Poetry Scholarships

10 Poetry Scholarships for Creative Students

Are you drawn to the dark images Edgar Alan Poe evokes through his poetry? Does Maya Angelou’s strong feminist prose speak to you? Maybe you prefer to sit quietly and read the many well-known pieces written by Robert Frost, E.E. Cummings, or Emily Dickinson? No matter who inspires you, if you have a love of poetry and a talent for writing it, you could turn that passion into cash for college. April in National Poetry Month, so now is the perfect time to put pen to paper, and try your luck at some of these poetry scholarships and contests that are currently accepting applications.

1. What Would You Change Scholarship Slam

If you could change one thing about yourself, community, or even the world, what would it be? Simply write a poem (any form or style) to convey your answer and you Power Poetrycould win $1,000 for your college education. Any student between the ages of 13 and 25, who is attending a U.S. school, may enter. Deadline: April 11.

2. Power Poetry Scholarship Slam

For this $1,000 award, you’ll need to create an original poem describing your dream job and how it could change your life. Students between the ages of 13 and 25, who are enrolled at U.S. schools or colleges, may enter. Deadline: April 30.

3. Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships

Five students between the ages of 21 and 31 (as of April 30, 2014) will each win a $28,500 fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. To enter, you must submit 10 pages of poetry and a one-page introduction (approximately 250 words) to your work. Deadline: April 30.

4. Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry

The University of Tulsa (UT) sponsors this poetry contest, which includes a $2,000 prize for first place and a $1,000 prize for second place. High school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students are eligible to apply. You are not required to attend UT in order to win the prize. Deadline: April 30.

5. Colorism Poetry Contest

Do you know what colorism means? It’s a prejudice against people based on the lightness or darkness of their skin, texture of their hair, or other features in comparison to others of the same race. This contest seeks to help those who have been hurt by colorism and raise awareness about this form of discrimination. Three prizes ranging in value from $100 to $250 are available. Any U.S. student, 10 years or older, may apply. Deadline: April 30.

6. Norman Mailer College Poetry Award

If you are a full-time student at a community college, four-year college, or technical school, you could win $2,500 and a trip to New York City through this contest. A maximum of 10 pages of poetry may be submitted for consideration. Deadline: April 30.

7. Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Contest

The Institute for Contemplative Practice provides four awards annually through this poetry contest. Prizes are valued between $100 and $500 each. Entries must have a religious, prophetic, or contemplative tone. Students of any age may enter. Deadline: May 1.

Poetry Contest8. The Unicorn Press First Book Contest

Book-length poetry manuscripts that have not been previously published may be submitted for consideration. The winner will receive a $250 cash prize and have his/her book published by Unicorn Press. This contest is open to students of any age. Deadline: May 31.

9. Poetry Card Contest

Blue Mountain Arts sponsors this poetry contest for students of all ages. Three prizes ($50, $150 and $300) are available. Poems will be judged on the basis of originality and uniqueness, and you can enter multiple poems for consideration. Deadline: June 30.

10. Save the Frogs! Poetry Contest

Does Kermit hold a special place in your heart? If so, this may be the perfect poetry contest for you. Simply write an original poem mentioning one of the following: frogs, salamanders, newts, toads, caecilians, or amphibians. Students of any age may enter up to two poems for a chance to win $100. Deadline: October 17.

If you are looking for additional opportunities, be sure to check out HubPages, Brian Scott (creativegenius) has a blog post that lists several free-to-enter poetry and writing contests for middle school, high school, and college students. Many annual programs open later this winter and early in 2015, so you’ll have plenty of time to create some new poems that may help you pay for college. Good luck!

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Tamara is the Social Media Coordinator and a regular writer for ScholarshipExperts.com, eStudentLoan.com and CampusDiscovery.com. She enjoys helping students prepare for college. As a mother of four, Tamara has first-hand experience with many areas of education, including special needs (autism), the International Baccalaureate program and post-secondary education. She enjoys speaking at schools and mentoring others online. In her free time, Tamara enjoys volunteering and supporting her favorite football team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
5 Responses to “10 Poetry Scholarships for Creative Students”
  1. Carina Ramos says:

    When will the next scholarship deadline be? In between these months ?
    Please let me know, writing is my passion.
    I may not be as good as other people, but writing is the only thing I feel confident in. This will be a great opportunity for me to win something I am proud. Thank you for your time please let me know.

  2. David W. B. says:

    This is awesome! Thanks so much. i made over thousands of songs and poems over the years! I may look into this! Yay!

  3. Gabrielle Moore says:

    Hi Ms. Krause,

    I just wanted to let you know that there is a typo under one of the scholarships–the first one actually. I had added the “What Would You Change Scholarship Poetry Slam” scholarship to my wish list of scholarships, and when I saw that it was eligible to only those aged 13 to 15, that concerned me because I thought that it would be available to 17-year-old seniors, like me, as well. So I clicked on the title linked to the website from which it resides, and within the FAQs, the age requirement is, in fact, 13 to 25 years old. Someone else has probably found it odd and checked as well, but I thought you should know and change out that 1 for a 2 in the 10’s place so others won’t be crushed like I was when they can’t apply for that scholarship. :)

    Here are two links within the site PowerPoetry.org to show you:



    I do appreciate you making this list of poetry scholarships. It really helps eliminate the stress in the search for scholarships that we want to apply.

    • Tamara Krause says:

      Thanks for catching that Gabrielle. Unfortunately, that scholarship is no longer available (it’s from an older 2014 post).

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