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Scholarships, Contests, and Creative Writing Awards

Scholarships
Contests
Creative Writing Awards

Scholarships

The English Department has several endowed scholarships with varying criteria, and the Scholarship Committee will evaluate each application against the criteria for each scholarship as noted in the descriptions below. Students with especially strong qualifications for any specific scholarships should note that on the scholarship application in the applicable section.

Deadline: February 15

SCHOLARSHIPS

Alice Ludlow Wilkinson Scholarship

The Alice Ludlow Wilkinson endowment was set up to award scholarships for students pursuing a degree in the Department of English.

Alberta Huish Christensen Scholarship

Family members of Alberta Huish Christensen have made generous contributions to the BYU English Department to aid promising undergraduate majors in English. Priority is given to students with academic merit, financial need, and junior/senior status.

Beverly Zimmerman Professional Writing and Rhetoric Scholarship

Beverly Zimmerman, beloved faculty emeritus, endowed a scholarship for students studying professional writing and rhetoric in either the track, minor, or graduate program. Preference is given for financial need. Additional preference may be given for non-traditional students who are entering or returning after at least four years since high school or higher education. Students focusing on creative writing or literature are not eligible.

Broadbent Endowed Scholarship

An unnamed graduate of the BYU English Department BA and MA programs has made a generous contribution for scholarship support, prioritizing single parents, with one or more children at home, who are graduate students, although undergraduates are eligible. Financial need and academic merit will be considered in the selection process.

Cheryl Varone Bright Scholarship

The Cheryl Varone Bright endowment was donated to set up scholarships with priority given to English Teaching majors and students with financial need. (Funding not available until at least Fall 2024.)

Naoma Rich Earl and Oleta Bybee Scholarships

The Earl and Bybee families, because of their long association with the BYU English Department, have made generous contributions to provide scholarships for English majors. Priority is given to applicants based on academic merit, financial need, and “commitment to high moral values and professional promise.”

Edwin M. & Dessie W. Thomas Scholarship

The Edwin M. & Dessie W. Thomas family, because of their long association with the BYU English Department, have made generous contributions to the department for awards of excellence to those English majors who are senior status with high moral code. The family prioritized financial need over academic merit.

Mae Blanch Scholarship

The Mae Blanch family has made a generous contribution to provide an award of excellence for an undergraduate English major prioritizing academic merit (at least 3.0 GPA) and financial need. Preference is given to English Education majors or to students who can otherwise demonstrate a strong commitment to becoming teachers of English.

Orea B. Tanner Scholarship

In honor of the late Orea B. Tanner, a popular and dedicated teacher in the BYU English Department, her friends and family have made generous contributions for a scholarship to be given to a promising undergraduate English major. Preference is given for academic merit (at least 3.5 GPA), non-freshmen, and financial need.

Richard Payne Spencer Scholarship

The Richard Payne Spencer family has made a generous contribution for a scholarship with preference going to students from North Carolina, academic merit (at least 3.0 GPA), and financial need.

Riding Family English Literature Scholarship

The Riding family has made a generous donation to endow a scholarship for students pursuing a degree in the Department of English. (Funding not available until at least Fall 2024.)

Non-annual scholarships

Additional scholarships, including the Lavieve Huish Earl and the Craig B. Datwyler scholarships, are available on a rotating basis as determined by the BYU Scholarships office. The English Department will award these funds to English majors when they are made available.

CONTESTS

Academy of American Poets’ Contest

This prestigious national competition is open to all full-time undergraduate and graduate students. Poems can be published, unpublished, or under consideration elsewhere. Submissions: November 1 to January 15

Ann Doty Short Fiction

This contest honors the memory of Ann Doty, an outstanding English major who was killed in an automobile accident at the end of her senior year. Ann Doty had an exceptional writing talent in fiction and is representative of the many students who strive to become good writers. The contest awards $300 for first place, $200 for second place, and $150 for third place. The contest is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, with a separate division for each. Submissions: November 1 to January 15

Carolyn Barnes Poetry Contest

Professor Jim Barnes, Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing and English, has made a generous contribution to the BYU English Department to establish the Carolyn Barnes Poetry Award as a memorial to his late and beloved wife, Carolyn. Submissions: November 1 to January 15

David O. McKay Essay Contest

The theme of the contest is “The Restored Gospel and Applied Christianity." Essays should be between 2,000-5,000 words. Examples of past contest winners can be found here. Besides having their essays published, winners in the undergraduate and graduate division will receive $1,200 (first prize), $1,000 (second), and $700 (third). Submissions: By 5:00 pm on February 26 (extended deadline).

