Scholarships, Fellowships, Academic Internships, and Grants: Creative Writing

This guide is designed to assist members of the Eckerd College Community in identifying scholarships, grants, academic internships, and fellowship opportunities.

Scholarships and Fellowships

The Free Spirit Scholarship, presented by the Freedom Forum in honor of its founder, USA Today's Al Neuharth, is a $1,000 award; one winner from each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., is invited to attend the Free Spirit Journalism Conference and receive the scholarship. To qualify, you must be in your junior year of high school; you must be planning to pursue a career in journalism (and have at least three samples of your journalistic work to submit); and you must exhibit what the award committee determines as the qualities of a free spirit. (If you're a collegiate junior at an NCAA member institution, the Freedom Forum also sponsors a Sports Journalism Scholarship with an upcoming mid-December deadline.)


Among the most prestigious scholarships available for journalism students is the National Press Club's Richard G. Zimmerman Award. While there's only one recipient nationwide each year, the prestige of the award—not to mention the $5,000 scholarship—will go a long way for a young journalist. Once again, all that's required are three samples of your work and a simple application, and all high school seniors are eligible to apply.


[Learn more about why it's a great time to be a journalism major.]

If your writing leans more toward the literary, check out the Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest, sponsored by Penguin Group. Each year, this contest awards five $1,000 scholarships to students for essays on a selected Signet Classics title—this year, it's Jane Austen's Emma. The program is open to high school juniors and seniors in the United States; you can meet last year's winners and check out examples on the contest homepage. Take note that you'll have to have an English teacher verify and submit your essays on your behalf, so it won't work to watch Clueless instead of reading the book before you write it.

The Go On Girl! Book Club also offers two scholarships for those with a literary bent. Their Aspiring Writer Scholarship provides a $500 award to one full-time sophomore or junior majoring in English, literature, journalism, or a related area of study at a Historically Black College or University, and requires a 500-word essay about "The Power of the Written Word."


The Unpublished Writer Award, also for $500, is given to one writer annually on the basis of an unpublished short story or novel excerpt. Applications are due in March, and competition can be fierce. One winner, Jacinda Townsend of Indiana University—Bloomington, will be publishing a novel with W.W. Norton next year.

[See U.S. News's list of schools that prioritize writing.]

Finally, if you combine a love of the written word with a desire to see the world, travel writing might be the career for you. And if that's the case, don't hesitate to check out the Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarship. In conjunction with the Society of American Travel Writers, the Forum awards $1,000, $500, and $250 cash prizes for the best blog entries detailing a memorable travel experience. In addition to your description, you can add photos and video. The program typically opens for submissions in early May, so consider keeping some notes on your holiday travels or spring break, and they could pay off!

Arts Funding Sources


The following list, organized by discipline, includes funders that offer one or more programs or awards that provide direct support to individual artists by application. This list is provided to facilitate the grant research process. Always read program guidelines and material provided directly from the funding institution to determine your eligibility to apply. 


Asian Cultural Council 

The Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences 

Black Rock Arts Foundation 

Brooklyn Arts Council 

Bronx Council on the Arts 

CEC Arts Link 

Cintas Foundation (Cuban descent only) 

Creative Capital Foundation 

Duke University: Center for Documentary Studies (film and photography) 


Foundation for Contemporary Arts 

Jerome Foundation 

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fund 

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council 

Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation 

National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) 

National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts 

National League of American Pen Women 

National Museum of the American Indian: Indigenous Contemporary Arts Program 

New York Foundation for the Arts 

New York State Council on the Arts: Individual Artists Program 

Princess Grace Foundation – USA 

Puffin Foundation, Ltd. 

Queens Council on the Arts 

Six Points Fellowship 

Staten Island Arts 

Sustainable Arts Foundation (visual arts and literature) 


Surdna Foundation: Thriving Cultures Program / Artists Engaging in Social Change 

The Vilcek Foundation 


The Academy of American Poets 

American Literary Review 

Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship 

The Astrea Lesbian Foundation for Justice: The Lesbian Writers Fund 

Barbara Deming Memorial Fund (women artists only) 

The Christopher Isherwood Fund (fiction) 

Elizabeth George Foundation 

Graywolf Press 

Hurston/Wright Foundation (African descent writers only) 

Lambda Literary Foundation 

National Endowment for the Arts 

Princeton University Hodder Fellowship 

Speculative Literature Foundation 


The Arch Bruce Brown Foundation 

Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) 


Creative District 

The Fledgling Fund 

Wave Farm 

From the Heart Productions 

Independent Television Service (ITVS) 

International Documentary Association: Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund 

Latino Public Broadcasting 

National Endowment for the Humanities (Documentary) 

National Geographic: All Roads Seed Grant Program 

New York Women in Film & Television 

San Francisco Film Society (National Programs) 

Sundance Documentary Fund 

Tribeca Film Institute 

The Women in Film Foundation 


Actors Fund 

American Alliance for Theatre and Education 

Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP): The Cultural Exchange Fund 

Bossak Heilbron Charitable Foundation (dance) 

Chamber Music America 

Dance Films Association (dance films only) 

Dramatists Guild Fund, Inc. 

Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art 

The Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University (composing) 

Jerome Fund For New Music 

Jim Henson Foundation (puppet theater) 

American Theater Wing: Jonathan Larson Grants (musical theater) 

The Kleban Foundation, Inc. (musical theater) 

The Multi-Arts Production Fund 

New England Foundation for the Arts 

New Music USA 

Puppeteers of America 


Sparkplug Foundation (music) 

Theater Communications Group 


A Blade of Grass 

Aaron Siskind Foundation (photography) 

Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Inc. 

The Aftermath Project (documentary photography) 

Alexia Foundation (photo journalism) 

The Astrea Lesbian Foundation for Social justice: Astrea Lesbian Visual Arts Fund 

Barbara Deming Memorial Fund (women artists only) 

Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design 

Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award 

En Foco New Works Photography Fellowship (photography) 

Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts 

Harpo Foundation 

The Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant (painters 45 or older) 

VISUAL ARTS (cont’d) 

The National Sculpture Society 

The Joan Mitchell Foundation 

NYC Department of Parks & Recreation: Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award (public art) 

Pollock Krasner Foundation, Inc. (2D work) 

The Ruth Chenven Foundation 

United States Institute of Technology (design) 

Virginia A. Groot Foundation (sculptors) 

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund (photography) 

William H. Johnson Prize (early-career African American artists)



NYFA Source, New York Foundation for the Arts NYFA Source is the most extensive national directory of awards, services, and publications for individual artists. Listings include over 12,000 awards, services and publications for individual artists and art professionals across the country. More programs are added every day to this online database. Tutorials on using the system are offered periodically by NYFA staff. 

The Foundation Center Established in 1956, Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Foundation Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector, including more than 108,000 foundations, corporate donors, and grantmaking public charities in the U.S. and over 3 million of their recent grants. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit Foundation Center's website each day and are served in its five library/learning centers and at more than 470 Funding Information Network locations nationwide and around the world. The website features Foundation Directory Online, an extensive search engine for finding grantmakers, available for free and at subscription levels that offer increased information access –including a dedicated search engine for individual artists. The New York grants library is at 79 Fifth Avenue. 

PEN American Center PEN's Grants & Awards database is available for a low annual subscription, and contains more than 1,500 listings of domestic and foreign grants, literary awards, fellowships, and residencies. Grants & Awards is a comprehensive online database available to writers of all income brackets, at work in all genres, and at various levels of achievement. Search by keyword, genre, organization, or deadline. Updated every month, Grants & Awards is assured to offer the most current listings online.

NONPROFIT/PHILANTHROPIC PUBLICATIONS Find out what grantmakers, development officers and nonprofits are thinking and talking about by subscribing to nonprofit and philanthropic publications. Requests for proposals, new programs, trends and research are available that might help your fundraising efforts. 

The Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) Reader Anyone can subscribe to the GIA Reader. Artists, grantmakers, arts managers, cultural critics, and historians contribute to GIA’s periodical, the Grantmakers in the Arts Reader, which features readings on arts and culture, reports from arts grantmakers, and summaries of recently published reports, books, and studies. 

The Chronicle of Philanthropy The Chronicle of Philanthropy is the newspaper of the nonprofit world. It is the No. 1 news source, in print and online, for charity leaders, fundraisers, grant makers, and other people involved in the philanthropic enterprise. Note: this publication covers multiple philanthropic sectors and is not arts-specific. Philanthropy News Digest Philanthropy News Digest (PND), a daily news service of the Foundation Center, is a compendium, in digest form, of philanthropy-related articles and features culled from print and electronic media outlets nationwide. PND offers listings of RFPs, jobs and classifieds for the sector, with a dedicated arts and culture RFP listing. 


Writers Associations: Organizations For Writers Of Fiction (Novels, Stories, Books)

American Christian Fiction Writers — A writers association for writers of Christian novels and stories.

Historical Novel Society — A great association of writers of historical fiction. Offers community, networking opportunities (agents, editors, publishers, booksellers), and more.

