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The annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, administered annually by The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, provide recognition for talented teens that include creative writing scholarships for high school seniors. Entries are reviewed by a panel of writers, artists, educators, curators, and other creative professionals, some of are past recipients of Scholastic Writing Awards.
The top five writing portfolios submitted by graduating seniors are recognized with Portfolio Gold Awards of $10,000 each. Additionally, many entries are recognized with Portfolio Silver Awards and Notable Achievement scholarships are awarded. Additionally, many regional and national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented to
Submission instructions for the Scholastic Art & Writing programs are announced each year in September.
While there are many legitimate scholarship writing contests, there are also a number of scams disguised as scholarship competitions. Scholarship scams have become so commonplace that the Federal Trade Commission has issued information regarding the warning signs of detecting scam scholarship programs.
Here are some signs to watch for to be sure that you don't fall for any of the fraudulent scholarship writing contests.
If you become aware of a fraudulent program disguised as a scholarship competition, you may report it to The National Fraud Information Center at 800-876-7060 or to The Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP.
The Live Poets Society of New Jersey sponsors a national scholarship poetry contest for
Submissions must be original, unpublished poems consisting of 20 lines of text or fewer. Entries must be written in English. Work may not be concurrently entered in any other contest. Students may not submit more than one poem during a 90 day time frame. There is no entry fee. Several scholarships are awarded each year, with values ranging from $100 - $1,000 each.
Applicants should include the following information along with their poem: name, address, high school, year of graduation, most recent English or writing instructor's name and email address, and the school's website URL. Please note that attachments will not be accepted.
Entries may also be submitted via mail, in a standard #10 business envelope, to:
Live Poets Society
The Mystery Writers of America (MWA) organization sponsors Helen McCloy/MWA Scholarship for mystery writing each year. Up to two $500 scholarships are given each year. Awards include screenplay, play scripts, novels, non-fiction, and short story scholarships. Recipients may use scholarship funds toward collegiate writing programs or to help pay for writing seminars or workshops in the United States.
The application package must included five mystery writing samples, a description of the training session or class for which funds will be used, two letters of recommendations from individuals who can address the candidate's writing ability, a brief essay regarding interest in mystery writing, and five copies of a mystery writing sample. Applicants do not have to hold memberships in Mystery Writers of America. All U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to enter the scholarship competition.
The American Bar Association sponsors several scholarship writing contests and essay competitions each year. Opportunities include:
The ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law Writing Competition is open to all current law school students. To apply, candidates must submit and essay that addresses a legal issue associated with community development laws or affordable housing. The writer of the winning essay will receive a scholarship to attend the Forum's Annual Conference (including lodging and airfare) and a $1,000 prize. Additionally, the winning essay may be published in the Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law.
The William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition is open to all law students who hold memberships in the American Bar Association and attend a U.S. ABA-accredited law school. The winner will receive a trip to the Criminal Justice Section's annual meeting (including travel and accommodations) and a cash prize of $2,000. The winning submission may be published in Criminal Justice Magazine.
The American Bar Association's Commission on Domestic Violence sponsors an annual writing contest for law students. To enter, students submit original articles on the subject of domestic violence and the law. First, second, and third place awards are given. The first place article will be published in Women Lawyers Journal, and the author will receive a $750 award. The second place prize is $500, and third place is $250. All three documents will be published on the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence website, and the winners will each receive resolutions from the commission.
The Random House, Inc. Creative Writing Competition recognizes the literary skills of New York's youth with creative writing scholarships valued at more than $100,000 each year. The competition is open to all seniors enrolled in public high schools in New York city. Applicants must submit an original English language work of poetry, fiction, personal essay or memoir, or a graphic novel (comics format).
Four first place winners will receive $10,000 scholarship awards. Four second place award recipients will each receive $5,000 scholarships, and four third place winners will get $2,500 scholarships. Additionally, within each borough, one student will receive a $1,000 scholarship and three others will be awarded $500 each. Scholarship funds must be used for higher education, and will be paid directly to each student's chosen institution.
High school seniors who are active members of their local National Creative Society chapter may apply for the Ouida Dickey Scholarship for Creative Writing. This scholarship program was established in 2006 to provide higher education assistance and recognition for high school seniors with promise in creative writing.
Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis. In order to be considered for one of these annual creative writing scholarships, valued at $1,000, students must complete the scholarship application process, which is detailed at creativesociety.org.
Applicants will be required to submit an application form, verification of membership in the National Creative society, an essay on a specified topic, and supporting documentation that demonstrates extraordinary creative writing talent. Supporting documentation must be original poetry or prose. Additionally, scholarship winners will be required to demonstrate proof of enrollment in and accredited college or university prior to disbursement of funds.
Short story writing tends to be an overlooked specialty. For those students who have embraced the art of the short story, there are scholarship contests all around. Some scholarships come directly from schools such as UC Berkley.
Many short story scholarships come from obvious sources such as the “Let's Get Creative Scholarship” program and the “Writer's Nook Contests”. However, sometimes writing scholarships can be found in unexpected places—The Responsible Gambling Council offers an annual short story scholarship!
If writing essays is something you do well, there are many scholarship programs that offer funding for well-written essays. Here are a few:
• The Ayn Rand Institute offers scholarships annually for the best essays written on the philosophic themes in one of the following novels: Anthem, Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged.
• The Holocaust Remembrance Project has a yearly essay contest.
• The Veterans of Foreign Wars a yearly essay contest.
For the budding Byron, there are many places to look to turn your passion into financial aid. The John Engman Poetry Scholarship offers annual scholarship contests for poetry.
Many colleges, such as Berkeley and Indiana, have scholarship contests specifically for their students. Whatever your poetic persuasion (couplet, sonnet, free flow, etc.) there is a scholarship contest for you.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|