Scholarships

The TC National Writers Series awards multiple scholarships each year to high school students in the Grand Traverse region in partnership with the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation.

Awards

It is the goal of the National Writers Series with the support of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, to annually award $4,000 in scholarships in the categories of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and journalism ($1,000 each).  In addition, winners will have their work published in the NWS Literary Journal. All winners will be contacted by the Community Foundation and the National Writers Series scholarship committee and be recognized at an NWS author event.

Eligibility

Eligible writers must be an 11th or 12th grader with permanent residential addresses in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, or Leelanau County; and attend public, parochial, private or home school.

Submission Guidelines

Students may submit in only one category.  All prose must be double-spaced in 12 pt. New Times Roman font, within standard Word document margins.  The maximum word count for fiction and nonfiction submissions is 2,000 words.  Poetry submissions must not exceed 32 text lines per page and may not include more than one poem per page.  Each poem must begin on a new page, with a maximum of three pages.

Every page, prose or poetry, must contain a footer with the page number on the right  and the title of the work at the left margin.  No other identifying information should be in the body of the work.  Include a title page containing only the title of the poetry collection or prose piece, also indicating whether the prose is non-fiction or fiction.

Each submission requires a student headshot.

For full details, go here.  Entries will be accepted beginning January 15, 2021. Deadline is midnight March 1, 2021.

Judging

Manuscripts will be read in March by the National Writers Series scholarship committee, comprised of specialists in genres they are judging.  All Front Street Writer applicants and winners agree to publication in the NWS Literary Journal and/or on the NWS or Front Street Writers websites. Students retain full copyright to their materials.

Past Winners | 2020 Scholarship Winners

Each of the 2020 winners was awarded $1,000.

  • Poetry: Athena Gillespie, Traverse City St. Francis
  • Fiction: McKenna Landrum, Starlight Grand Traverse Academy
  • Nonfiction: Erin Evans, Bellaire High School
  • Creative Writing: Olivia Johnson, Interlochen Center for the Arts

Past Winners | 2019 Scholarship Winners

Each of the 2019 winners was awarded $1,000. The winners’ pieces were reprinted and published in the NWS Literary Journal.

  • Poetry:  Molly Stadler,  Grand Traverse Academy
  • Fiction:  Abby Riffel,  Elk Rapids High School
  • Nonfiction: Seth Kirby, Interlochen Arts Academy

Past Winners | 2018 Scholarship Winners

The 2018 Scholarship Awards were presented on April 25 by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Eileen McNamara.   Each of the winners was awarded $1,000. The winners’ pieces were reprinted and published for the audience.

  • Poetry:  Hannah Riffell, Elk Rapids High School, a Front Street Writers student
  • Fiction:  Cole Simon,  Traverse City West High School
  • Nonfiction: Madelynne Gregory, St. Mary’s Lake Leelanau, a Front Street Writers student

Past Winners | 2017 Scholarship Winners
The 2017 Scholarship Awards were presented on May 5 by Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Elizabeth Strout..  Each of the winners was awarded $1,000.  Amanda Dow gave a reading from her winning fiction entry.

  • Poetry:  Hope Rahn, Glen Lake High School, a Front Street Writers student
  • Fiction:  Amanda Dow, St. Francis High School, a Front Street Writers student
  • Nonfiction: Makala O’Donnell, Traverse City Central High School, a Front Street Writers student

Past Winners | 2016 Scholarship Winners
The 2016 Scholarship Awards were presented on April 6 by New York Times bestselling mystery author Laurie King and Doug Stanton.  Each of the winners was awarded $1,000. Abigail Crick gave a reading from her winning nonfiction entry.

  • Poetry:  Anais Mohr, Traverse City Central High School, a Front Street Writers student
  • Fiction:  Emily Ross, Traverse City Central High School, a Front Street Writers student
  • Nonfiction: Abigail Crick, Traverse City Central High School, a Front Street Writers student

Past Winners | 2015 Scholarship Winners
The 2015 Scholarship Awards were presented on June 2, 2015 by Doug Stanton Jeff Shaara, author of several Civil War books, including his newest, The Fateful Lightning.  Each of the winners was awarded $1,000. Sebastian Wentworth gave a reading from his winning poetry entry.

  • Poetry:  Sebastian Wentworth, Traverse City West, a Front Street Writers student
  • Fiction:  Allison Shumate, Traverse City Central High School, a Front Street Writers student
  • Nonfiction: Anais Mohr, Traverse City Central High School, a Front Street Writers student

Past Winners | 2014 Scholarship Winners
The 2014 Scholarship Awards were presented on April 8, 2014, by Doug Stanton, Steve Luxenberg (author the 2013/14 Great Michigan Read book Annie’s Ghosts) and Mardi Link (author of BootstrapperWhen Evil Came to Good Hart, and Isadore’s Secret) at the City Opera House.

