Are you passionate about writing but lack the financial resources to take courses? Do you yearn for the guidance of a professional writer and the camaraderie of fellow students? If so, then the Writers’ Program Scholarship Program may be for you.

Designed for promising writers from diverse backgrounds who lack the opportunity to study in a supportive educational environment, our scholarship program funds up to 10 students a year. Each of the recipients is given the opportunity to enroll in three full-length Writers’ Program courses during a one-year period (fall-summer quarters). Courses may be taken either online or onsite.

Here’s what some of our current scholarship students have to say about their experience:

“The scholarship has been a wonderful opportunity for me. Next week I’ll finish my second novel writing class, and thanks to the support of the instructor, Mark Sarvas, I have made a huge amount of progress on my first draft. Best of all, I have connected with many writers in the program with whom I can share work and I consider Mark a valuable mentor.”

– Jennifer Carson

“The Writers’ Program Scholarship Program has been the genie in the literary lamp for me. It allows me complete and total artistic self-expression under the guidance of professionals who have been in the trenches. And who sit where I sit every time they approach the keyboard. There is no censorship, no judgment, and no hurt feelings. The scholarship gave me the power of confidence that comes from the written word. It is mightier than any sword from Darth Vader’s army. Even emails to Mom end now with a dramatic cliff-hanger.”

– Kevin Larkin

“Since starting the scholarship program, I have written approximately 130 new pages of my novel and revised well over 75 pages. The scholarship keeps me disciplined and constantly writing. The best aspect of taking these courses has been the supportive environment of writers who are working toward similar goals. Instructor feedback is always detailed without being nitpicky and hits on the spots in the novel that I knew needed the most attention, but wasn’t sure quite how to approach.”

– Laura Picklesimer

So what does it take to be selected as one of the 10? First and foremost, applicants must demonstrate financial need, which means a gross income not to exceed $2500 a month per individual. For households with more than one individual, add 10% for each additional person. Applicants must be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen with a green card.

If you meet this criteria, the next step is to show us, via your essay responses, why you are a good candidate for the scholarship. Why are you passionate about writing? What role does writing play in your life? Perhaps most importantly, what are your goals and how do you plan to achieve them? How will Writers’ Program courses help bring you closer to achieving your dreams?

Before you apply, please make sure you meet the eligibility criteria. If your answer is “yes” to any of the following questions, then you are NOT eligible to apply:

• Are you a UCLA Extension employee, or family member, or dependent?

• Do you hold an MA, MFA, and/or PhD in Creative Writing, Screenwriting, Literature, or Journalism?

• Are you currently pursuing a degree in any field?

• Are you an International student, former Writers’ Program Scholarship Recipient, UCLA Extension scholarship or grant recipient, and/or former PEN Emerging Voices Fellow?

If you answered “nope!” to all of the above and you meet the financial criteria, please click here to apply. The application deadline for the 2014-2015 scholarship is June 30, 2014. If you have any questions about the program or the application process, please contact Katy Flaherty at kflaherty@uclaextension.edu or 310-825-9415.

NOTE: A FAFSA Student Aid Report is required along with your application. It can take anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks to get your SAR, so fill out your FAFSA early. SARs will not be accepted after the deadline.

Good luck!

Katy Flaherty is the Program Representative for Creative Writing (Onsite). Write to her at kflaherty@uclaextension.edu.

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