Novelists, Inc. — A professional writers organization for multi-published book authors.

Mystery Writers Of America — An organization for writers of mystery novels, as well as editors, screenwriters, and other professionals associated with the mystery genre.

Romance Writers Of America — The trade organization for writers of romantic fiction.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America — SFWA offers many resources for writers of speculative genres. A very vibrant and active writers association.

Sisters In Crime — A writers organization dedicated to the professional advancement of women who write in the crime and mystery genres.

Western Writers Of America — A writers association for authors whose work focuses on the American West.

Welcome To The NEA: Or, How To Get Money For Writing Stuff — One of the most consistently magnanimous supporters of the arts in America is the National Endowment for the Arts, which has numerous—and generous—grants available in all areas of the arts, including literature. Learn more about the NEA.

Women’s Fiction Writers Association — An inclusive organization of writers creating layered stories in which the plot is driven by the main character’s emotional journey.

Nonfiction Writers Associations And Organizations

American Society Of Journalists And Authors (ASJA) — For independent nonfiction writers and freelancers.

Asian American Journalists Association — A writers organization for new and veteran journalists who are Asian Pacific Americans.

National Association Of Memoir Writers — For writers of all levels who are writing memoir, personal essays, and nonfiction.

Native American Journalists Association — A writing organization for Native American journalism. Offers many opportunities for professional advancement.

Nonfiction Authors Association — Their primary focus is helping their members with educational resources and community support for marketing nonfiction books.

Poetry: Organizations For Poets

Poetry Society Of America — An association of writers who love poetry in all forms. Welcomes published and unpublished poets.

Academy Of American Poets — Regularly sponsors national poetry events and poetry publications in order to advocate poetry. Membership dues for this writing association help pay for programs.

Writers Associations: General And Specific Interests

Association of Writers And Writing Programs — For writers and teachers affiliated with college and university writing programs.

Authors Guild — A professional organization for writers, great for keeping up with the changing face of the publishing industry and issues related to copyright protection.

The Catholic Writers Guild — For writers of all kinds who share the Catholic faith.

Cat Writers Association — A community for writers who specialize in cats.

Dog Writers Association of America —A community for writers who specialize in dogs.

Erotica Readers And Writers — An association of writers and readers of erotic writing.

Islamic Writers Alliance — Members include “published and aspiring writers, editors, artists, publishers, journalists, playwrights, Web designers, retailers, and marketing consultants.”

The National Writers Union — A freelance writers union for authors in all genres: This group is a trade organization that advocates for the rights of authors.

International Association For Journal Writing — A writers association that focuses on journaling and creative expression.

International Women’s Writing Guild — An association of women writers developed for networking and offering mutual support.

Military Writers Society Of America — An organization for writers, poets, and artists who focus on military service. Encourages memoir writing, writing as therapy, and education about publishing.

National Association Of Independent Writers And Editors — From the website: This writers association includes “novelists, copywriters and copyeditors, writing coaches, proofreaders, magazine writers, writing teachers, business writers and editors, academic writing evaluators, writers of literature for children, fiction editors and other specialists.”

National Writers Association — A writers association for all levels and genres that offers some professional services, such as contract review and critique.

Pacific Northwest Writers Association — A Northwest writers association “to develop the writing talent through education, accessibility to the publishing industry, and participation in an interactive, vital writer community.”

PEN America Center — An organization with global reach that defends the right to expression through the written word.

Small Publishers, Artists, And Writers Network — (SPAWN) An inclusive writers group for independent-minded writers, publishers, printers, and members of the media.

Society of Children’s Book Writers And Illustrators — An association for writers of books for children.

Texas Association Of Authors — The only organization in Texas whose focus is to promote the authors within the great state of Texas itself. Texas Authors leverages the knowledge and expertise of many different authors to help promote others within the world of reading and writing.

Women’s National Book Association — A national organization of women and men who work with and value books.

Writers Guild Of America — Two writers organizations (east and west) that represent writers in motion pictures, broadcasting, and other media.

More! Find A Local Writing Group, Association, Or Organization

Want to find a local writing group? A writers association that meets close to home? Finding the right group may be easier than you think! If you want to find more writers associations, here’s where to start:

Your local library. Librarians know a lot about local writers organizations and groups. Your neighbors may be writing and you don’t even know it. Stop by your local library’s circ desk and ask about local writing groups or clubs.

Your local bookstore. Many independent bookstores host groups of creative writers, who gather for critique, feedback, and support. Support your local bookseller and connect with like-minded writers! This website (or another like it) can help you connect with writers who share your interests. As always, take precautions when joining any new group!