Scholarships

The Creative Writing Department offers scholarships in specific genres. To apply please go to BAM/Academic Works and search by scholarship. In order to apply for scholarship opportunities you must first fill out a general application on the BAM/Academic Works page. You can also view all College of Liberal and Creative Arts scholarships. For more information, click on each scholarship name below.

Clark-Gross Award in the Novel*  $100.00

OPEN TO ALL CREATIVE WRITING MAJORS ENROLLED IN BOTH FALL AND SPRING SEMESTERS.

  • Scholarship Intent: This is a yearly contest, with a monetary prize given for the best original written work of a novel or novel-in-progress, written by a Creative Writing student, either B.A. or M.A. or M.F.A.
  • Criteria:
  1. Applicants are all those Creative Writing students who have submitted a manuscript of their work of short fiction to the Creative Writing Department.
  2. Applicants/recipients must be enrolled in the semester in which the award is disbursed (spring semester).   
  • Major: Creative Writing      
  • Class Level:  Undergrad: Any;  Grad: 2nd B.A./Masters/M.F.A.
  • Enrollment Status: Any
  • Enrollment Requirement: Undergrad: 1 UNIT;  Grad: 1 UNIT
  • Financial Need as determined by the FAFSA and/or CA Dream App: Not a Requirement
  • Citizenship: Any
  • GPA: N/A

Tillie Olsen Prize*  $500.00

Alternates Between Creative Writing and Women and Gender Studies Departments. 2021 is for undergraduate Creative Writing majors.

OPEN TO UNDERGRADUATE CREATIVE WRITING MAJORS ENROLLED IN BOTH SPRING AND FALL SEMESTERS.

  • Scholarship Intent: To award one $500 prize this year to a Creative Writing major whose writing is judged to be the best entry for that year and reflective of the issues or concerns or themes expressed in Tillie Olsen's life work.
  • Criteria: The prize will be awarded annually, alternatively to an undergraduate student currently attending SF State majoring in Creative Writing (2021) or Women and Gender Studies (2022). 
  1. Applicants are all those Creative Writing students who have submitted an essay on the themes contained in Tillie Olsen's life work.
  2. Applicants/recipients must be enrolled in the semester in which the prize is awarded (spring semester) and the semester in which it is disbursed (following fall semester.
  • Major: Creative Writing      
  • Class Level:  Undergrad: Any
  • Enrollment Status: Continuing
  • Enrollment Requirement: Undergrad: 1 UNIT
  • Financial Need as determined by the FAFSA and/or CA Dream App: Not a Requirement
  • Citizenship: Any
  • GPA: N/A

Ann Fields Poetry Prize*  $100.00

OPEN TO ALL CREATIVE WRITING MAJORS ENROLLED IN BOTH FALL AND SPRING SEMESTERS.

  • Scholarship Intent: To recognize achievement in poetry writing by awarding a prize for the best poem from a qualified student.
  • Criteria: Must be enrolled half-time in the semester in which the poetry is submitted for this prize.   
  • Major: Creative Writing       
  • Class Level:  Undergrad: Any; Grad: Any
  • Enrollment Status: Any
  • Enrollment Requirement: Undergrad: 6 units;  Grad: 3 units
  • Financial Need as determined by the FAFSA and/or CA Dream App: Not a Requirement
  • Citizenship: Any
  • GPA: N/A

Jim Highsmith Playwriting Award*  $1000.00

OPEN TO ALL CREATIVE WRITING MAJORS ENROLLED IN BOTH FALL AND SPRING SEMESTERS.

  • Scholarship Intent: Award for a Creative Writing student, or students, for a play of any length with lesbian or gay themes.
  • Criteria: Original plays intended for stage production, which have not previously been published. Musicals, radio plays, teleplays and screenplays are not eligible.  
  • Major: Creative Writing       
  • Class Level:  Undergrad: Any, Grad: 2nd B.A., Masters, M.F.A.
  • Enrollment Status: Continuing
  • Enrollment Requirement: Undergrad: 1 UNIT;  Grad: 1 UNIT
  • Financial Need as determined by the FAFSA and/or CA Dream App: Not a Requirement
  • Citizenship: Any
  • GPA: N/A

This award is made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of James Milton Highsmith.

