So your English teacher loves you. Or you have a deep passion for poetry. Or maybe you just don’t mind writing a few words to earn more than just a few bucks. In that case, consider scholarships catered towards those gifted with writing, or even simply those who enjoy writing. Whether it’s short stories, poetry, science fiction, plays, or even novels, there are scholarships out there for whatever literary pursuit you are after. Yet how do you find and apply for these scholarships?
First, understand what kind of scholarship you want to go after. To do this, understand yourself. What do you enjoy? There are scholarships for any and every kind of writing, whether it be fiction, poetry, or even literary analysis. From there on out, just look for scholarships that suit your skill set.
Yet how do come across scholarships like these? You can look them up on the internet by simply typing it into your search bar (though make sure you verify the legitimacy and background of these contests before you apply, for some may be simply trying to collect your information or be connected to scientology). You can even ask your English teacher about local writing scholarships applicable to you. However, if you are still lost on where to find writing based scholarships, have no fear. Here are a few examples to get you started.
Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards
Arguably one of the most notable awards for a young writer or artist, the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards gift high school students and younger with medals, keys, and even scholarship money. With notable alumni like Sylvia Plath and Andy Warhol, winning a scholarship from here not only gives financial gain but repetitional gain as well.
Signet Classics Essay Contest
If you would rather analyze a novel over writing a personal memoir, consider the Signet Classics Essay Contest. The novel this year is Little Women, and there are five essay topics to choose from. Not only do you get the experience of reading a classic, but you may also create some college funds in the process!
National Ten Minute Play Contest
Are you an aspiring playwright? Consider the National Ten Minute Play Contest, where contestants each submit an original ten page play to be judged. Remember to submit early, as they will only look at the first 500 scripts that are sent in. So while it will take an incredible amount of time and effort to write your own play, you will not only produce a script you can show off to your parents, but possibly even $1000 towards your tuition.
Power Poetry Scholarship
Are you interested in poetry? Have you ever written a poem before (and yes, the one your English teacher forced you to write counts)? Either way, consider applying for the Power Poetry Scholarship. The current contest is the “I Am… Scholarship Slam” which requires contestants to define who they are in a poem to win a $1000 scholarship.
*It is important to note that different scholarships have different deadlines, and that age and residence are factored into eligibility.
Once you have decided on which contest or scholarships to enter, make sure that you spend time writing. Though making drafts and editing will eat away at time that you can spend studying, or more likely time that you spend on the internet procrastinating, it will be worth it in the end. The more polished your writing is, the higher your chances of winning. It also wouldn’t hurt to have your English teacher or any other credible writer edit your work. Remember, the judges of these scholarships may not have the same literary tastes as you, so the more opinions you get on your work, the more likely it is that it will appeal to a broader audience. However, this isn’t to say that you should only write what you believe a mystery judge will like. Write what you feel is best, and more importantly, write a piece that you can be proud of.
So enjoy yourself as you apply for these scholarships, and good luck!