The Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing was designed to foster the talent of diverse and promising writers who lack the financial resources to study their craft formally in a supportive environment. Funded by the late Phyllis Gebauer, a beloved Writers’ Program instructor of many years, the scholarship is awarded to 10 students annually who are given the opportunity to enroll in three full-length Writers’ Program courses.

We’re delighted to introduce you to our 10 scholars for 2016-17, who have diverse goals but are united by a passion for creating and sharing the best writing possible. Here they share what receiving the scholarship means for their short and long term goals.




Saul Alpert-Abrams, Los Angeles, California

“I’ve always valued beyond almost anything those moments when poetry enters [one’s] life. As a writer it is my most treasured task to express such moments, and the possibility of sharing them with other students and teachers at the Writers’ Program encourages those moments to show themselves to me with more regularity and purpose. I’m very thankful for this scholarship in helping me toward both the perception and the expression of it all.”



Mia Altieri, Topanga, California

“The scholarship is truly a blessing. I am taking it as a sign that I am supposed to follow this blissful journey as a writer. With guidance from the teachers of the program and my dedication, I know I will grow and develop more confidence in my ability to tell stories. I have much I want to accomplish as a writer. This opportunity will help me to stay focused and remain steadfast in all I want to create.”




Kathryn Canty, Redondo Beach, California

“Receiving this scholarship means everything! I am able to take outstanding classes from top-notch professional instructors that are currently working in the industry. I will also be able to connect with and collaborate with other like-minded creative people and equip myself with the tools necessary to succeed in the industry.”





Shanrica Evans, Decatur, Georgia

“This scholarship gives me the means to receive the instruction and guidance I need to grow as a writer, and the encouragement to continue to pursue my passion of screenwriting. My short term goals are to write a feature-length screenplay through the guidance of my courses. My long term goal is to write and polish a feature-length project that will be held in contention for fellowships and labs.”




Mara Marski, Los Angeles, California

“The Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing is pure opportunity to delve deeper into the field I’m passionate about, to create a supportive community of other burgeoning professionals, and to grow as a writer under the tutelage of working instructors. But more than that, it is a personal challenge for me to flourish and become the writer that I know I can be.”




Xenia Shin, Los Angeles, California

“Receiving this scholarship means a great deal to me. There are more resources available for self-study than ever, but what’s unique about the Writers’ Program is the experience of learning from professionals with industry experience, solving story problems collaboratively in a workshop, and building a network of people with similar goals.”





Brian Spellman, Winnetka, California

“The Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship will provide teaching expertise to develop my raw talent as writer into a professional screenplay. I’ve always wanted to know how film looks on the written page and know that the Writers’ Program will direct me with the highest skill. My short term goal is to familiarize with the components of story and formatting structure. My long term goal is to sell an imaginative screenplay, blending my talent with UCLA Extension expertise.”



Leah Yananton, Los Angeles, California

“What receiving this scholarship means to me: Everything. Liberation for my soul! My short and long term writing goals are to write honestly and courageously every day, telling stories from the innermost caves of my heart.”





Samuel Temblador, Los Angeles

“Receiving this scholarship has been a blessing. Through this opportunity I plan to take my writing to the next level while contributing to an engaging learning environment for all of my peers. My short term goal is to gain the know how and confidence to begin writing screenplays; my long term goal is to faithfully represent the unique voices and stories of my hometown through the written word and the cinema.”



Robert Carey, Chicago, Illinois (no photo)

“The Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship means more to me than just the opportunity to take three high-level courses through an excellent program—it opens the door to a world of creative development that otherwise would have remain closed to me. In these times of rising education costs, it’s become harder and harder for those without many means to pursue their ambitions, and it is impossible to overstate the importance of scholarships like these in providing that needed help. I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow and develop as a writer.”

A huge congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients! Information about the 2017-18 Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing will be available on our website in late March 2017.

Pin It on Pinterest