Poetry Scholarships for those looking for financial aid through college. There is college funding available from Poetry.com, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. A brief rundown of each scholarship is given in this article as well as award amounts and other benefits of joining.
If you’re a student and you feel you have a talent for poetry, there are many poetry scholarships available that’ll help you fund your college expenses. If you love painting landscapes with lyrics or performing dramatic recitations of a favorite poem, there are foundations out there willing to support your unique perspective with college funding. Even if you don’t win, joining nationally recognized competitions will definitely look good on applications to other scholarships. So don’t keep your gift a secret to the world, participate in a few of the poetry competitions listed below to hone your craft and possibly win some cash!
Poetry Out Loud
As the name suggests, this requires you to express your natural talent of reciting poetry in front of a live audience. The top prize is $20,000 for national finalists, and state finalists win $200 plus paid travel to Washington D.C. to compete with people across the nation. Not only do the contestants win money, but the school they attend also receives money to increase the number of poetry publications in their libraries. It’s all for the common good. This contest is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and can be a very rewarding and fun experience to all contestants even if they don’t win. If you’re interested, just contact the Poetry Out Loud coordinator in your state. More information can be found at the Poetry Out Loud website.
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
This is another popular poetry scholarship for students in grades 7 through 12. In addition to receiving a scholarship, you could have your work featured in art exhibitions and galleries around the nation. They’ll also publish your work in Scholastic magazines like Junior Scholastic, Scope magazine or Scholastic Art. They have regional and national awards available for contestants and there are automatic scholarships for contestants who receive National Medals. If you win a National Gold medal you’ll receive $10,000 toward your educational expenses; If you’re a Silver medal recipient, you’ll earn $1,000. For those who earn Regional medals, you’ll have an opportunity to apply for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and be considered for that scholarship. But even if you don’t win a scholarship from this competition, including your involvement in the Scholastic Art & Writing competition on other applications looks good to unversities and other scholarship programs.
The Poetry Foundation
There are plenty of awards available from the Poetry Foundation for those who make a living writing poetry, but they also have a scholarship for poets just starting out. The Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship awards $15,000 to young poets in an effort to support those pursuing a career in poetry. They award five poets between the ages of 21 and 31 a year and publish their work in Poetry magazine. Other awards from the Poetry Foundation honor poets from all ages who write in a number of different categories. If your poems are humorist, there’s the Mark Twain Award; if you’re over 50, there’s the Emily Dickinson Award; there are awards for poets who write specifically for children and awards for those who’s lifelong career in literature have been under-appreciated. Even if you don’t win some of the bigger awards, submitting your poetry to Poetry.com will earn you at least $300 if your poem is featured in the magazine. So if you feel you’re a prolific writer, submitting a few poems might help you through college.
Other Poetry Scholarships
There are many more poetry scholarships available for aspiring poets. Just keep writing, hone your skill, and before you know it you’ll have a nice selection of poems to choose from when the next competition comes around. Other scholarships include those directed toward African Americans like the Words of Wisdom contest from Dr. Maya Angelou and Alltel Wireless. Words of Wisdom asks you to write either poetry or prose about ” the spirit of change” which can earn you $10,000 if your poem wins. There’s also a scholarship for poets who enjoy traveling from the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship which awards winners $52,000 to fund travel expenses to a different country for one calendar year. Whatever category poet you find yourself in, there’s a scholarship out there for you!
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