Finding good English and creative scholarships is the key to turning your passion for reading and love for crafting interesting story lines into a successful career.
Creative writing degrees are typically reserved for students seeking to enter the competitive publishing arena to write and/or edit fiction novels, children's books, poetry, biographies, and fanciful nonfiction stories. English programs take a more broad-based approach to preparing students with a range of critical thinking, writing, communication, and problem-solving skills that can be applied in virtually any career.
Among the most in-demand careers for English majors include technical writing, public relations, broadcasting, web development, human resources, marketing, and IT services. First, you'll have to invest in at least four years of post-secondary education though, which can get very expensive. Luckily, the following are 20 scholarships for English and creative writing students to overcome financial barriers to studying the intricacies of language.
1. ACES Merv Aubespin Scholarship
Deadline: November 15th
In honor of the former chairman, the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) has created the Merv Aubespin Scholarship to award $1,000 to $2,500 to five outstanding college students majoring in English, journalism, creative writing, or communications for a career in copy editing. Eligible candidates must have at least junior standing, attend an accredited U.S. institution, be taking on a full-time copy editing job or internship, and maintain academic achievement. Applications must include a resume of copy editing experience, two letters of recommendation, five to ten original headlines, and a 750-word personal essay.
ACES Merv Aubespin Scholarship
155 East Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
2. Anne Trabue Scholarship Fund
Deadline: May 15th
Created by the Women's Southern California Golf Association (WSCGA) in 1954 to celebrate the legacy of its founding mother and noted journalist who wrote extensively about golf with gracious charm, the Anne Trabue Scholarship Fund is available annually. Qualified recipients must be female graduating high school seniors, play varsity golf, reside in Southern California, be accepted at an accredited U.S. university, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.2, and plan to enroll full-time for a bachelor's degree in English or journalism. Selection will be based on applicants' athletic talents, extra-curricular involvement, and academic goals.
3. Bob and Marion Breeden Scholarship
Deadline: February 20th
Since 2006, the Oklahoma Press Association has awarded the Bob and Marion Breeden Scholarship every year for $1,000 to memorialize the accomplishments of the editor and co-publisher at The Cleveland American who was elected to Oklahoma State Senate. To qualify, candidates must be entering their senior year, be pursuing a bachelor's degree in journalism or English, attend the University of Oklahoma full-time, and have plans to start a newspaper career upon graduation. Applications won't be complete without a resume of writing experience, an official transcript, one letter of recommendation, and a one-page personal goals statement.
4. Bobette Bibo Gugliotta Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: February 22nd
Administered by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), the Bobette Bibo Gugliotta Memorial Scholarship is named in honor of an accomplished author who created the idea for Mickey Mouse. For this $1,000 annual ward, applicants must be graduating high school seniors residing in San Mateo County or northern Santa Clara County in California who will be enrolling full-time in an accredited college to study creative writing. Interested students must submit an application, two letters of reference, official transcripts, a signed personal statement, and two creative writing samples.
5. Bodie McDowell Scholarship
Deadline: March 2nd
Ranging in value from $1,000 to $5,000 annually, the Bodie McDowell Scholarship is granted through the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) for three or more college students who have declared a major in communications, English, journalism, broadcasting, photography, or creative writing. Qualified undergraduate or graduate applicants must achieve at least junior-level status, attend an accredited U.S. school, display academic achievement, have firsthand outdoor knowledge, and be committed to a career in outdoor communications. Applications should include one recommendation, an official transcript, samples of outdoor writing work, and a two-page personal essay stating career goals.
6. Carl and Christine Huebner Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
As part of the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan (CFNEM), the Carl and Christine Huebner Scholarship is presented annually for up to $3,000 to graduating high school seniors or home-schooled students who are planning to major in music, creative writing, visual arts, or the performing arts. Eligible applicants must reside in Michigan's Iosco County, be accepted at an accredited four-year undergraduate institution, possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.6, and show outstanding artistic talent. Along with the application, students must submit three letters of recommendation, high school transcripts, a personal cover letter, and proof of enrollment.
