Awards, Internships & Fellowships

The Kelly Writers House offers many learning opportunities, including internships; some internships pay, but most are not work-study jobs and are unpaid (volunteer). They are available to undergraduate students (and, in one instance, to recent graduates) at Penn only. Kelly Writers House internships are designed to give students a chance to get deeply involved in a particular program or project. More information about each opportunity is below. To apply for any of these, contact Kelly Writers House Director Jessica Lowenthal at

Application-Based Prizes And Awards

CREATIVE VENTURES CAPITAL PRIZES: up to $2500 per proposal

award: up to $2500
deadline: April 5, 2019

The Creative Ventures Project at the Kelly Writers House supports innovative ideas, interdisciplinary projects, and intellectual risk-taking. Creative Ventures Capital Prizes are awarded competitively to support creative projects that, by their inter- or extra-disciplinary focus, complex nature, or eccentricity, may otherwise find difficulty attracting support. Accepted project proposals will receive up to $2500 in initial funding for the project, as well as mentoring and ongoing development and production assistance from staff and others at the Kelly Writers House (if needed). Creative Ventures is, by its nature, a broad-minded project and wants to encourage a wide and wild variety of ideas. Creative Ventures project proposals need not be writing related. Interdisciplinary ideas are encouraged.

Sample projects funded through Creative Ventures include: (1) a multimedia documentary VR project, (2) culinary research in Spain, documented in a blog and celebrated with a final feast at KWH, (3) an investigation of light in Alaska, (4) furniture refurbishing with QR-code links to the history of each piece, (5) glass etching to make poem-objects, (6) an in-house confession booth, and (7) a public workshop in experimental scholarly writing.

To apply: email Jessica Lowenthal ( with a project proposal, including a short description of your project (500–750 word), a timeline, and a budget. Consider these questions: What are your intellectual or creative goals for this project? What do you hope to learn or do – and what steps will you take to accomplish your goals? In what way is this project innovative or interdisciplinary? Will there be an end product (a physical object, presentation, demonstration, action, screening, website)? Subject line of email: CREATIVE VENTURES CAPITAL APPLICATION.


award: up to $3000
deadline: April 5, 2019

Inspired by Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings, this prize will go to a student who wants to find cool stuff (documents, literary referents, historical objects) and blog about their discoveries. The $3000 will be awarded as a prize and should be used to cover project costs (if any), including web hosting.

What kind of “cool stuff” is right for this? Anything you find interesting! Follow your own idiosyncratic research or reading interests. You could unearth unknown documents in an archive that excites you, follow a specific historic theme or thread inspired by something you’ve read for a class, or document the quirks secret histories of your hometown.

You’ll take your findings and present them digitally online (on a blog or similar platform) — piece by piece, as you find them, or in whatever way that makes sense to you and for the things you find. The main idea: search, discover, and share.

To apply: email Jessica Lowenthal ( with a short project proposal (500 words), describing what sort of materials excite you and how you plan to research them (and/or where you plan to find them). What do you hope others will discover by finding and reveling in your materials? Use CULTURAL PRESERVATION PROJECT as your subject line.


deadline: various

The Friend Fellows Project supports a number of opportunities including teaching assistantships, internships with the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia, and stipends for students who secure unpaid or underpaid internships at local newspapers, magazines, publishers, or other journalistic/editorial ventures in Philadelphia during the academic year. Announcements about these and other opportunities will be made frequently throughout the year.

The Penn Plays Fellowship

award: $500, mentorship, and play development process
2018-2019 deadline: fall (already past)

Every year, Kelly Writers House teams up with Penn’s Theatre Arts Program to cosponsor a Playwriting Fellowship open to all Penn students. The winning play receives: $500, a workshop read though of the winning piece, guidance from a mentor playwright, and a final staged reading. Almost every professionally developed play goes through a workshop process — it can be a vital step in theater production — and this award is to allow a student playwright an opportunity to interact with a play's development and production. Submissions are due each year early in the fall semester. For more information, contact Writers House director Jessica Lowenthal ( .