  • Poetry: Plain Jane Glory by Paige Emerson, Glen Lake High School
  • Fiction: Unpopular Colors by Clara Trippe, Traverse City Central High School, a Front Street Writers student
  • Nonfiction: Shattered by London Rauch, Traverse City Central High School

Past Winners | 2013 Scholarship Winners
The 2013 Scholarship Awards were presented on May 22, 2013 during “An Evening in Conversation with Jason Matthews” at the City Opera House.  Each of the winners were congratulated on stage by Jason Matthews and Doug Stanton (NWS co-founder and New York Times bestselling author). In addition, the students each gave a reading from their their winning submissions.

Poetry: The Door by Adelaide Dolan, Traverse City West High School
Fiction: Looking Toward the Sun by Quiana Pershinske, Traverse City West High School
Nonfiction: Trinity by Callie Chappell, Traverse City Central High School

Past Winners | 2012 Scholarship Winners
The 2012 Scholarship Awards were presented on May 14, 2012 during ‘An Evening in Conversation with Anna Quindlen’ at the City Opera House.  Each of the winners were congratulated on stage by Anna Quindlen, Susan Casey (event guest host and then editor-in-chief for O, The Oprah Magazine), and Doug Stanton (NWS co-founder and New York Times bestselling author).

Poetry: A Calendar of Leaving by Emily Hittner-Cunningham, Interlochen Arts Academy
Fiction: The Intimacy of an Unmade Bed by Kelly Clare, Interlochen Arts Academy
Nonfiction: A Terrible Beauty by Whitney Hubbell, Elk Rapids High School

Past Winners | 2011 Scholarship Winners
The 2011 Scholarship Awards were presented by Doug Stanton and Michael Delp on April 28, 2011 during ‘An Evening with Made in Michigan’ at the City Opera House.

Poetry: Treespeak by Kelly Clare, Interlochen Arts Academy, senior, 2010-2011 school year
Fiction: Angle of Entry by Abigail Woughter, TC Central High School graduate, 2011. Woughter will attending Cornell University in fall 2011.
Nonfiction: Trailers and Tadpoles by Leah Jodoin, TC Central High School graduate, 2011. Jodoin will be attending Western Michigan University in fall 2011.

2010 Scholarship Winners
The Inaugural Scholarship Awards were presented by NWS guest and best-selling author, James Bradley, at the City Opera House in September 2010.

Poetry: We Wake Up by Emily Pittinos, Interlochen Arts Academy graduate, 2010. Pittinos currently attends University of Michigan.
FictionThe Werewolf’s Addiction by Michael Russell, TC Central High School graduate, 2010. Russell currently attends Northwestern Michigan College.
Nonfiction: Paper Dragons by Abigail Woughter, TC Central High School junior, entering her senior year in the fall of 2010.

Excerpts of the 2010 winning entries can be found in the current Dunes Review, published by Michigan Writers and available at local bookstores.

Scholarship Winners

The Snowglobe

The Snowglobe

Winter rolls around in fragments: a first bite of genuine cold, a wet, gray snowfall. Slush turning ice turning black ice. It’s November and everything is white. When this winter rolls around, Fernanda takes out her soccer cleats and crunches her way to class. Bundled in a red wool coat lined with faux fur and embroidery along the hem (very Nordic, almost comical), she toddles down frosted stairs, through halls with club posters plastered to their brick walls. When her ...

Olivia Johnson

Interlochen Arts Academy

Excerpt from Starlight

Excerpt from Starlight

Mayala had never seen anything like this in her entire life. All of her life, the Drenth had talked about the surface like it was the Realms of Fire and Shadows itself. A dead wasteland with a ball of fire in the sky that burned the victims below into ash. Even when it became dark, there was a ball of silver fire with thousands of tiny flecks of cold flame. No one could escape the bitter, burning light. The surface was a place that could fit in the Inferno ...

McKenna Landrum

Grand Traverse Academy

The Love Came from the Mess

The Love Came from the Mess

The digital clock on the oven reads 1 a.m. It’s Valentine’s Day, technically. In the kitchen, small rivers of melted chocolate cover plates and flow onto the counter and floor. Every millimeter of the counter is glazed with at least $40 worth of powdered sugar, frosting, and crumbs which I lost all control over circa 11 p.m. Bowls, spoons, spatulas, measuring devices, and decorating bags drown in the mess, choked by various batters and waiting to be rescued. Pots with ...

Erin Evans

Bellaire High School

An Elegy to My Father’s Mother

An Elegy to My Father’s Mother

I never met my father’s mother, but I feel her everywhere. Wrapping myself up in the thick wool blanket she made, blue with little white sheep covering it. I sneak into my mother’s closet, standing on a wooden stool to reach the top shelf. A book of poetry on rough, thick paper, written by Faith Gillespie. I lie on my stomach on the matted carpet, leafing through page after page. “42 copies,” the first page reads. “Mother of none, in labour, rocking in labour, ...

Athena Gillespie

St. Francis High School