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As all students know, college can be absurdly expensive. But luckily, there are multitudes of scholarship funds out there just waiting to be claimed, including many that are just for writers.

Whether you’re attending community college or pursuing your Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD, a scholarship can really help make a dent in those astronomical costs.

We’ve rounded up the top writing scholarships available in 2021 so you can use your skills to help finance your dreams.

2021 Writing Scholarships

Below is a list of writing scholarships available in 2021, including contests for poetry, journalism, personal essays, and more.

For a complete list of scholarships, including those specific to certain universities, locations, etc., be sure to check out sites like Scholarships.com to perform advanced searches and find all opportunities available.

ALA Century Scholarship

Each year, the ALA provides over $300,000 to help students pursuing a master’s degree in library and information studies from ALA-accredited programs. The Century Scholarship is open to U.S. and Canadian citizens with disabilities.

The Bodie McDowell Scholarship

Each year, the Bodie McDowell Scholarship is awarded to students of outdoor communications fields, including print, photography, film, art, poetry, or broadcasting. The scholarship is open to undergraduate and graduate students.

Amount: $1,000–$5,000

Deadline: March 1, 2021

ALSC Frederic G. Melcher Scholarship

The ALSC Frederic G. Melcher Scholarship is open to graduate students who have completed no more than 12 hours in an approved MLS/MLIS program while attending an ALA-accredited school. Students must be U.S. or Canadian citizens and plan to work in a library, in an area of service to children.

Amount: $16,000

Deadline: March 1, 2021

Mike Reynolds Journalism Scholarship

This scholarship, named in honor of the late journalist and editor Mike Reynolds, is awarded to a journalism student with strong writing abilities, excellent grades, a dedication to the news business, strong interest in pursuing a career in electronic journalism, and a demonstrated need for financial assistance.

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 1, 2021

Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards

The Penguin Random House Creative Writing Award is open to U.S. high school seniors nationwide. Applications open each year in November.

The program has awarded more than $2.7 million to public high school students since 1993 for original poetry, memoirs/personal essays, fiction/drama, and spoken-word compositions.

Amount: $50,000

Deadline: March 2, 2021

Journalism Education Association’s Journalist of the Year Award

The Journalism Education Association’s Journalist of the Year Award recognizes the top high school journalists in the country. The contest begins at the state level, and winning portfolios from state competitions are sent to the national level.

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: varies by state

Unpublished Writer Award

The Unpublished Writer Award, offered by Go On Girl! Book Club, Inc. is open to U.S. female students with an interest in writing. To apply, students must submit an unpublished work of fiction.

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 31, 2021

Aspiring Writers Scholarship

The Aspiring Writers Scholarship is open to female sophomore and junior college students of African descent who are enrolled full time in an English, literature, journalism, or related area of study at a historically black college or university. Applicants must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and submit an 800-word essay on the power of the written word.

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 31, 2021

Pablo Neruda Prize For Poetry

The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry is open to high school seniors and older students interested in writing poetry. To enter, students must submit one poem (or a series of poems) that total 3–10 pages in length.

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 1, 2021

National Peace Essay Contest

The National Peace Essay Contest is open to U.S. students (including citizens overseas) in grades 9–12 whose parents are not in the Foreign Service. Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school. Entries from home-schooled students are also accepted.

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: April 5, 2021

Unico National’s Ella T. Grasso Literary Scholarship

The Unico National’s Ella T. Grasso Literary Scholarship is awarded to matriculated college students who submit an original short story or essay celebrating their Italian heritage. To be eligible, students must be United States citizen of Italian descent currently attending an accredited campus-based college or university in the United States full time.

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 15, 2021

The New York Financial Writers’ Association

The New York Financial Writers’ Association offers scholarships to undergraduate and graduate journalism students in the tri-state area who are seriously interested in a career in business and financial journalism.

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: April 15, 2021

Quill & Scroll Student Scholarships in Journalism

Quill & Scroll Scholarships may be used for tuition, room and board at any college or university that offers a major in journalism or related areas such as multimedia, broadcast, graphic design, strategic communications, and photography.

Amount: varies

Deadline: May 10, 2021

The Marco Island Foundation for the Arts Scholarship

The Marco Island Foundation for the Arts offers scholarships to students who reside on Marco Island, FL or attend school on Marco Island, have demonstrated excellence in the arts, and intend to study one of the arts at the college level.

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: May 31, 2021

LaFleur Marketing’s Importance Of Good Writing Scholarship

LaFleur Marketing’s Importance Of Good Writing Scholarship is open to high school seniors and students currently enrolled at a 4-year institution or community college. All applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and confirmation of college enrollment at a 4-year institution or community college.

Amount: $500

Deadline: June 30, 2021 and December 31, 2021

Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Scholarship

The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Scholarship offers small support grants ($500–$1500) to feminist women in the arts who are citizens with primary residence in the US or Canada.

Amount: $500–$1500

Deadline: January 31, 2022

The Norma Ross Walter Scholarship

The Norma Ross Walter Scholarship provides financial assistance to high school female seniors or graduates of Nebraska high schools who plan to enroll as English majors in accredited colleges or universities. Selection is based on “intellectual promise, creativity, and character of the applicant.”

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: January 31, 2022

Can You Get a Scholarship for Writing?

Absolutely! However, requirements vary by scholarship and organization. There are scholarships you can enter specifically for funds to support your studies of writing or journalism.

In other cases, you might not need to study English or creative writing at all—you might simply be asked to use your writing skills to win money for your study of any subject.

In fact, most scholarships, regardless of what you’re studying, require you to submit some sort of essay explaining why you deserve the funds, or answering a specific prompt. (Yes, even if you’re an engineer! That’s why it never hurts to brush up on your writing skills.)

How Do You Write a Scholarship Essay Format?

In most cases, the host organization will provide you with specific instructions, or at the very least, a topic to write on or a prompt to answer.

Your job is to make sure you follow those instructions very carefully, while putting your creativity skills to work. Don’t veer off topic, but try to give the readers something they’ll remember. After all, they’ll likely be reviewing dozens of applications each day.

For more tips, check out our posts on how to enter a writing contest and how to write a personal statement.

Use Your Writing Skills to Win a Scholarship

Many college students don’t realize just how much many scholarships are out there just waiting to be claimed.

In most cases, you can use the funds from multiple scholarships so enter as many as you can! Put your writing skills to work for you and your education.

Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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