The Neill James Memorial Scholarship provides creative writing students with the resources to enhance their studies at The W through awards for tuition and study abroad. The scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to current undergraduate students, as well as incoming freshmen or transfer students. The base award amount will be $4000 to be used during a nine-month period; however, some funds may be applied toward study abroad during the summer or other summer programs administered through The W. The amount of awards will be determined based on other financial aid awards each student receives and available funds.
Scholarship Application Deadline Extended: May 5, 2023
At least 5 scholarships of up to $4000 will be awarded each year to Creative Writing students in the following areas:
Incoming Transfer Students
Current Undergraduate Students
In order to be eligible for a scholarship, students must submit an 5-25 page sample of their best writing in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, or drama by April 15. Additionally, incoming students are strongly encouraged to complete their application and financial aid applications prior to April 15. Incoming Freshmen must have a minimumm composite ACT of 20 or an SAT of 950. Current Students and incoming Transfer Students must have a minimum college GPA of 3.0.
All Neill James scholarship recipients must declare an English major with a Concentration in Creative Writing and maintain continuous fulltime enrollment in at least 24 hours per academic year at The W and maintain a 3.0 or higher university cumulative grade point average each semester. Students may receive more than one type of scholarship to attend the unviersity. However, total university award package, including state, federal, institutional, and private funds may not exceed total cost of attendance. Scholarship awards will be adjusted should the total amount exceed this cost. The total amount of institutional scholarships awarded by the university may not exceed the total cost of tuition, room, board and a book stipend.
Scholarships for Incoming Freshmen may be renewable for an additional year, provided the student maintains at least a 3.0 GPA and makes progress toward a major in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing. Previous recipients continue to be eligible for scholarships, though they must reapply with a new writing sample each year after the sophomore year.
Neill James’s biography at times reads like a work of fiction. She graduated from Industrial Institute & College (now The W) in 1918 and set out to travel the world. James published four installments in her Petticoat Vagabond series, detailing her travels where she documented indigenous communities from the Arctic Circle to the jungles of Central America. She was friends with the likes of Amelia Earhart and Earnest Hemingway. She was removed from Japan in 1941, months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. James later tripped, fell into a volcano and broke her leg while traveling with a surveying expedition in Mexico, only to have the building she was recuperating in collapse when buried by another volcano. Neill James dedicated the latter part of her life to supporting and developing education and arts in the communities along the shores of Lake Chapala, where she recovered after her two run-ins with volcanoes.
The number and amount of awards will be determined by a selection committee of creative writing faculty, based on the strength and promise of the writing sample, the quality of the student's work in creative writing classes (for current students), and the student's overall academic excellence. Priority will be given to one Freshman, one Sophomore renewal of a previous award, one Transfer Student, and at least two current undergraduate students working in different genres. If there is no qualified applicant in an area, additional scholarship funds may be awarded in another area (Freshman, Transfer, or Current Student). When equally qualified applicants exist in any area, the award may be split at the discretion of the selection committee.
The amount of awards will be determined based on other financial aid awards each student receives and available funds. In general, the base award amount will be $4000 to be used during a nine-month period; however, some funds may be applied toward study abroad during the summer or other summer programs administered through The W, and smaller awards may be made to those with other scholarships or in years where additional funds are available. The selection committee may also grant awards above $4000 to individual students if funds are available.
Once you login, you should see the departmental scholarships that you qualify for. You should see the Neill James Scholarship if you are listed as English - Creative Writing as your major in Banner. You can submit your 5-25-page writing sample when you apply for scholarships, so have it ready!
If you have trouble with the new application process, you can email your 5-25-page writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org with Neill James Writing Sample in the subject and your name, address, and title(s)/genre(s) on your cover page (which does not count in our page limit). Then fill out our old online LLP Dept. Scholarships Application, which includes questions about the Neill James Scholarship when you select English Creative Writing as your major.