15 Best Poetry Scholarships For Students
poetry scholarships are not as common as other types of scholarships, but they do exist. These awards are offered by organizations such as colleges and universities, the government, private corporations and even foundations.
The best poetry scholarships for students are designed to help you pay for college. These awards include both general and specific scholarships, as well as those that are available only to students of a certain field or major. Some of these poetry awards also require you to submit an essay or other type of writing sample, so be sure to research any requirements before applying.
What Are Poetry Scholarships?
Poetry scholarships are awarded based on an applicant’s ability to write original poems. These awards come in a variety of formats, but they all share the same basic purpose: to encourage students to express themselves through the written word.
The National Endowment for the Arts offers one such award known as the Undergraduate Excellence Award. The winner receives $2500, which can be used towards tuition or other expenses related to higher education.
Who Should Apply for Poetry Scholarships?
If you are passionate about writing poetry, then you should consider applying for a poetry scholarship. Anyone interested in pursuing a degree in English, creative writing or journalism will also benefit from these awards because they highlight your ability to express yourself through language.
A number of organizations and foundations offer scholarships specifically for students who want to pursue a career in writing or poetry. These include:
1. The Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation offers several different scholarships and fellowships, each with its own eligibility criteria and application process. In some cases, the organization will ask you to submit an original poem with your application; in others, you may be asked to submit a resume and cover letter outlining your career goals and experience. Awards range from $500-$5,000 per year, depending on the award and its requirements. You can find out more about these opportunities on The Poetry Foundation’s website.
2022 Fellowships are now open and will close on June 2, 2022 at 11:59pm
2. The Academy of American Poets
The Academy of American Poets Undergraduate Student Prize is open to U.S.-based undergraduate students who have been accepted into an accredited four-year college or university program at the time of application. Applicants must submit one unpublished poem written in English by hand in ink.
- The Academy of American Poets – Horace Gregory Award for Younger Poets Scholarship – This award is presented annually by the Academy of American Poets for outstanding work by poets under 30 years old. The recipient receives $1,000 along with publication in American Poetry Review and one year’s membership in the Academy.
- The Academy of American Poets offers the Theodore Roethke Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded annually to one applicant who has shown excellence in poetic expression by writing a poem that deals with any aspect of nature, especially rain or water. The winner receives $1,000. The deadline is February 28 each year; applications must be postmarked by this date.
- The Academy of American Poets also offers the John Frederick Nims Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in poetry writing and teaching. This award is given biennially and carries with it an honorarium of $10,000; the next award will be presented in 2022.
3. Creative Writing Scholarship
This $2,000 scholarship is sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and is open to students who write poetry.
4. Binghamton University Writing Awards
The Binghamton University Writing Awards offer a total of $6,000 in scholarships to students from underrepresented groups who demonstrate outstanding writing ability in both poetry and fiction. Two awards are given each year — one for poetry and one for fiction.
5. Claire Marie Vogel Memorial Scholarship
This $1,000 scholarship is awarded annually by the Poetry Society of America (PSA) to an undergraduate student majoring in creative writing or English at an accredited four-year institution who has published a poem in any publication between July 1 and December 31 of the current academic year.
6. Community College Humanities Association Scholarship
This $500 scholarship is awarded annually by the Community College Humanities Association (CHHA) to an undergraduate student who has been accepted into a two-year degree program at an eligible community college and plans to pursue a career related to humanities.
Deadline: June 7th
7. The Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship
Amy Lowell was an American poet who established a scholarship in her will upon her death in 1925. Trustees of her will award the scholarship each year, and the value of the scholarship is $59,000.
There’s an application form to submit to become eligible. Many candidates include their resumes as well. You will also need to include a sample of your poetry for consideration.
8. National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Poetry Fellowships
The NEA grants through its literary fellowships program to individual writers and translators who have published at least one book-length work of fiction, nonfiction or poetry in English or American Sign Language during the preceding year and are no older than 35 years old on January 1st of that year. Recipients receive between $25,000 and $45,000.
9. The University of Florida International Fellowships Program
This scholarship is awarded annually by The University of Florida’s International Fellowships Program to recognize international students who have demonstrated excellence in their fields. Applicants must be enrolled full time at UF during their time as a fellow, but they may receive up to $8,000 per academic year if they meet all other requirements.
10. The Emily Dickinson International Society Award
The Emily Dickinson International Society Award recognizes outstanding scholarly work on Emily Dickinson. This award is given annually and carries a prize of $1,000.
11. The Masters Review Poetry Prize
This award is presented annually to two poets under 30 years old who have published at least one book-length collection of poetry with an independent press. Each winner receives $1,500 and publication in Masters Review Issue 60 (Spring 2017).
12. The Poetry Foundation’s Wallace Stevens Award
The Wallace Stevens Award is given annually to an American poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition by his or her peers. The winner receives $100,000 and will deliver the annual Wallace Stevens Lecture at The Poetry Foundation in Chicago.
13. The National Scholarship Program
This program is part of The American Association of University Women annual scholarships for women who are pursuing their undergraduate degrees, it provides funding for up to three years of higher education through fellowships and grants. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are women entering or currently enrolled full time at an accredited four-year college or university as freshmen or sophomores; have completed at least one year at the institution; have a GPA of 3.0 or better; and demonstrate financial need.
14. Sidney Lanier Scholarship Program (Alabama)
This scholarship requires applicants to submit a portfolio of two poems that were written within the past two years (poems must be typed). Applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA and be enrolled full-time at an accredited Alabama institution. Award amount: $2,000 per semester (four semesters maximum).
15. The National High School Poetry Contest
This poetry contest runs throughout the year, but applicants must submit their works each quarter. All high school students are eligible, but are limited to submitting a maximum of one poem each 90 days. There is no entry fee and poems must be 20 lines or less.
Students who are chosen as Poet of the Year will be awarded a $500 college scholarship while there are also several scholarships valued at $100. The winning applicants will also have the opportunity to have their work published in a national poetry quarterly called Just Poetry.
You can find out application details on the High School Poetry Contest website.
Tips to find more poetry scholarships
If you love writing poetry, don’t let the lack of financial aid stop you from pursuing your dream of becoming a poet. Scholarships and grants abound for students who have a passion for poetry.
Here are some tips on how to find more poetry scholarships:
1. Look for state-specific scholarships. If your state has a poetry organization, check their website for scholarship opportunities. Some states also offer funds for students studying in particular fields of study. For example, if you want to study poetry at the graduate level in New York State, consider applying for the New York State Foundation for the Arts’ Graduate Fellowship Program.
2. Check out national organizations offering grants and scholarships for poets. The Academy of American Poets offers several awards each year, including its annual $10,000 Walt Whitman Award and other prizes worth up to $2,500. The Poetry Society of America also offers an annual prize worth $5,000 called the William Carlos Williams Award in recognition of excellence in free verse composition by an American poet under 40 years old.
Search online databases such as Fastweb or FinAid!
3. Look for contests specific to poetry or creative writing
4. Ask professors and advisors about available opportunities
5. Look at the websites of universities and other organizations where you would like to study or work. Some schools have their own scholarships, and others may have links to other organizations that have their own scholarship programs. Check out these resources for ideas of where to look: