The UCLA Extension Writers’ Program is proud to be the largest open-enrollment creative writing and screenwriting program in the nation, helping thousands of students each year make their writing dreams a reality. But what truly sets our program apart, in addition to the depth and breadth of our programs and course offerings, are the scholarships and literary prizes that help our students thrive. Endowed or funded by former instructors and the friends and family of former students, these programs represent the best of the Writers’ Program’s past, present, and future.

The one downside of making these resources available to deserving students is that it can be a bit confusing, so we created this cheat sheet to help you figure out what programs you are eligible to apply for, what the application entails, and what the submission deadlines are. We’ve also created a printable Guide to Writers’ Program Scholarships and Prizes that you can refer to throughout the year.

Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing
Beloved Writers’ Program instructor Phyllis Gebauer was passionate about providing learning opportunities for those who lack access, and left the Writers’ Program an endowment to fund this needs-based scholarship when she passed away in 2011. The scholarship acknowledges and fosters the talent of promising writers from diverse backgrounds and cultures who otherwise would not have access to writing education.

Who can apply? Anyone who meets the eligibility and income requirements, even if they’ve never taken a Writers’ Program course
What’s required with application? Two essays, two letters of recommendation, Federal Income Tax Return, FAFSA Student Aid Report
Application period March – June
Award Three Writers’ Program courses to be taken over the course of a year


Claire Carmichael Scholarship in Novel Writing
Claire Carmichael, a UCLA Extension Distinguished Instructor who has taught more than 90 courses and mentorships for the WP–helping numerous students get their work published–created this scholarship to acknowledge promising novelists and provide support as they work on their novels-in-progress.

Who can apply? Students who have completed at least one course in novel writing or at least one session of the Mentorship Program in the Writers’ Program within the past 18 months (for the 2016-17 app, this would be March 2015-September 2016) AND Have at least 10 pages of a novel-in-progress (young adult, genre, and literary fiction is included).
What’s required with application? Two essays + 10 pages of novel-in-progress
Application period July – September
Award Three Writers’ Program courses to be taken over the course of a year. Grand prize-winning scholar receives a two-month mentorship with Ms. Carmichael (a $2,590 value).


James Kirkwood Literary Prize
Named for the late Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning author who began his career in a Writers’ Program class, James Kirkwood’s friends established the prize to honor new generations of Writers’ Program fiction writers for their literary achievements.

Who can apply? Students are nominated by instructors of intermediate and/or advanced fiction courses taught within the past year.
What’s required with application? Nominated story or novel chapter
Application period August – September
Award 1st Place: $3,000, 2nd Place: $1,500, 3rd Place: $500


Allegra Johnson Prize in Memoir and Novel Writing (in alternating years)
Founded by the parents of Allegra Johnson, who was working on a memoir and a novel through the Writers’ Program when her life was tragically cut short, this prize provides aspiring memoirists and novelists with formal recognition of their talent and the financial resources to support them as they complete their manuscripts.

Who can apply? Students are nominated by instructors of intermediate and advanced courses, and must have at least 50-75 pages of a memoir or novel-in-progress that was initially developed in a WP course AND have completed at least 6 units in memoir or novel writing at the WP to apply.
What’s required with application? First 25 pages of nominated manuscript, project outline, resume, and essay.
Application period December – February
Award $5000


For more information about applying for a scholarship or prize, please contact Program Representative Katy Flaherty at or 310-206-0951.

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