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 America, PEN Canada, and PEN Mexico.

Each summer, the College awards one $10,000 Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship to an MFA in Creative Writing applicant who is a member of any of the North American Centers of PEN International. Past recipients include Erik Rodgers, Nicole Emma Meistrich, and Steven Dunn.

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

This award, which began in 2016 as the Goddard/PEN Center USA Scholarship, is made possible by generous gifts from faculty and friends of Goddard College. Contributions may be made to sustain this award.

Application Instructions

Scholarship applicants should apply for admittance to the MFA in Creative Writing Program and clearly indicate, in the application essay, 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.

Regardless of the MFA in Creative Writing Program application deadlines, the deadline for Scholarship applicants is April 15.

The Admissions application fee, normally $65, is waived for members in good standing of PEN America, PEN Canada, or PEN Mexico.

Learn more about the MFA in Creative Writing Program. Or begin your application here.

Timeline for Scholarship Candidates

April 15 – Application deadline

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until April 15. The recipient of the Goddard/PEN North American Centers Scholarship will be selected only from accepted MFA in Creative Writing applicants.

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

June/July – The Scholarship awardee begins the MFA in Creative Writing Program with a residency week, either in Plainfield, Vermont, or Port Townsend, Washington.

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 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.