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Creative writing students invited to apply for full-ride scholarship

The Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition is open to students in grades 8-11 with a talent for creative writing.

A student in a red hoodie types at a computer.

Applications are now open for the Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Scholarship. The contest invites young students in grades 8-11 to submit their best work and be considered for a full-ride scholarship as a creative writing major at Interlochen Arts Academy.

“This is an incredible opportunity for young writers who dream of publishing their work someday,” says Brittany Cavallaro, bestselling young adult novelist and Instructor of Creative Writing at Interlochen Arts Academy. “The mentorship our students receive at the Academy helps them hone their personal style and produce professional-quality work. I would encourage any aspiring young writer to apply for this scholarship.”

Contestants are asked to provide samples of their work in at least two of the following genres: poetry, fiction (including novel excerpts), personal essay/memoir, screenwriting, playwriting, hybrid genre, experimental/unclassifiable writing, and comics. The deadline for submissions is November 15, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. The winners will be notified and announced in March 2024, with the first place winner earning a full-ride scholarship to Interlochen Arts Academy. Second and third place winners will also be recognized.

First held in 2000, the Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition has allowed over a dozen gifted young writers to attend Interlochen Arts Academy. The competition is made possible by generous grants from the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation. Last year’s winner was Lucy Lombardo, an eighth grader from Honeoye, New York.

Previous recipients of the Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition Scholarship have gone on to earn degrees from Cornell, Yale, Princeton, and the University of Michigan. They have won or been shortlisted for numerous awards including the Norman Mailer Award for Fiction, the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize, Juxtaprose's Short Fiction Contest, Wigleaf's Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions, and the Pushcart Prize. They have published books and have been featured in a variety of publications including Driftwood Press, Black Warrior Review, Kudzu House Quarterly, Broadly, Entropy, and more.

Established in 1975, Interlochen Arts Academy’s acclaimed creative writing program provides expert instruction for high school writers in a supportive, nurturing environment. The Academy’s dedicated faculty of published authors provide individualized mentorship in a variety of career development topics, including building portfolios, submitting to contests, applying to colleges, and honing performance skills. Academy students enjoy regular reading and publishing opportunities and routinely excel in the nation’s finest competitions for young writers, including the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and the YoungArts competition.

Learn more about Creative Writing at Interlochen Arts Academy and apply for the Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Scholarship