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18 scholarships and fellowships for journalists, writers and PR pros worth $75,000+

Writers, journalists, and public relations professionals who are are also gifted in writing can now participate in a new series of international writing contests, scholarships, and fellowships with prizes from $1,000 to over $75,000.

Here’s a complication of the writing contests in 2023 that offer prizes and scholarships in dollars to journalists and creative public relations writers:

1. The Nine Dots Prize for creative thinking ($100,000)

18 scholarships and fellowships for journalists, writers and PR pros worth $75,000+

This is a prize for creative thinking that tackles contemporary societal issues. For this cycle, the question is: ‘Why has the rule of law become so fragile?’

Entrants have to respond to a question in 3,000 words, and provide an outline showing how they would expand their response into a short book of 25,000-40,000 words, backed up with relevant research and evidence.

The winner will receive editorial support from Cambridge University Press, and the opportunity to spend a term at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), at Cambridge University, to help develop their ideas and focus on their writing.

“The aim of the Prize is to promote, encourage and engage innovative thinking to address problems facing the modern world. The name of the Prize references the nine dots puzzle – a lateral thinking puzzle which can only be solved by thinking outside the box.”

They want submissions from both established names and emerging talent, including those who may not have been published before.

Value: $100,000.

Deadline: 23 January 2023

Open to all writers.

Details here and here.

  1. Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies: Steinbeck Fellowships ($15,000)

These are fellowships to help writers complete a book project. Up to six Steinbeck Fellows are selected each year from disciplines including fiction, creative non-fiction, biography, drama, and Steinbeck studies.

One of the application requirements is a writing sample of up to 25 pages.

Value: $15,000, residency at San José State University

Deadline: 3 January 2023

Details here

  1. Table//Feast Literary Magazine: Blossom Contest

This contest is only for those who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC). Entrants may submit up to three poems (2 pages each) in the Poetry Category or one piece of fiction or creative nonfiction (up to 3,000 words) to the Prose Category.

Deadline: 1 January 2023

Value: $200 for poetry, $200 for prose

Details here.

  1. The Leon Levy Centre for Biography: Biography Fellowships($72,000)

These are four resident fellowships at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City, to nonfiction writers working on biographies. preference in the award of fellowships is given to those who have not yet published a biography or received fellowships for the writing of a biography.

They also welcome applications from published and accomplished writers who are undertaking their first biography. One of the application requirements is a sample of the proposed biography, a maximum of 2,500 words.

Value: $72,000, residency

Deadline: 4 January 2023

Open for: Writers working on biographies

Details here.

  1. Colgate University: Olive B. O’Connor Creative Writing Fellowship ($43,750)

For the current application period, they offer one fellowship for non-fiction, and one for poetry. One of the application requirements is a writing sample – up to 20 pages for poetry, and up to 30 pages for prose.

Writers who have recently completed an MFA, MA, or PhD in creative writing, and who need a year to complete their first book, are encouraged to apply.

It also includes residency at Colgate University. There are teaching duties attached. “All applications should speak directly to the candidate’s ability to work effectively with students across a wide range of identities and backgrounds.”

Value: $43,750 + other benefits, residency

Deadline: 6 January 2023

Details here.

  1. The Hillman Prize for Journalism

This is for journalists who pursue investigative reporting and deep storytelling in service of the common good.

Recipients exemplify reportorial excellence, storytelling skill, and social justice impact. The categories include all types of advocacy, opinion, commentary and analysis, normally short-form and/or frequent, regardless of medium; open to newspaper and magazine columnists, TV and radio presenters, podcasters, blogs, and bloggers.

Value: $5,000 each

Deadline: 30 January 2023

Open for all Journalists.

Details here and here.

  1. AKO Caine Prize for African Writing

This is for a published short story by an African writer (someone who is a national of an African country, or who has a parent who is African by birth or nationality), of 3,000-10,000 words.

The story must have been published in the five years preceding the submissions deadline. Submissions have to be made by publishers only. Works published in translation are also eligible (see ‘Rules of Entry’ for details).

Value: £10,000, and £500 for four short-listed candidates

Deadline: 26 January 2023

Open for: African writers

Details here and here.

  1. Speculative Literature Foundation: A. C. Bose Grant

This grant supports South Asian or South Asian diaspora writers developing speculative fiction. Work that is accessible to older children and teens will be given preference. “This grant, as with all SLF grants, is intended to help writers working with speculative literature.

Speculative literature spans the breadth of fantastic writing, encompassing literature ranging from hard science fiction to epic fantasy, including ghost stories, horror, folk and fairy tales, slipstream, magical realism, and more.