Daniel Langton Poetry Prize*   $100.00

OPEN TO ALL CREATIVE WRITING MAJORS ENROLLED IN BOTH FALL AND SPRING SEMESTERS.

  • Scholarship Intent: Prize for achievement in writing by a Creative Writing Student.
  • Major: Creative Writing
  • Class Level: Undergrad: Any;  Grad: 2nd B.A., M.A., M.F.A.
  • Enrollment Status: Continuing
  • Enrollment Requirement: Undergrad: 1 unit;  Grad: 1 unit
  • Financial Need as determined by the FAFSA and/or CA Dream App: Not a Requirement
  • Citizenship: Any
  • GPA: N/A

Elizabeth June Madden-Zibman Scholarship*  $5,000.00

OPEN TO ALL CREATIVE WRITING MAJORS ENROLLED IN BOTH FALL AND SPRING SEMESTERS.

  • Scholarship Intent: Scholarship for Creative Writing majors, graduate or undergraduate, enrolled full-time, with verified financial need per Financial Aid, minimum 3.0 GPA.  Candidates must demonstrate on-campus or off-campus involvement in a literary or poetry journal, active support of poetry readings by regular attendance or with event organization activities.  Candidates submit an essay or poem or short story of any length on a topic of concern to women, women's issues or women's experience in society.
  • Criteria:
  1. Students who meet the AB540 definition are eligible to apply.  
  2. Must show financial need based on the FAFSA or CA Dream Application as provided by the Financial Aid Office.
  3. Candidates must demonstrate on-campus or off-campus involvement in a literary or poetry journal.
  4. Must demonstrate active support of poetry readings either by regular attendance or with event organization activities.
  5. Must submit an essay or poem of any length on a topic of concern to women, women's issues or women's experience in society, and should discuss personal values such as the importance of higher education, health and physical education, social justice, empathy, and openness to life experience.
  • Major: Creative Writing       
  • Class Level: Undergrad: Any; Grad: Masters/M.F.A.
  • Enrollment Status: Continuing and Entering
  • Enrollment Requirement: Undergrad: 12 units;  Grad: 8 units
  • Financial Need as determined by the FAFSA and/or CA Dream App: Yes
  • Citizenship: US Citizen/Perm Res
  • GPA: Undergrad GPA: 3.0; Grad GPA: 3.0

Wilner Short Fiction Prize*  $100.00

OPEN TO ALL CREATIVE WRITING MAJORS ENROLLED IN BOTH FALL AND SPRING SEMESTERS.

  • Scholarship Intent: This is a yearly contest, with a monetary prize given for the best original work of short fiction, written by a Creative Writing student, either B.A. or M.A. or M.F.A.
  • Criteria:
  1. Applicants are all those Creative Writing students who have submitted a manuscript of their work of short fiction to the Creative Writing Department.  
  2. Applicants/recipients must be enrolled in the semester in which the award is disbursed (spring semester).
  • Major: Creative Writing       
  • Class Level:  Undergrad: Any, 2nd B.A.; Grad: Masters/M.F.A.
  • Enrollment Status: Any
  • Enrollment Requirement: Undergrad: 1 UNIT;  Grad: 1 UNIT
  • Financial Need as determined by the FAFSA and/or CA Dream App: Not a Requirement
  • Citizenship: Any
  • GPA: N/A

Marcus Second Year Graduate Student Scholarship*   Two awards of $2,500 TO BE OFFERED IN FALL 2020)

OPEN ONLY TO SECOND YEAR M.A. or M.F.A. CREATIVE WRITING MAJORS ENROLLED IN BOTH FALL AND SPRING SEMESTERS.

