Emerging Writers Scholarship

Emerging Writers Scholarship


2020 Emerging Writers Scholarship!

First Place: $20,000
Second Place: $10,000
Third Place: $5,000

The Contest

The scholarship contest is open to high school seniors who apply to and attend Rowan as a Writing Arts major beginning in Fall 2020. Application deadline is Monday, March 30th, 2020. 
The Writing Arts department focuses on myriad genres. As one of the first stand-alone writing departments in the United States, distinct from related fields like English and Journalism, our students pursue creative, academic, and professional projects. Scholarship applicants are encouraged to choose portfolio pieces that showcase their best writing and show potential for even further growth in the Writing Arts department. 

How to Apply
In addition to applying to Rowan, to enter the Literary Writing Contest, you must complete and submit:

  • A coversheet (details below)
  • A cover letter/artistic statement (details below).
  • A portfolio (details below). 

These materials must be submitted as one Word doc attachment and sent to WritingArtsAward@rowan.edu.


The coversheet should list the following information, in the listed order:

Complete Mailing Address
Name and Location of High School Attended
Title of Portfolio
Genres employed in portfolio (poetry, short story, personal essay, academic essay, etc)

Cover Letter/Artistic Statement

The applicant must provide a two-page cover letter/artistic statement addressing the following:

  • The type of portfolio submitted, with an introduction to the pieces included and why
  • The applicant's writerly vision and why 
  • How the Emerging Writers scholarship will help the applicant fulfill their vision and achieve their goals

Portfolio Options

1) A traditional portfolio of several pieces of writing, but no more than 10-15 double-spaced pages (12-point, Times New Roman font). Works included may be entirely creative (fiction, poetry, essay, creative nonfiction, or a mix of genres), entirely academic (exposition, argument, research, or a mix of genres), or a mixture of both creative and academic writing. The portfolio may consist of either a single long work or a group of shorter works that demonstrate the applicant’s creative vision and skill with written language.

2) A non-traditional media and/or web-based portfolio that demonstrates the applicant’s skill with digital writing technologies, including working with and manipulating images, video production and editing, web-page design, web-site architecture, web-site content, including blog writing, as well as social media activity. Be sure to include instructions for viewing online pieces, which should be easily accessed through weblinks. One note: the pieces in a non-traditional portfolio should reflect writerly choices, and it is recommended that the cover letter clearly explain how a non-traditional portfolio showcases writing (storytelling, persuasion, character development, argumentation, and so on).

3) A combination of both the traditional and non-traditional.

The Selection Process

Winners will be selected by Writing Arts faculty. Winners will demonstrate a mature and convincing combination of originality and substance. The awards will be made based on the quality of the submitted cover letter/artistic statement and the portfolio. 

​Contestant's potential for success in the Writing Arts major, based on a review of application materials, will also be considered.

Entries for the Rowan University Emerging Writers Scholarship are due by Monday, March 30th, 2020.

Winners will be announced in April.

Winners may apply funds to one year, or across years.

For more information, contact Jennifer Tole at Tole@rowan.edu.