Hart-Larson Poetry Contest

The Hart-Larson Contest is named after Professors Edward L. Hart and Clinton F. Larson. Both professors wrote poetry and taught the writing of poetry. The contest awards $300 for first place, $200 for second place, and $150 for third place. The contest is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, with a separate division for each. Submissions: November 1 to January 15

Elsie C. Carroll Informal Essay Contest

Professor Elsie C. Carroll was a distinguished member of the English Department for three decades and had a great interest in good student writing. Her family, to honor her memory and to encourage writing, has set up an endowment to help fund this contest. The contest awards $300 for first place, $200 for second place, and $150 for third place. The contest is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, with a separate division for each. Submissions: November 1 to January 15

Vera Hinckley Mayhew Student Creative Arts Contests

Wayne E. Mayhew of Berkeley, California, established a trust fund to provide annual awards in creative writing and fine arts at Brigham Young University in honor of his wife, Vera Hinckley Mayhew, a former BYU student. Contests are open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students. Submissions: January 3 to January 28 at 5:00pm

“No More Strangers” Essay Contest

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” —Ephesians 2:19

Paul writes about people who had once been treated as strangers and aliens but found a place in the household of God as fellow-citizens with the saints. The path from life as strangers and aliens to fellow-citizens does not always run smoothly, however, and Paul himself used this language to name a reality only partly achieved, if devoutly to be wished. We invite works of creative nonfiction written from the perspective of life “on the road,” essays that explore the experience of living in the spaces between being strangers and becoming fellow-citizens. What does belonging look like in light of your particular journey, with its blend of experiences both alienating and affirming?
*Deadline extended to February 24th, 2023

Creative Writing Awards

Blessing/Kagel Creative Writing Award

The Blessing family has made generous contributions to the English Department in the names of Herman W. F. Kagel, Carroll F. Blessing, and Helene K. Blessing. The Blessing Endowment provides funding to support the study of creative writing by English majors and non-majors at a seminar, conference, or workshop. Applicants must already have been admitted to the program for which funding support is sought.

Creative Writing Award Information and Application Form

Blessing/Kagel Literature and Landscape Study Abroad Award

The Blessing family has made generous contributions to the English Department in the names of Herman W. F. Kagel, Carroll F. Blessing, and Helene K. Blessing. The Blessing Endowment provides funding to support the study of creative writing. Literature and Landscape Study Abroad scholarships are based on financial need, and are worth up to $1000. No need to apply. All students accepted into the study abroad program will be considered for this scholarship. However, you will need to complete your FAFSA to be eligible.

Clinton F. and Naomi B. Larson Scholarship

The family of the late Clinton F. Larson, a fine poet and beloved professor in the English Department, has endowed a scholarship for a graduate student in the MFA in Creative Writing program. This award is given to the top-ranked incoming MFA student. No application is necessary.

LaVerna S. Clark Creative Writing Award

The LaVerna Clark family has made generous contributions to the English Department to provide scholarships for qualifying creative writing students at BYU.

LaVerna S. Clark Freshman Scholarship

LaVerna S. Clark has generously endowed a scholarship for freshman creative writing students at BYU. The scholarship prioritizes financial need and creative writing talent. Application Deadline: April 1 5:00pm

YA Novel Writing Mentorship

The Blessing family has made available funds for a few students to work individually with a published writer of young adult or middle grade novels. The student will meet with the mentor to discuss his/her manuscript, participate in a writing group with other mentored students, and attend lectures on craft and the business of writing from professional writers and others in the publishing world.
To Apply: Contact english@byu.edu
Deadline: 1 December and 1 August