing profession. Entrants must be U.S. or Canadian citizens who haven’t graduated from 12th grade and are already committed to becoming a published author. Completed entry applications must accompany a 1,000-word original, creative sample piece on any topic.
Leyla Beban Young Authors Scholarship
P.O. Box 610005
Redwood City, CA 94061
14. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship
Deadline: December 31st
In honor of the English novelist who brought us Frankenstein, the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship is awarded by the Horror Writers Association to outstanding women who are enrolling in university-level creative writing courses. For the $2,500, applicants must have current HWA membership, exhibit unmet financial need, be U.S. citizens or legal residents, submit at least two written works, and show commitment to the honor genre.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship
P.O. Box 56687
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413
15. NEA Creative Writing Fellowships
Deadline: March 9th
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awards $25,000 Creative Writing Fellowships every other year to published creative writers in the United States who need financial assistance for professional development, including university-level writing programs. Interested authors can apply by submitting fiction and creative nonfiction prose or 20 pages of poetry. Competition is heated because only five percent of the 1,200 annual applicants are chosen.
NEA Creative Writing Fellowships
400 Seventh Street NW
Washington, DC 20506
16. Positively Different Scholarship Program
Deadline: June 1st
Funded by the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, the annual Positively Different Scholarship Program bestows $1,000 upon five high school seniors who are pursuing arts-related bachelor’s degrees, such as music, visual arts, drama, architecture, and creative writing. Eligible candidates must reside on Cape Cod, be graduating this June, have been accepted into an accredited arts program, and exhibit outstanding talent. Creative writing majors must submit short stories, creative nonfiction prose, poems, or dramatic scripts.
Positively Different Scholarship Program
232 Main Street Suite B
Hyannis, MA 02601
17. Random House Creative Writing Competition
Deadline: February 5th
Since 1993, the Random House Creative Writing Competition has provided over $100,000 in scholarships for creative writing degrees to New York City public school seniors who are entering accredited U.S. institutions. Participants must submit one original, typed literary composition providing 10 pages of poetry, fiction, drama, or personal memoir. High-quality submissions are chosen based on artistic expression, storytelling, character design, technical merit, and layout.
Random House Creative Writing Competition
1745 Broadway 14th Floor
New York, NY 10019
18. Robert J. and Evelyn L. Conley Award
Deadline: February 3rd
The Cherokee National Foundation distributes the Robert J. and Evelyn L. Conley Award for $2,000 each academic year to Native American students who are currently enrolled full-time in undergraduate and graduate programs for creative writing or English. Qualified recipients must be tribal citizens of the Cherokee Nation, have at least one-quarter Indian blood, attend an accredited U.S. university, possess a minimum 3.0 GPA, upload two writing samples, and plan to serve the Cherokee people.
Robert J. and Evelyn L. Conley Award
800 South Muskogee
Tahlequah, OK 74464
19. Signet Classics Student Essay Scholarship
Deadline: April 14th
Full-time matriculated 11th and 12th graders attending high schools in the United States can apply for the Signet Classics Student Essay Scholarship to win $1,000 for their future creative writing or English degree. To enter, candidates must submit a maximum three-page essay addressing one of five writing prompts pertaining to this year’s book, such as The Tempest or My Fair Lady. Essay submissions are evaluated on writing style, content, grammar, originality, and idea articulation.
Signet Classics Student Essay Scholarship
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
20. Woodbine Big Dreams Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
The Winston-Salem Foundation grants the Woodbine Big Dreams Scholarship annually for $1,000 to graduating high school seniors residing in North Carolina’s Davie, Davidson, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes, or Yadkin counties. Eligible students must be accepted into accredited in-state colleges, exhibit financial need, maintain a minimum 3.3 GPA, demonstrate outstanding community service, and plan a career in communication arts. Acceptable majors include digital media, English, public relations, journalism, and creative writing.
Woodbine Big Dreams Scholarship
751 West Fourth Street Suite 200
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Crafting the written word into a riveting tale that engages readers page after page takes finesse. Completing a creative writing program can significantly improve your ability to shape characters and ideas into intriguing plots. Many scholarships are available to help the next Mark Twain or Jane Austen afford literary training. Unlike loans, scholarships are free gifts that provide tuition dollars without repayment. Consider these 20 great scholarships for creative writing degrees to reduce the financial burden of developing your pathway to publishing.