Did you know? In an effort to acknowledge and foster the talent of promising writers from diverse backgrounds and cultures who might otherwise not have the opportunity, the Writers’ Program awards scholarships to up to 10 students annually. Read on for five great reasons we encourage qualified applicants to apply.

5. Find Your Niche

As scholarship recipient Carrie Lynn Hawthorne puts it, “I feel so supported in the Writers’ Program. For the first time in my life, I feel as if my dream is within my grasp and like I’ve finally found my niche. The scholarship has been the chance of a lifetime for me, and I am eager to put in the work to make screenwriting my new career.”

  1. Inspire Your Loved Ones

With the demands of everyday life, following your dreams can be difficult. This is especially true for those in the arts, where recognition, much less payment, is often elusive. Andrea Guevara says it best: “Receiving the scholarship bolsters my determination to continue improving my craft and working on the stories I am compelled to share with the world. But what really brings tears to my eyes is that I am lucky enough to show my kids, by example, the joy of pursuing one’s dreams.”

  1. Join a Supportive Community

Not only are our classes taught by industry professionals, but classmates often form writers groups, create lasting friendships, and provide an invaluable community of support and resources. “I’ve developed a strong network of like-minded writers,” says James Rogers. “We’re sharing our work and it’s made the process much less lonely.”

  1. Learn from the Best

Our instructors know how to make your dream a reality, because they’ve done it themselves. “These classes have served as a guiding force to help me stay disciplined in my writing,” says Libby Doyne. “Without the guidance of my professors and weekly assignments, making a portfolio with a spec and a pilot would be overwhelming. With these courses, I’ve been able to keep my day job while also incrementally working towards my future career.”

  1. Make your Dreams a Reality

Our scholarship students have had some incredible success stories, from Leo Ríos Márquez, who was one of four students accepted into the MFA program at Cornell University this year; to Laura Picklesimer who is currently pursuing her MFA at California State University, Long Beach; to Joshua Staman, who has secured a manager and made it to the second round of the highly competitive Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Says Leo, “I received a scholarship from the Writers’ Program during the 2013-2014 academic year and those classes helped me shape the manuscript that I eventually submitted for my MFA applications. So thank you. I’m stoked, and grateful.”

Contact Katy Flaherty at 310-206-0951 or kflaherty@uclaextension.edu for more information.

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

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