Carl and Christine Huebner Scholarship
P.O. Box 495
Alpena, MI 49707
7. Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship
Deadline: April 30th
Initiated in 1989 by the Poetry Foundation to encourage advanced study in writing poetry, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship is awarded annually for $25,800 to five young poets who are enrolling full-time in a master's degree program for English, literature, poetry, creative writing, or related literary arts. Eligible students must have U.S. citizenship, be between 12 and 31 years of age, attend an accredited U.S. graduate school, display outstanding writing talent, and maintain good academic standing. For consideration, applicants must send a 250-word personal introduction, 10 pages of poems, and a list of poetry publications.
8. Go on Girl! Aspiring Writer Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
As a spirited group of women who love a good read, the Go on Girl! Book Club offers an Aspiring Writer Scholarship for $1,000 to full-time college freshmen, sophomores, or juniors who are pursuing an undergraduate degree for English, creative writing, or a related field. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens of African descent, attend a historically black college or university (HBCU), achieve a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, write an 800-word compelling essay titled "The Power of the Written Word." Recipients will also be given an all-expenses paid trip to New York City for the awards ceremony.
9. Jeanne Robertson Scholarship
Deadline: May 22nd
In honor of the renowned humorist and past president of the National Speakers Association (NSA), the Jeanne Robertson Scholarship is granted annually for $5,000 to full-time undergraduate or graduate students who have declared a major in English, communications, journalism, or public speaking. Eligible students must attend an accredited U.S. institution, portray an entrepreneurial spirit, be committed to a career with the spoken word, have at least junior-level standing, and maintain full-time enrollment. Applications should be accompanied by a 500-word career aspirations essay, one recommendation letter, an official college transcript, and video footage of a speech or presentation.
10. Kathleen Fisher Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: December 1st
Through the Garden Writers Association (GWA), the Kathleen Fisher Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually for $500 to deserving college students across the United States who are majoring in journalism, English, creative writing, horticulture, or plant science. Qualified students must be enrolled at least part-time, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, be completing undergraduate studies, show responsible citizenship, attend an accredited college, and wish to pursue a career in garden media communications. Applicants must submit one faculty letter of support, an official college transcript, and at least two published or unpublished writing works.
11. Lambda Iota Tau Literature Scholarships
Deadline: May 31st
As one of several scholarships for English majors offered through America's collegiate literature honor society, the Lambda Iota Tau Literature Scholarships will award $1,000 for two to four student members who are majoring in literature, English, or creative writing. Eligible recipients must have graduated from high school, be currently attending an accredited U.S. college full-time, be nominated by a chapter sponsor, have U.S. citizenship, and rank in the top 35 percent of their class. Graduate students who have completed one semester with a minimum GPA of 3.0 are also qualified.
12. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship
Deadline: December 31st
In the amount of $2,500, the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship is presented every year by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for deserving female student members in good standing who are pursuing a degree or certificate related to creative writing. Eligible women must be enrolling in an accredited writing in America, showcase broad interests in the horror gene, demonstrate financial need, display potential in written work to date, and attend at least one horror writing convention annually. Recipients can use their financial support to cover tuition, textbooks, online courses, writing guides, or certain subscription fees.
13. Norma Ross Walter Scholarship
Deadline: January 31st
Established in 1987 in honor of a Navy Wave during World War II who led an illustrious career as a California newspaper editor and frequently visited Red Cloud, the Norma Ross Walter Scholarship is presented through the Willa Cather Foundation for $500 to $2,000 annually. To qualify, candidates must be female high school seniors, plan to continue their education as English majors, be accepted at an accredited college in Nebraska, showcase intellectual promise, and display outstanding creativity. Applications need to have a high school transcript, three letters of recommendation, and an original 1,500-word essay in MLA style.
