WC&C Scholarship Competition

AWP offers three annual scholarships of $500 each to emerging writers who wish to attend a writers’ conference, center, retreat, festival, or residency. The scholarships are applied to fees for winners who attend one of the member programs in AWP’s Directory of Conferences & Centers. Winners and six finalists also receive a one-year individual membership in AWP.

Submissions to the Writers' Conferences & Centers Scholarship Competition are welcome online via Submittable each year between December 1 and March 30. Download full guidelines at the right.

2015 Winners

Aurvi Sharma

Creative Nonfiction

"Apricots" by Aurvi Sharma

Aurvi Sharma is the winner of the 2014 Prairie Schooner Nonfiction Contest and the Wasafiri New Writing Prize. She was a finalist for the 2014 NYFA Fellowship in Nonfiction. Her writing has appeared in Fourth Genre, Remedy Quarterly, and Everyday Genius.

Of Aurvi Sharma’s submission, judge Xu Xi wrote:
[This was] beautifully written; hard-hitting and succeeds as the "personal is the political"; lyrical; a long, extended metaphor that works well; good research; a nice blend of history, language, and social/feminist issues.

Runners-Up in Creative Nonfiction
"Playa: Water & Salt" by Kaitlyn Stone
"Timepiece" by Megan Galbraith

Lesley Arimah


"Who Will Greet You at Home" by Lesley Arimah

Lesley Nneka Arimah lives in Minneapolis, MN, and her work has appeared in PANK, Granta, Mid-American Review, Per Contra, and other publications. When she’s not wasting time on Twitter, Lesley is at work on a novel and a collection of short stories.

Of Lesley Arimah’s submission, judge Matt Bell wrote:
This is a gorgeously written story, the rare fairy tale-like story that feels utterly new even as it draws on existing tradition. Ripe with invention, rich with emotion, and with a keen eye for the deep powers of hope and fear that can fuel expectant motherhood, this is a beautiful story by a writer whose work I hope to follow closely in the future.

Runners-Up in Fiction
"Excerpts from the Region of Perhaps" by Lindsey Drager
"Half-Lives for Sisters" by Erin Kate Ryan

Emily Yoon


"Comfort" and other poems by Emily Yoon

Emily Yoon’s poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Best of the Net 2014, Rattle, Prelude, Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & Culture, and elsewhere. She received her BA at the University of Pennsylvania and her MFA at New York University, where she served as an Award Editor for the Washington Square Review and as a Starworks Fellow. She is the Poetry Editor for The Margins, the literary magazine of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. In fall 2015, she will begin her PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.

Of Emily Yoon’s submission, judge Sandra Beasley wrote:
These poems, largely centered in the Korean cultural experience and the consequences of Japanese occupation, swivel between the elegant and the raw. By juxtaposing perspectives, the poet interrogates how one generation's testimony is absorbed into the next generation's heritage. The crisp, bright images, sure line breaks, and attention to word choice show an author in full control—but not at the expense of permeability or productive questioning. We hunger, as readers, for more voices like this.

Runners-Up in Poetry
"Introduction to Eros" and other poems by Jenneva Kayser
"I Forget the Name of the Dessert" and other poems by Sara Borjas

2015 Judges


Creative Nonfiction

XU XI 許素細 is the author of nine books of fiction and essays and editor of four anthologies of Hong Kong writing in English. Her most recent titles are the anthology The Queen of Statue Square: New Short Fiction from Hong Kong, Access Thirteen Tales, and the novel Habit of a Foreign Sky, a finalist for the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize. She is currently writer in residence at City University of Hong Kong’s Department of English, where she founded and directs Asia’s first low-residency Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing. xuxiwriter.comfacebook.com/XuXiWriter@xuxiwriter
Photo credit: Paul Hilton

Matt Bell


Matt Bell is the author of the novel In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods, a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, a Michigan Notable Book, an Indies Choice Adult Debut Book of the Year honor recipient, and the winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award. He is also the author of two previous books, How They Were Found and Cataclysm Baby, and his next novel, Scrapper, will be published in Fall 2015. His stories have appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Best American Fantasy, Conjunctions, Gulf Coast, The American Reader, and many other publications. He teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.

Sandra Beasley


Sandra Beasley is author of three poetry collections: Count the Waves, forthcoming in 2015 from W. W. Norton; I Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize; and Theories of Falling, winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize. Honors for her work include the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize, writing fellowships at Cornell College and Lenoir-Rhyne University, and two DCCAH Artist Fellowships. Her most recent book is the memoir Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life. She lives in Washington, DC, and is on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at the University of Tampa.

Previous Scholarship Recipients

List of Winners

Check out previous WC&C scholarship winners