Scholarship Guidelines

Before you can complete the online application, you will need to prepare the documents and information listed here. You will upload these when you complete the online application. All documents should be in .doc or .pdf format (no .docx, please). File names should adhere to the following model: “Lastname_Firstname_cover.doc.” or “Lastname_Firstname_submission.doc.”

I: Emerging Writer Awards

A.) Cover letter:
In approximately 500 words, tell us about yourself, your interests, your educational background, and your writing. Tell us why you want to attend the seminar and/or workshop program and what you hope to gain from the experience. Tell us how you heard about KWLS.

B.) References:
Please provide names and email addresses of two or three references. These people should be familiar with your writing and willing to speak about you and your work. If possible, at least one of these should be a teacher. (Please tell these people we may be contacting them.)

C.) Writing sample:
Please include a sample of your writing, no more than 15 pages (double-spaced) or 5 poems (not more than 15 pages). Submitted work must be unpublished at the time of submission, and your name may not appear on the manuscript.
Note that the Johnson Award is for fiction only. The Russo and Merrill Awards may go to writing of any genre.

D.) Deadline:
All application materials must be received by September 15. We will announce the winners no later than November 15. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Note:
We deliberately do not have an ironclad definition of “emerging writer” and have no age requirement. In general, our thinking is as follows: if you have published a book with a major publisher, you are definitely not still “emerging.” If you have published a book with a small press, with a press run of 500 copies or so, you are probably still “emerging.” If you have published multiple books with a small press, we’ll have to look a little more closely. Any number of magazine, anthology, or online publications is generally fine. We reserve the right to make final decisions regarding eligibility.

Click here for the application.

II: Financial Assistance for Teachers, Librarians, Students, and Writers

A.) Cover letter:
In approximately 500 words, tell us about yourself, your interests, and your educational background. Tell us about your professional role(s) and responsibilities; why you want to attend the seminar; what you hope to get out of the experience; and how it will help in your professional or academic life. Please also tell us a little something about your financial need, whether or not you would be able to attend KWLS without our support, and how much you are able to pay on your own—for fees and for housing. We don’t ask for supporting documentation, but your candor and honesty is greatly appreciated.

B.) References:
i) A brief letter of support is required. If you are in a school system, this should be from your principal or department head.
ii) Please provide the name and email address of two additional persons who are familiar with you and your work. (Please let them know that we might be in touch.)

C.) Writing sample:
i) If you are applying as a teacher or librarian for the seminar only, a writing sample is not required.
i) If you are applying as a student or writer for the seminar only, please include a writing sample of no more than 5 pages.
iii) If you are applying for the writers’ workshop program, the submission required by your workshop of choice will suffice. However, if your workshop does not require a submission, please include a writing sample of no more than 5 pages.

D.) Deadline:
Priority Deadline is June 30. All applications received prior to this date will receive equal consideration. After June 30, applications will be considered on a rolling basis until funds/space are depleted.
Click here for the application.

III: Liz Lear Scholarship

A.) Requirements: This scholarship will be awarded to one emerging writer or passionate reader each year. It is limited to an individual living in the Florida Keys within easy commuting distance of Key West. For a writer, it is primarily merit-based, with some consideration of need.  Applicants will submit a one-page statement of interest and financial need, if any, and a four-page writing sample. For readers, considerations of need and passion are primary.  Applicants should submit a one-page statement of interest and need and a four-page book report or thought-piece which demonstrates their interest in literature and the topic of this year’s Seminar.

B.) Deadline:
Submissions must be received by September 15.  Decisions will be made by November 15.
Click here for the application.

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