14. Reader's Digest Foundation Scholarship
In collaboration with the America's most popular family magazine, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) has created the Reader's Digest Foundation Scholarship to grant $5,000 to African American college students who are pursuing a bachelor's degree in communications, English, journalism, or creative writing. Eligible candidates must be juniors or seniors, attend a UNCF-member university full-time, carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, submit a published writing sample, and be pursuing a career in print journalism. Other UNCF scholarships for undergraduate English majors include the Retha M. Ford Scholarship and Michael Jackson Scholarship.
15. Richard G. Zimmerman Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
Named for a long-time member of the National Press Club who died in 2008, the Richard G. Zimmerman Scholarship is designed to award $5,000 annually to extraordinary graduating high school seniors who are planning to pursue a major in journalism, English, or communications. For this non-renewable award, candidates must carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, be accepted at an accredited U.S. university, and demonstrate unmet financial aid. Applicants are required to submit three copies of their application with three letters of recommendation, a high school transcript, a FAFSA form, proof of acceptance, and three work samples.
16. R.L. Gillette Scholarship Fund
Deadline: May 31st
Sponsored by the American Federation of the Blind (AFB), the R.L. Gillette Scholarship Fund is available to provide $1,000 to two women who are enrolling in a four-year bachelor's degree program to study literature, English, music, or creative writing. Qualified applicants must attend an accredited college in the United States, be legally blind with corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in their better eye, maintain full-time enrollment, and have good academic standing. To apply, interested students must submit a completed application online with official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and proof of legal blindness.
17. SCBWI Student Writer Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th or November 2nd
Twice each year, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) offers the Student Writer Scholarship for full-time college students who are enrolled full-time in an accredited higher learning institution to obtain a degree in creative writing, English, literature, or a related field. Eligible applicants must be at least 18 years old, have U.S. citizenship, be unpublished writers, have no binding contracts, and be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. For consideration, aspiring writers must submit a short cover letter, five-page sample of their manuscript, letter of recommendation, and copy of their student ID.
18. Signet Classics Student Scholarship Contest
Deadline: April 21st
As one of the most prestigious creative writing scholarships offered worldwide, the Signet Classics Student Scholarship Content is hosted annually by Penguin Books USA to present $1,000 to five high school students pursuing higher education. Eligible 11th and 12th grade full-time matriculated students in the United States must submit a two to three-page typed essay addressing one of six available topics on Pygmalion and My Fair Lady. Submissions will be judged based on their style, content, grammar, originality, organization, and opinion on key literary themes. Recipients will also be given a Signet Classics Library for their school.
Signet Classics Student Scholarship Contest
275 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
19. Wikoff Scholarship for Editorial Leadership
Deadline: February 28th
Presented annually by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), the Wikoff Scholarship for Editorial Leadership will give $1,000 to graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue a bachelor's degree in English, journalism, communications, writing, or another closely related field in higher education. Qualified applicants must work on an NSPA member newspaper, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5, and be pursuing a career in editorial leadership. Entry forms must be submitted before the deadline with photocopies of three published editorials or columns, an official transcript, and one letter of recommendation from their newspaper advisor.
Wikoff Scholarship for Editorial Leadership
2221 University Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
20. William C. Johnson Distinguished Scholarship
Deadline: March 21st
The William C. Johnson Distinguished Scholarship is one of several graduate English scholarships awarded through the Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society to provide $5,000 each year to full-time students earning a master's degree in English or literature. Successful candidates must have society membership, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5, be actively involved in community service, organize one or more significant chapter activities, and attend an accredited U.S. institution. Nominated students must submit their college transcripts, two letters of recommendation from the English Department, and a well-organized, revised critical essay.
Whether you're looking to write the next great American novel, become a famous magazine editor, or publish powerful newspaper articles addressing our world's humanitarian crises, an English or creative writing degree could be the perfect fit. Although these degrees are often given a bad reputation for poor job outlook, a survey from Millennial Branding found that 30 percent of employers are looking to hire liberal arts majors for their "soft" skills. After all, graduates who've extensively studied English know how to communicate, organize ideas logically, create strong arguments, conduct research, and add a spice of creativity. Apply for some of these great English and creative writing scholarships to reap the best degree ROI and unleash your imaginative potential.