Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship

The Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship is the result of a partnership between Goddard College’s low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program and the literary organizations PEN Center USA, PEN America, PEN Canada, and PEN Mexico.

Each summer, the College awards one $10,000 Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship to an MFA applicant in Creative Writing who is a member of any of the North American Centers of PEN International.

North American PEN members who are admitted to Goddard’s low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program but who do not receive the Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship will receive a one-time $2,000 MFA Goddard Engaged Artist Award.

Additionally, any North American PEN members who are admitted to Goddard’s BFA in Creative Writing Program will receive a one-time $1,000 BFA Goddard Engaged Artist Award.

Scholarship candidates may apply either to Goddard’s MFA in Creative Writing Program based in Port Townsend, Washington, or to the MFA in Creative Writing Program based in Plainfield, Vermont.

This scholarship, which began in 2017, is made possible by generous gifts from faculty and friends of Goddard College.

General Terms

  1. Goddard will grant a single annual award of $10,000, dispersed in two payments over two consecutive terms of the recipients’ enrollment in pursuit of the MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College.
  2. Applicants for the Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship must be members in good standing of any North American PEN Center, at any level of membership.
  3. Candidates for the Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship must apply for admission and be admitted to the MFA in Creative Writing Program before being considered for the award. See application instructions below.  (If you have already applied for regular admission and been accepted, and you would like to apply for this scholarship, please notify Goddard’s Office of Admissions that you wish to be considered for the Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship. Include your PEN Center affiliation and membership level, and tell us how long you have been a PEN member.)
  4. Goddard College offers its MFA in Creative Writing Program on the East Coast and on the West Coast, with residencies either in Plainfield, Vermont, or in Port Townsend, Washington. Candidates for the Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship may apply to the program in either location.
  5. Candidates will be evaluated by an Awards Committee, to include the Director of the Goddard College MFA in Creative Writing Program and Creative Writing faculty.
  6. All PEN members 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 Goddard Engaged Artist Award to be distributed in equal installments in their first two consecutive semesters of matriculation at Goddard College. These Engaged Artist Awards will only be granted to applicants who are PEN members in good standing when they apply to Goddard College.
  7. Applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s degree and who otherwise do not meet the criteria for admission to the MFA in Creative Writing will be considered for admission into the BFA in Creative Writing Program at Goddard College.
  8. All PEN members who are admitted to the BFA in Creative Writing Program will receive a one-time $1,000 Goddard Engaged Artist Award to be distributed in equal installments in their first two consecutive semesters of matriculation at Goddard College. These Engaged Artist Awards will only be granted to applicants who are PEN members in good standing when they apply to Goddard College.

Application Instructions

Online Application for Admission: 2018 Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship candidates must submit their applications by April 1, 2018.

Application fee:  Application fee waived for members in good standing of PEN America, PEN Canada, PEN Mexico, or PEN Center USA.

Application Components:

Official transcripts: Transcripts and other official records must be submitted by the credit-awarded institution directly to Goddard College, Office of Admissions, 123 Pitkin Road, Plainfield, VT 05667. Applicants to the MFA must submit proof of completion of a bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. In rare instances, documentation of an extensive record of professional-level accomplishment (such as publishing, performance/exhibition record, teaching, or editing experience) may be provided in lieu of a bachelor’s degree.

Letters of recommendation: Three (3) letters of recommendation must be submitted in support of your application. At least one letter should address your ability to do graduate-level work. Letters can be from an academic or professional setting; or be from colleagues, advisors or mentors. Individuals writing letters on your behalf should send letters of support directly to the Office of Admissions. Email admissions@goddard.edu or mail to the Admissions Office, Goddard College, 123 Pitkin Road, Plainfield, VT 05667.

Application Essay: State that you are applying for the Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship. Include your PEN Center affiliation and membership level, and tell us how long you have been a PEN member.

Submit no more than 1,000 words addressing the following:

If you intend to petition for transfer of graduate credits (12 credits maximum), list the courses and how they will inform your future study at Goddard College.

Creative Submission: Your creative submission should include no more than 20 double-spaced pages of your writing. If you are planning to write in more than one genre, please include samples from each. Poetry may be single-spaced.

Click here to begin your application.

Timeline for 2018 Scholarship Candidates

April 1, 2018 –

Application deadline for 2018 Scholarship candidates.

Applications will be reviewed by Goddard Admissions and the Awards Committee on a rolling basis as they are received. Applicants also will be notified of acceptance into Goddard College on a rolling basis.

The recipient of the 2018 Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship will be selected only from accepted MFAW applicants.

Mid-April, 2018 –

Announcement of the recipient of the 2018 Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship.

June/July, 2018 –

The Scholarship awardee begins the MFA program with a Goddard College residency, either in Plainfield, Vermont, or in Port Townsend, Washington.