Writer’s Craft: Writing Workshops with Merit and Need-Based Scholarships

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If I could take the amount of writing classes I wanted, I would need a lot more time and a lot more money. Thankfully there are writing centers with plenty of classes that can help with at least one of those things. (Did you guess what I meant? It’s money.)

Classes from nonprofit organizations, individual writing professionals, and many more are included on the list along with information on how to apply for merit and need-based scholarships.

This list is updated as of October of 2021. Bookmark this page to keep tabs on updates.

Hugo House

Based in Seattle, Hugo House hosts both in-person, asynchronous, and Zoom courses. They offer scholarships to anyone in need, so long as you fill out the application. It will ask what you’d like to learn from the course, if you’ve ever participated in their writing programs or a similar program, and any factors limiting your ability to pay for the course. They grant up to two scholarships (two classes) per year per person.

Early bird rates are also available if you sign up for a course in advance. Discounts range from $10 to $30 off.

Occasionally, they will offer free courses. They are marked with FREE and the title of the course.

The Writer’s Center

Based out of Washington DC, The Writer’s Center offers both in-person and online courses.

They offer the Ann McLaughlin Scholarship Fund to help writers with financial need enroll in one of their eight-week classes. All you need to do to apply is to fill out the application and send a 500 word written statement about how the scholarship would positively impact you as well as any relevant circumstances.

Want to take it up a notch? Their Compass Fellowship offers $1,000 worth of credit towards their classes within a two-year period and a cash stipend of $300. The trick is that you need to be from either Washington DC, Maryland, or Virginia and be able to travel to Bethesda as needed. You will also be expected to write two pieces for The Writer’s Center Magazine among other duties.

Grub Street

Remote and in-person classes are available from the Massachusetts-based writing center. Divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses, you can take Grub Street courses on prose and poetry. Scholarships for teens and adults, some reserved specifically for genderqueer, transgender, and nonbinary writers.

Life in 10 Minutes and Richmond Young Writers

If you are local to Richmond, Virginia or are able to take Zoom courses, both Life in 10 Minutes and Richmond Young Writers offer partial or full scholarships to cover classes for adults, teens, and children. Should be based on need. More details can be found here.

Classes That Offer Discounts

Many writing centers and other places that offer writing workshops with discounts. Some require memberships and others may offer early bird discounts.

Creative Nonfiction

With early bird discounts, you can enroll in an online course through Creative Nonfiction for $50 less than list price. They also have the Refer-A-Friend discount where if you and a friend enroll in a course for the same term, you’ll both get $25 off of your classes.

If their instructor-guided classes are still out of price range, their self-guided courses are very affordable at just $29.99.

I’ve personally taken both kinds of courses through Creative Nonfiction and greatly benefitted from both. The instructor-led courses are often asynchronous, meaning that you can join in at anytime and not have any scheduled meetings. Some classes have optional meetings for those who wish to interact in real time. The instructors are knowledgeable and have real-life experience publishing their work in their niche. My favorite course so far has been the Spirituality Writing class!

Their self-guided courses have correlated readings, prompts, and discussion boards to complete. However, instead of instructor feedback, you just get feedback from your classmates. Thankfully, many of the participants have a background in writing or are enthusiastic about the course, giving you plenty of valuable information for the money.

Gotham Writers

If you enroll in one course through Gotham Writers, you are eligible for a $30 Returning Student discount on future 10-week classes. In person and Zoom courses available. If you’re based in NYC, Monday Matinee classes are offered at a reduced rate.

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