Writing contests, prizes and fellowships

For more information on any of these prizes please call 215-898-1696 or email writing@writing.upenn.edu.


The Nora Magid Mentorship Prize

Administered by: Former students of Nora Magid in collaboration with CPCW
Amount: Mentorship + $5000 stipend
Genre: Non-fiction
The Nora Magid Mentorship Prize is given each year to a senior at the University of Pennsylvania who shows exceptional ability and promise in non-fiction writing and editing, and who would benefit most from combined mentorship of Nora's network of former students and their colleagues. The prize is $2000, which is to be used as a stipend for transportation, lodging and meals as the student travels to New York, Washington and elsewhere to develop professional contacts at magazines, newspapers and publishing houses. Based on a plan submitted with the prize application, the winner will visit those Nora-ites and their colleagues who seem most able to assist in the student's professional goals. For more information please visit http://www.NoraPrize.com or CPCW's Nora Magid Mentorship Prize page.

Bassini Writing Apprenticeships

A major goal of the College of Arts & Sciences is to promote advanced research, mentorship and apprenticeship experiences especially during the student's junior and senior years. CPCW's writing apprenticeships project has been created to meet this goal. Each semester the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing will sponsor several writing apprenticeships. Several members of the faculty affiliated with Penn's writing programs will sponsor one apprenticeship each. The apprenticeships are one full semester in duration. Students chosen to be writing apprentices will receive one course credit (English 199). Sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to apply, although juniors and seniors will be given strong preference. For more information, please visit: http://writing.upenn.edu/awards/apprenticeships.php.

Terry B. Heled Travel Grant

Administered by: The Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing
Amount: $3000

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. For more information, please visit: http://writing.upenn.edu/wh/involved/awards/heled.

Kelly Writers House


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. 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 Writers House Director Jessica Lowenthal at jalowent@writing.upenn.edu. For more information about the individual internships, see: http://writing.upenn.edu/wh/involved/awards.

The Behrman Family Endowed Scholarship Fund For Young Writers

Administered by: The Kelly Writers House
Amount: Financial Support
Application Deadline: award is granted to one student every fourth year
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: http://writing.upenn.edu/wh/involved/awards/behrman.php

Writers House Junior Fellows Program

Administered by: The Kelly Writers House
Amount: $500 to $1000
The Writers House Junior Fellows Program aims to encourage students who have made substantial use of the Writers House during their undergraduate careers to stay connected with the Writers House community shortly after they graduate, while they continue to do their own writing and explore the writing-related issues that engage them. The Kelly Writers House Junior Fellow receives, for the year, a grant of $500 to $1000 (depending on the funding year). He or she can accept this money in the form of an honorarium and/or use the money on creating 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 only stipulation is that the Award year culminate in a project or a presentation that takes place at the Writers House for the benefit of the Writers House community. Applications are accepted late in the spring semester for the following year, and reviewed by a committee of members of the Writers House Planning Committee, and its Director. For more information see http://writing.upenn.edu/wh/involved/awards/juniorfellow.

Andy Wolk screenwriting-directing symposium

Administered by: The Kelly Writers House
Deadline: TBA
Genre: Screenwriting, Film or Drama
Four student writers will be chosen for a three-day writing workshop, or "lab," with screenwriter, playwright, and director of film and TV Andy Wolk ("The Sopranos," "The Practice," "NYPD Blue," "The Defenders," "Equal Justice," etc.). Applicants submit a screenplay, film treatment, or dramatic piece, along with a brief application. All questions and expressions of interest should be sent to whwolk@writing.upenn.edu; completed applications should also be mailed to that address. Any current Penn student (graduate or undergraduate, full-time or part-time) is eligible to apply. Recent graduates are also eligible. For more information go to http://writing.upenn.edu/wh/archival/events/wolk.

The Kerry Sherin Wright Prize

Administered by: The Kelly Writers House
Amount: $1000
The "Kerry Prize" is an annual award honoring the extraordinary achievement of Kerry Sherin Wright, Director of the Kelly Writers House from 1997-2003. The prize is awarded each spring by a representative committee of Writers House-affiliated writers, chaired by the Faculty Director, to a member of the Writers House Planning Committee or "hub" for a proposal for an event or project that best captures the aesthetic capaciousness and literary communitarianism that is a founding idea of the Writers House and the hallmark of Kerry's work as its Director. The amount of the prize is $1000, to defray the costs of putting on the proposed project or event, which will happen during the following fall semester. For more information: http://writing.upenn.edu/wh/involved/awards/kerryprize.php

The Goldstein Prize

Administered by: The Kelly Writers House
Amount: $2000
The Goldstein prize is an annual award/"writing scholarship" for a current undergraduate affiliated with the Writers House. The $2000 award is intended to encourage and support a student writer with financial need (to pay for special project expenses, to pay the rent, to have a cushion for a summer of writing, etc.). Applications deadlines will be announced each spring.

The Front Row Theatre Company Playwriting Fellowship

Administered by: The Kelly Writers House
Amount: $500
Every year, Kelly Writers House teams up with Front Row Theatre Company to co-sponsor a Playwriting Fellowship open to all Penn students. The winning play receives: $500, a week-long workshop of the winning piece, and a final staged reading. Almost every professionally developed play goes through a workshop process, it is 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 early in the second semester. For more information, contact Front Row Theatre ftc@dolphin.upenn.edu or Writers House director Jessica Lowenthal.

The Rosenberg Family Internship

Administered by: The Kelly Writers House
Amount: $2500
The Rosenberg family endowed this paid summer internship for a Writers House-affiliated student to teach Creative Writing to children at a large camp and education center in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. The internship runs for 9 weeks, and the award includes housing and all meals. The intern will work with a diverse group of children ranging in age from 8 to 15, and will be continuously supported (and skillfully supervised) in his or her work of crafting Creative Writing projects for the kids. Any full-time Penn student is eligible. Students of any year (including graduating seniors) are encouraged to apply.

Creative Writing

The Creative Writing Program awards a number of prizes annually to University of Pennsylvania students in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and dramatic writing. Students may submit no more than ONE entry per category, but may enter in multiple categories. Contest winners are selected by judges who have no affiliation with the university. For a complete list of prizes and details on how to enter, please visit the Creative Writing Program.