The Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing and the Claire Carmichael Scholarship in Novel Writing provide access and opportunities for promising writers to study their craft in a supportive educational environment.   Click to expand for more details below.

Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing

The application for 2022-2023 Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing is now open.

Full directions, eligibility and information about the application process can be found here: APPLY NOW

The deadline to submit applications has been extended to 5 pm PT Friday, July 8, 2022. Applications must be completed on Submittable here: by the extended deadline.

Phyllis Gebauer, a beloved Writers’ Program instructor who taught for the Writers’ Program since 1994, was passionate about providing learning opportunities for those who lack access. When she passed away in 2011, she left the Writers’ Program a generous gift with which to fund this needs-based scholarship program. The Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing acknowledges and fosters the talent of promising writers from diverse backgrounds and cultures who might otherwise not have the opportunity to study their craft in a supportive educational environment. Up to six scholars are named annually, and each recipient is given the opportunity to enroll in three 10-week Writers’ Program courses in creative writing or screenwriting during a one-year period (master classes, Writers Studio workshops, editing and publishing courses, and 20-week courses are excluded). Courses may be taken either onsite or online but cannot be deferred for any reason.


In order to be considered eligible for the Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing, applicants must:

  • Have a gross income not to exceed the HUD Very Low Income level, $41,400 in 2021 for a single-person household or $59,100 for a family of four. See for details.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with a green card.

You are ineligible to apply if you are:

  • A UCLA employee or a family member or dependent of a UCLA employee
  • An MA, MFA, or PhD graduate in creative writing, screenwriting, journalism, or playwriting
  • Pursuing a degree in any field
  • An international student
  • A former Writers’ Program Scholarship recipient
  • A former PEN Emerging Voices Fellow
  • Eligibility criteria will be reviewed and confirmed for all scholarship recipients.

For questions about the Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing, please contact Jennie Seidewand at  

Claire Carmichael Scholarship in Novel Writing (currently on hiatus)

Claire Carmichael

Please note:  The Claire Carmichael Scholarship in Novel Writing is on hiatus until further notice.  

This scholarship is named for Claire Carmichael, a UCLA Extension Distinguished Instructor who has taught more than 90 courses and mentorships for the Writers’ Program since 1994, and who has helped numerous students get their work published. Ms. Carmichael created this scholarship to acknowledge promising novelists and to provide an opportunity for them to study their craft and work on their novels-in-progress in a supportive educational environment. Up to 6 scholars are named based on the strength of their writing, and each scholar selects 3 full-length Writers’ Program courses to be taken during a 1-year period.

At the close of the year-long program, the 6 scholars are given the opportunity to submit their best 75-100 pages for judging.  Ms. Carmichael and two additional judges will select one manuscript from the entries, based on the quality of the writing and its potential for completion and ultimate publication. The winner receives a two-month, one-on-one mentorship* with Lynn Hightower, a Writers’ Program instructor who has mentored more than 100 Writers’ Program students since 2012.   The winner will also be featured in an article on the Writers’ Program website, along with an excerpt of his or her novel-in-progress.  Ms. Carmichael will stay closely connected to the project as a consultant.

Applicants must have completed at least one course in novel writing or at least one session of the Mentorship Program in the Writers’ Program within 18 months of the submission due date, and have at least 10 pages of a novel-in-progress (young adult, genre, and literary fiction is included), in order to be eligible.

*The two mentorships are valued at $2,590. Mentorships do not have to be taken in two consecutive months but they must be completed in the same calendar year in which they are awarded.

Click here for a list of former recipients of the competition. 

For questions about the Claire Carmichael Scholarship in Novel Writing, contact


“My instructor’s generosity, enthusiasm and seriousness of purpose were infectious and helped convince me that a writing life was the one for me.”

Marisa Silver, New York Times best-selling author

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