The Goldstein Prize

award: $2000
deadline: April 5, 2019

The Goldstein prize is an annual award/"writing scholarship" for a current Penn undergraduate affiliated with the Writers House. The award is intended to encourage and support a student writer with financial need (to pay the rent, to have a cushion that will enable a summer of writing, to help make ends meet, or to pay for special project expenses, etc.). The $2000 will be paid as a prize.

The Goldstein Prize is awarded competitively based on a specific writing proposal. You need not have expenses associated with your project — we understand that you may simply need general financial assistance to support your writing — but you should have a project you want to develop and a proposal describing your goals.

To apply: email Jessica Lowenthal ( with a short project proposal (750 words or less) describing a writing project you would like to undertake (or that you are currently engaged with) and your plans for developing it. Is this an entirely new project or an extension of something you’ve already started? What do you hope to learn or accomplish? When do you expect to be done? Please also submit a brief, informal narrative description of your financial need. Use GOLDSTEIN PRIZE APPLICATION as your subject line.

The Terry B. Heled Travel & Research Grant

award: $3000
deadline: March 13, 2019 at 11:59 PM

Mali Heled Kinberg (C'95) has created this endowed fund at the Kelly Writers House that, each summer, will enable a student to travel for the purpose of conducting the research that will lead to a significant writing project. The winner of the Heled Travel Grant will receive $3,000 toward the costs of travel for research. The travel and research will be conducted during the summer (between mid-May and the end of August). Candidates who propose a trip of longer rather than shorter duration will be given priority, and candidates who propose to travel beyond North America will also get priority, but any travel plan--to any place, of any length--will receive serious consideration based on the quality of the project. Click here for more information on how to apply.

Writers House Junior Fellows Award

award: $2000
deadline: March 4, 2018

The purpose of the Writers House Junior Fellows program is to encourage excellent Penn students to stay in the Philadelphia area as they develop their creative talents in the months or year immediately following graduation. The idea of this prize: to support you in your continuing writing projects post-graduation. The Junior Fellow receives $2000. He or she can accept this money in the form of an honorarium and/or use the money to create programs for and at the Writers House, including honoraria for speakers or visiting readers, or paying expenses for a program or series that involves equipment, food, materials, etc. The award year culminates in a project or a presentation that takes place at the Writers House for the benefit of the Writers House community.

To apply: email Jessica Lowenthal ( with a brief description (750 words or less) of how you'd want to spend your Junior Fellow year. What project do you want to undertake? How would the prize support your goals? How do you plan to stay connected with the Writers House community? Please include a tentative timeline and simple budget (if apt) for your potential project(s). Note: your proposal does not need to be the final word on what you will do; you just need to give a brief description of what you'd like to do as next year's Junior Fellow. Subject line of email Junior Fellows application. For more information, contact Writers House director Jessica Lowenthal (

The Kerry Sherin Wright Prize

award: $1000
deadline: April 5, 2019

Do you have an idea for a special public program or project to be enacted at Writers House next academic year? Apply for the Kelly Prize! You will receive a budget of $1000 to execute your plan. The award money will be used for program/project expenses (honoraria, travel, materials, food, etc.). Read more here:

Named for Kerry Sherin Wright, the first director of the Writers House, the Kerry Prize supports proposals that match Kerry’s vision for this space: projects that are communal by nature and intellectually open. Kerry Prize programs have included readings and workshops by visiting authors, ongoing group writing projects, and art installations.

To apply: email Jessica Lowenthal ( with a short description of your project idea (500 words), a preliminary budget or estimation of costs, and a description of your involvement at Writers House.

Paid internships

Summer Arts & Culture Internships at Penn

award: $3000 - $3500
deadline: early spring semester

The College of Arts & Sciences and CURF fund a total of twenty-two summer research internships as part of a summer institute for University of Pennsylvania students in the humanities and social sciences. Two of these summer internships will be available at the Kelly Writers House. These full-time (30 hrs/week) internships are for a period of up to ten weeks and include a stipend of between $3,000 and $3,500, depending on the organization and length of the internship. Full descriptions and application forms are available at

Appointed Scholarships (No Application)

The Behrman Family Endowed Scholarship Fund For Young Writers

The purpose of the fund is to provide financial support to an undergraduate student who is a member of the Kelly Writers House community and/or involved in Writers House projects and programs. For more information see: