Creative Writing Grants
Creative Writing Department Home

 Step 1: Do Your Research
Step 1

 Step 2: Write Your Proposal
Step 2

 Step 3: Find a Mentor
Step 3

 Step 4: Mail It In
Step 4

 Step 1: Do Your Research Step 1: Do Your Research

Internal Grants | External Grants
Other Grants | General Grant Questions

Internal Grants (Stanford Grants and Awards):


  • Must be a Stanford undergraduate in good standing (if you are a coterminal graduate student, you are considered an undergraduate as long as you have not yet received your bachelor's degree)
  • You may not receive more than $7,000 in a single academic year.
  • You may accept only one of the following in an academic year:
    • Major Grant
    • Chappell Lougee Scholarship
    • Haas Summer Fellowship
    • Departmental summer assistantship
    • Other summer internship
  • All grants must be pursued with the support of a mentor knowledgeable about your subject area.

Prizes Offered by Stanford Creative Writing Department —
The Creative Writing Department offers three annual competitions. DEADLINE: APRIL OR MAY; CONTACT CHRISTINA ABLAZA (CABLAZA@STANFORD.EDU OR 723-0011)

ASSU Arts Grants —
Provides monetary support to artists to enable them to create diverse art in order to benefit the Stanford community. Projects must be sponsored by a registered student organization or a department faculty member. Projects must result in a finished product that can be showcased. Contact ASSU Arts Grant Program. DEADLINE: APPLICATIONS DUE EARLY NOVEMBER FOR WINTER GRANTS AND EARLY MAY FOR SUMMER GRANTS; GRANTS RANGE FROM $300 TO $1500

Available through Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR)

  • Quarterly Grants — Funds small independent student projects, as well as follow-up expenses associated with larger projects. DEADLINE: APPLICATIONS DUE AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH QUARTER; $1,500 BUDGET LIMIT
  • Major Grants — Support substantial, in-depth projects that normally span several quarters. Priority is given to projects that culminate in an honors thesis or some other capstone product. It is exceptionally rare for sophomores to receive major grants. DEADLINE: EARLY MARCH; $5,200 BUDGET LIMIT
  • Chappell Lougee Scholarships — For sophomores undertaking substantial projects in the arts. Recipients become members of an interdisciplinary scholarly mentoring community that includes special events, preparation for a capstone project or honors, and fellowships and graduate school advising. DEADLINE: EARLY DECEMBER; $5,200 BUDGET LIMIT
  • Angel Grants — Assists students in producing a finished public creative work such as a visual exhibit, film, stage production or concert. DEADLINE: APPLICATIONS DUE AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH QUARTER; $3,000 BUDGET LIMIT
  • Conference Grants — Supports students who have been invited to lead the presentation of their independent work at a scholarly or professional conference. Travel to student-run conferences or conferences primarily for students is not funded. DEADLINE: APPLICATIONS DUE AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH QUARTER; $1,500 BUDGET LIMIT

External Grants (Outside of Stanford):


  • For students in their Senior Year

Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program funds study at the masters and doctoral level. Also includes study for an MFA degree; financial need is taken into consideration. DEADLINE: MID OCTOBER. CONTACT UAR TO APPLY.

The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans funds graduate studies for New Americans. A New American is defined as (1) a resident alien; (i.e. holds a green card) or, (2) a naturalized US citizen, or (3) the child of two parents who are both naturalized citizens. Graduate study can include MFA programs. The student must have a bachelor’s degree or be in the final year of undergraduate studies to be eligible. DEADLINE: EARLY NOVEMBER. CONTACT UAR TO APPLY.

The Fulbright Program offers grants to students for creative projects that involve research and study overseas. DEADLINE: LATE SEPTEMBER. CONTACT OVERSEAS RESOURCE CENTER TO APPLY.

Other Places to Find Grants and Awards:

The PEN American Center has compiled an online database of over 1000 grants, awards, fellowships and residencies available to American writers. The database is searchable by deadline, genre, keyword and sponsoring organization, and includes both domestic and international listings. Annual subscriptions are available for $12, with discounts for PEN members.

Poets and Writers Magazine lists upcoming deadlines for grants and contests every two months, both in the magazine and free on the website . They typically list awards of at least $1000 or those that they feel are in some way professionally distinguished.

Many national magazines sponsor contests for teens and students. Seventeen Magazine features fiction contests for teens. The Atlantic Monthly and Playboy both hold annual fiction contests for college and graduate students.

Some literary journals like Crab Orchard Review and Collision also have undergraduate contests for poetry, fiction and nonfiction. For a comprehensive catalog of literary journals, a good resource is the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses’ (CLMP) Literary Press and Magazine Directory, which is updated annually. Entries include web and mailing addresses, current editors, submissions policies and contest information.

For writers interested in speculative fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, and horror), there is a website, compiled by sci-fi writer David Barr Kirtley, that lists contests in those genres, some of them geared specifically toward undergraduates.

General Grant Questions

Have general questions about Creative Writing Grants? You’ve come to the right place.

Step 2: Find A Mentor Step 2: Find A Mentor

All grants must be pursued with the support of a mentor knowledgeable about your area of interest. If you have a Creative Writing project, please e-mail Christina Ablaza [] to set up an appointment to discuss your proposal.

A contact list of available faculty members will be added shortly.

Step 3: Write the Grant Step 3: Write the Grant

Tips for Grant Writing | Example Student Grants

Tips for Writing Effective Creative Writing Grant Proposals

Don’t wait until the last minute. Leave yourself enough time to write several drafts of your proposal. Your mentor should have at least one month to review your proposal.

Be specific about your project. A proposal that says only “I’ve always wanted to write a novel” will be less appealing than a project that has a specific focus. It is also helpful if you can discuss your proposed work in a critical or creative context. What other work is similar to it? What work and writers have influenced your project? What writing have you done to prepare you for this project? How does this project fit within the context of your own work? How will you grow as a writer by completing this project? What is your ultimate goal for this piece of writing? What research do you plan to do? If you’ve already begun work on the project, mention this.

Answer all questions presented in the grant guidelines and answer them in the order that they are asked so that readers do not have to hunt for information. Read and follow directions carefully.

Ask for help and advice. Another pair of eyes can make all the difference. Don’t be shy about contacting the grant program coordinator if you have questions about eligibility or the application process. Ask for help from your creative writing instructors and mentors. Discuss your project with them and ask them to help you refine your project proposal. Show them drafts of your application.

Don’t assume that the proposal budget has to include big ticket items like travel abroad or expensive materials. Some successful grant proposals ask for a room and board stipend and other minor supporting materials. Visit the UAR website for a list of potential budget items. [link here]

Make sure the project is something that can reasonably be completed within the timeframe of the grant. Set challenging but reasonable goals for yourself.

Make it easy for readers who aren’t experts in your field to understand what you’re saying. Avoid obscure jargon. Clarity and simplicity are key. A good grant proposal provides a clear academic analysis of the project plan, and avoids merely emotional appeals.

The UAR website provides specific information about writing a successful grant.

Curious about what makes a Successful Proposal?

Tips and examples to be added shortly.

 Step 4: Send It In Step 4: Send It In

Deadlines | Contact Info


Note: The list below is as current as we can make it, but it should not be taken as a replacement for verifying the due dates of grant applications on your own.

Fulbright Fellowship / Fulbright, Stanford Overseas Resource Center
Quarterly Grant (Fall) / Stanford UAR
Angel Grants (Fall) / Stanford UAR
Conference Grants / Stanford UAR
Jacob Javits Fellowship / Javits Foundation (contact Stanford UAR)
Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans / Paul & Daisy Soros Foundation (contact Stanford UAR)
ASSU Arts Grant (Winter) / Stanford ASSU
Chappell Lougee Scholarships / Stanford UAR
Quarterly Grant (Winter) / Stanford UAR
Angel Grants (Winter) / Stanford UAR
Conference Grants (Winter) / Stanford UAR
Major Grants / Stanford UAR
Quarterly Grant (Spring) / Stanford UAR
Angel Grants (Spring) / Stanford UAR
Conference Grants (Spring) / Stanford UAR
Bocock/Guerard Fiction Prize / Creative Writing Department
Urmy/Hardy Poetry Prize / Creative Writing Department
Mary Steinbeck Dekker Award in Fiction / Creative Writing Department
ASSU Arts Grants (Summer) / Stanford ASSU

Contact Info

Stanford Creative Writing Department
Contact Tom Kealey []
Ryan Jacobs []

Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR)

ASSU Arts Grant Program