Our Scholarship Program aims to nourish a vibrant literary culture by providing support to a diverse group of teachers, librarians, readers, and writers while promoting the work of new voices in American literature. Applications for all programs are now open. There are three main funding opportunities:

Emerging Writer Awards

We offer three Emerging Writer Awards each year. These awards recognize and support writers who possess exceptional talent and demonstrate potential for lasting literary careers. Winners of the the Cecelia Joyce Johnson Award, Scotti Merrill Award, and Marianne Russo Award receive full tuition to our January seminar and workshop program, round-trip airfare, full lodging support, a $500 honorarium, and the opportunity to appear on stage during the Seminar.

Poets and writers who have not yet published a book with a major publisher are eligible. Applications open spring 2023.


 Scholarships for
Teachers & Librarians

We offer up to twenty full scholarships for national teachers and librarians who wish to attend our annual Seminar. We seek a diverse group of individuals who are making positive impacts upon readers in their communities; and we hope that participation in our literary community will inspire fresh engagement with literature in schools and libraries around the country. Financial assistance for lodging is also available.

We also provide scholarships to teachers, librarians, and students in our community through arrangements with Key West High School, the Key West Public Library, and Florida Keys Community College. Applications open spring 2023.


 Workshop Fellowship Awards

Financial assistance is available to writers who wish to participate in our Writers’ Workshop Program. We seek to support the development of diverse new voices in American literature and provide opportunities to those who may not otherwise be able to afford the cost of attendance.

Fellows receive assistance chiefly in the form of fee waivers/reductions, and the amount awarded is determined in part by financial need. Assistance toward lodging is also available. Fellows are responsible for travel costs and most meals.

Applications open spring 2023. The priority deadline for Workshop Fellowship Awards will be July 2023. After that date, we accept applications on a rolling basis and continue to offer aid as long as funding remains available. Applying by the priority deadline significantly increases your chance of receiving aid.


Who makes this possible

Since 2008, we have provided more than 570 individuals with nearly $580,000 in fee waivers and lodging and travel assistance. Our ability to do so is made possible by hundreds of individual members of the Seminar community, and by a handful of remarkably generous donors.

We are grateful to audience members who support our operations by paying full fees to attend the Seminar and Workshop Program. We are also indebted to the writers who appear on our stage, often at a fraction of their usual fee. Teacher and librarian scholarships are made possible by generous support from Judy Blume’s Kids Fund. The Merrill Award is fully funded by an endowment established by Holly Merrill and the Dogwood Foundation. The Johnson and Russo awards are supported by gifts from Cecelia Joyce & Seward Johnson, and Peyton Evans. General Financial Assistance scholarships such as the Workshop Fellowship Awards are funded by the many generous members of our Patrons Circle.