Any piece of literature containing a fabulist or speculative element would fall under our aegis.” A writing sample of up to 5,000 words is part of the application. Applicants need not have prior publishing credits to apply.

Value: $1,000

Reading period: 1-31 January 2023

Open for: South Asian/South Asian diaspora writers

Details here; the schedule for their other upcoming grants is here.

  1. Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest

The magazine runs a short story contest thrice a year. Readers of this magazine are interested in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-twentieth century America. While the writing should appeal to a reader with these interests, stories can be on any theme. Stories should be up to 3,000 words, but up to 4,000 words will be considered.

Value: $150

Deadline: 31 January 2023

Open for: All writers

Details here.

  1. International Young Theatre Playwriting Contest

This prize is for bold and powerful plays for young audiences (no plays for children or adult audiences, or musicals), written in any official European language. Performance time for Category A is 60-120 minutes and for Category B, 30-60 minutes.

They accept plays co-authored by more than one writer. Writers can send up to three entries. The play must be a new and original piece of work. Writers of any age or nationality can enter the contest.

Value: €2,400

Deadline: 31 January 2023

Open for: All playwrights

Details here.

  1. The TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting

TRACE is a non-profit international business association dedicated to anti-bribery, compliance and good governance.

This prize recognizes journalism that uncovers business-related bribery and financial crime with the goal of increasing commercial transparency and good governance. Nominees may be print, broadcast or online reporters from any country who have investigated commercial bribery schemes, business activities that create serious conflicts of interest or similar commercial misconduct.

Team entries and multiple submissions per author are permitted. Book-length entries are not accepted. A panel of independent judges will review the submissions and select up to two winners, who will each receive a cash prize of US$10,000.

Reporter(s) will be invited to an award ceremony hosted by TRACE. The judges may also name up to two honorable mentions, who will each receive US$1,000.

Value: Two cash prizes of $10,000

Deadline: 31 January 2023

Open for: All financial investigative journalists

Details here.

  1. Oxford Flash Fiction Prize

Write yourself into history and become one of the greats with the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize. 1000 words, no minimum word limit.

Value: $1,200

Deadline: 31st Jan, 2023

  1. Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

They want a short story, of up to 8,000 words, that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration.

They want to see Moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, space elevators, asteroid mining, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, adventure.

They do not want stories that show technology or space travel as evil or bad, galactic empires, paranormal elements, UFO abductions, zombie stories, thinly veiled copies of previous winners, non-standalone novel excerpts, or screenplays.

Value: 8c/word, and various non-cash awards

Deadline: 1 February 2023

Open for: All writers

Details here.

  1. Biographers International Organization: The Frances “Frank” Rollin Fellowship

They offer two fellowships, open to all biographers anywhere in the world who are writing in English, who are working on a biography of an African American figure or figures whose story provides a significant contribution to our understanding of the Black experience, and who are at any stage in the writing of a book-length biography.

Value: Two fellowships of $5,000 each

Deadline: 1 February 2023

Open for all writers

Details here.

  1. St. Gallen Symposium Global Essay Competition

This is a contest for young writers, they want a themed essay of 2,100 words, on the best or worst legacy from previous generations: How to preserve or replace it?

Value: CHF20,000, split between three winners; they’ll also cover travel, accommodation, and admission to the symposium in Switzerland.

Deadline: 1 February 2023

Open for: Young writers

Details here.

  1. BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition

This is for those outside the UK – they want a radio play of approximately 53 minutes (9,000-10,000 words) – see guidelines for other requirements; you can enter singly or in a group.

Prizes are £2,500, and other non-cash prizes. There are two categories – English as a First Language, and English as a Second Language. The deadline is 12 February 2022, details here and here.

17. The Human Rights Essay Award for lawyers

Lawyers are not left out too. The Human Rights Essay Award  is an annual competition sponsored by the Academy that seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law.

Winning essays will published in The American University International Law Review (AUILR)

Apply at Human Rights Essay Award

  1. 2023 World Press Photo Contest for photographers and videographer worldwide

The annual World Press Photo Contest recognizes and celebrates the best photojournalism and documentary photography produced over the last year. Enter your work for free and you could win €1,000 as a regional winner and an additional €5,000 as a global winner, have your work showcased to a global audience.

Value: up  to $5,000

Deadline: 30 January 2023

Apply at scholarship plus

Write your way to wealth

You now have a list of writing contests that are open to all writers, public relations and communications people – Go ahead and write yourself up to fame and wealth.

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Freedom with Writing

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