PEN North American Centers Scholarships Now Open for Creative Writers

Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship, Creative Writers recipient Steven Dunn

Goddard College is pleased to announce that applications are open for a $10,000 scholarship that will provide creative writers from anywhere in North America a pathway to earning a master’s degree in creative writing.

The Goddard/PEN North American Scholarship, now in its third year, is the result of a partnership between Goddard’s low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program and PEN America, PEN Canada, and PEN Mexico, which together comprise the North American branches of PEN International, the world’s preeminent literary organization.

PEN members, who range from prominent published authors to student members, share the same commitment to literary activism and excellence that defines the Goddard MFA in Creative Writing Program. Members of any of these PEN Centers are eligible for Goddard’s new scholarship.

Applicants for the Goddard MFA in Creative Writing entering in either the spring or the fall semester in 2019 are eligible to apply for this scholarship. The application deadlines for the spring semester are Dec. 1 (VT residencies) and Jan. 14 (WA residencies). The application deadline for the fall semester for 2019 scholarship candidates in either program location is April 1, 2019.

Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship for Creative Writers

“We selected PEN’s North American Centers as our partners for this scholarship because PEN’s mission of championing free speech and the rights of writers is profoundly aligned with Goddard College’s progressive educational mission,” said Elena Georgiou, director of the Goddard MFA in Creative Writing Program. “At Goddard we highly value the work of socially engaged writers, and therefore, offering the opportunity to any PEN member is thrilling to us.”

PEN North American Scholarship candidates who are admitted to the MFA in Creative Writing Program, but who do not receive the Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship, will receive a one-time $2,000 scholarship award. PEN North American Scholarship candidates who have not yet obtained a bachelor’s degree who become accepted to the BFA in Creative Writing Program could be eligible to receive a one-time $1,000 scholarship.

Rob Spillman, PEN America Membership Committee Chair, said, “PEN America is proud to be a partner on this scholarship. It’s a wonderful opportunity for our members to pursue their creative goals and hone their craft in an environment that recognizes the importance of standing in solidarity with threatened writers around the world and the need to advocate for the liberties that make free expression and great literature possible.”

Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship, Creative Writers recipient Nicole Emma Meistrich

Faculty and friends of Goddard College make this award possible. “Several Goddard faculty members are PEN members,” Georgiou said, “and have been active in PEN’s campaigns to defend free expression and to promote emerging literary talent from diverse and underserved communities. We conceived the Goddard/PEN North America Scholarship to recognize the values that Goddard and PEN share and to reduce the financial barrier that too often prevents even the most committed writers from continuing their education.”

The recipient of the 2018 Goddard/PEN North American Scholarship was Steven Dunn, author of the novels Potted Meat (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2016) and water & power (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2018) and a Professional Member of PEN America, now in his second year of Goddard’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. Previous Goddard/PEN Center USA Scholars include Nicole Emma Meistrich (2017) and Erik Rodgers (2016).


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