  • Scholarship Intent: For graduate students in any of the genres who have shown their commitment to rich and ambitious writing and translation.  Students upload a work-in-progress that demonstrates attention to craft, cultural/social awareness, and the complexity of human experience.  The recipient would also be a student for whom this award would make a significant difference in their ability to focus on their studies and their writing.
  • Criteria:
  1. Open to graduate students who will be entering their second year.
  2. Students upload a work in progress and a brief description (no more than 200 words) of how this award would make a difference in their ability to focus on their studies and their writing.
  3. Along with the following:
  4. Playwriting Submissions: 20-40-pages.
  5. Fiction and Creative Non-fiction Submissions: 20 pages.
  6. Poetry Submissions: 10 pages.
  7. Translation submissions: 10 to 20 pages.
  • Major: Creative Writing       
  • Class Level: Grad: Masters/M.F.A. or M.A. (must be entering second year of graduate study)
  • Enrollment Status: Continuing SF State student
  • Enrollment Requirement: Grad: 1 unit
  • Financial Need as determined by the FAFSA and/or CA Dream App: Not a requirement
  • Citizenship: Any
  • GPA: Grad: 3.0

Kathryn A. Manoogian* Scholarship (amount varies)

OPEN TO M.A. & M.F.A. CREATIVE WRITING MAJORS ENROLLED IN BOTH FALL AND SPRING SEMESTERS.

  • Scholarship Intent: For one or two new or continuing graduate students in Creative Writing awarded on the basis of merit and financial need.
  • Criteria:
  1. All creative writing graduate students will be considered based on merit and financial need. 
  2. *Must apply for financial aid* using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Application.
  3. Must have financial need as determined by FAFSA or the California Dream Application.
  4. Students who meet the AB540 definition are eligible to apply.   
  • Major: Creative Writing       
  • Class Level: Grad: M.A. or M.F.A.
  • Enrollment Status: Any
  • Enrollment Requirement: Grad: 3 UNITS
  • Financial Need as determined by the FAFSA and/or CA Dream App: Yes
  • Citizenship: US Citizen
  • GPA: N/A

*Award is coordinated with financial aid, according to State and Federal regulations.

The Marcus Recruitment, Bernice Ruben Arnold, Brainard, Dickey, & Ylvisaker Scholarships

 As long as a general application has been completed in BAM/Academic Works, all newly admitted M.A. and M.F.A. students are automatically considered for these scholarships:

  • The Marcus Recruitment Scholarship (two prizes annually of $7,500)
  • Joe Brainard Fellowship (two or more prizes annually, amount varies between $1000-$5000)
  • The William Dickey Fellowship in Poetry (two or more prizes annually; amount varies between $500 – $5000)
  • The Miriam Ylvisaker Fellowship in Fiction (one prize annually; amount varies between $500-$2000 scholarship)
  • Bernice Ruben Arnold Scholarship Fund $5000
    • Scholarship Intent: The purpose of the Bernice Ruben Arnold Scholarship is to assist the Creative Writing Department in its desire to diversify its graduate student body through its promotion and recruitment of people from under-served communities.
    • Criteria:
    1. Students starting year one (1) of their Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing may apply
    2. Students must be enrolled in at least six (6) units per semester to receive the scholarship.
    3. Applicants must supply a writing sample for consideration.
    4. Students should demonstrate a commitment to promoting the values of diversity and cross cultural competency in Creative Writing.
    5. Citizenship is not a requirement.
    6. Scholarship is open to all students pursuing a Masters or M.F.A.
    7. Preference will be granted to students who self-report financial need and are first generation college students.
    • Major: Single: Creative Writing Masters and M.F.A.
    • Class Level: Undergrad: N/A; Grad: Masters
    • Enrollment Status: Entering student
    • Enrollment Requirement: Undergrad: N/A; Grad: 6 UNITS
    • Financial Need as determined by the FAFSA and/or CA Dream App: Not a requirement
    • Citizenship: Any
    • GPA: HS GPA: N/A; Undergrad GPA: N/A; Grad GPA: N/A

 These scholarships are coordinated with financial aid awards according to State and Federal regulations.