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National Writers Series Scholarship Application

The National Writers Series supports Grand Traverse area high school students pursuing writing careers with four $1,000 scholarships given out each year in categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Journalism, and Poetry. 


  • Eligible writers must be an 11th or 12th grader during the 2023/2024 school year with a permanent residential address in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, or Leelanau County; and attend public, parochial, private or home school.

Application Details

  • Applicants must complete an online application and submit a manuscript. All materials should be submitted via the online application. The deadline for applications in March 1, 2024, by 11:59pm. 
  • Manuscripts in the genres of Fiction, Nonfiction, Journalism and Poetry will be accepted; a student writer may submit in only one category.
  • Manuscripts do not need to be written solely for this application, but can be pieces used in classes or other writing ventures.
  • Nonfiction manuscripts: A nonfiction piece such as an essay, micro-memoir, historical piece, or documentary treatment of an issue.
  • Journalism manuscripts: An article about a contemporary issue that could be published in a print publication, including newspapers, magazines or online. The piece must include an interview with a source. This piece could have been written for a class or school paper.
  • Application information may be used in National Writers Series materials.
  • To begin your application, create a new account in our scholarship portal.

General Guidelines for Fiction, Nonfiction and Journalism Submissions

  • The title page must have the title of the work in the center. Under the title, indicate if the submission is fiction, nonfiction, or journalism. There should be no identifying information (e.g. your name, grade, or school) on the title page or anywhere in the submission. All written pieces are reviewed anonymously to ensure fair and equitable judging.
  • Double-space the text of your submission, and use Times New Roman font. The font size should be 12 pt.
  • Your first page (following the title page) should have the title of your work at the top.
  • Create a footer that includes your title and the page numbers. Do not include your name.
  • Maximum length: 2,000 words. If your work is longer, you may submit an excerpt.
  • Sample fiction manuscript (The Thrum by Sonja Daniels-Moehle)
  • Sample nonfiction manuscript (For the Love of All Things Good and Holy Girl, Don't Squash the Squash by Brooke Essenberg)
  • Sample journalism manuscript (America Divided by Deucalion Shetler) 

General Guidelines for Poetry Submissions

  • Only one poem per page. Start each new poem on a new page. Maximum three pages of poetry. For example if a poem is two pages long, you can add one more one-page poem. 
  • If a poem exceeds one page, continue on the second page. Make sure poem title and page numbers are in a footer. 
  • Use Times New Roman, 12 pt. font.
  • The title page must have the title of the work in the center. The word "Poetry" should be under the title. No other identifying information should appear on the title page or anywhere else in the manuscript.
  • Sample poetry manuscript (Atlas Revisited by Kallie Crouch)

Additional Scholarship Information

  • Manuscripts will be read in March by the National Writers Series Scholarship committee, comprised of Michigan writers who are specialists in the genres they are judging.
  • All applicants will be contacted by the Community Foundation and the National Writers Series scholarship committee by mid-April. Winners will be recognized at an NWS author event in 2024.
  • By accepting a scholarship, the winners agree to an editorial revision process with the National Writers Series for the National Writers Series Literary Journal

If you have questions regarding the online application process, please contact Gina Thornbury at the Community Foundation at gthornbury@gtrcf.org or 231-935-4066.