Creative Writing Funding

Creative Writing fellowships + awards

English students are invited to apply for various funding opportunities and prizes, including:

The Albert Wertheim Fellowship ($18,000), which provides a one-year stipend to an advanced doctoral student writing a dissertation on theatre, dramatic literature, or performance studies.

The Albert Wertheim Essay Prize ($500), alternately awarded to the best graduate and undergraduate essay in theatre, dramatic literature, or performance studies each year.

These awards are named to celebrate the long and illustrious career of Albert Wertheim, who taught at Indiana University from 1969 until the time of his death in 2003. All graduate students in the English department working on projects in drama, theatre history, and performance studies are eligible to apply for both awards.

Both gifts are made possible through the generosity of the Wertheim family and Professor Wertheim’s many friends and former colleagues. The Fellowship is the gift of Ted Widlanski and Martha Jacobs, close friends of Professor Wertheim.

About Albert Werheim

After graduating with his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1965, Professor Wertheim taught at Princeton University before moving to Indiana in 1969. His dissertation at Yale concerned seventeenth-century British drama, and as his career evolved his research interests expanded to include English-language drama from America, Britain, Australia, and especially South Africa. The subjects of his published articles encompass virtually the entire canon of Western drama and theatre: from articles on Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and James Shirley from the Renaissance stage to essays on Bertolt Brecht, Arthur Miller, Eugene O’Neill, William Inge, and many others from the modern stage. He is perhaps best known for two books: The Dramatic Art of Athol Fugard: From South Africa to the World (2000) and Staging the War: American Drama and World War II (published posthumously, 2004).

Previous recipients of the Albert Wertheim Fellowship

  • Sarah Withers 2009-2010
  • Patrick Maley 2008-2009
  • Jill Wood 2007-2008

Previous recipients of the Albert Wertheim Essay Prize

  • Kristen Renzi 2007-2008
  • Martin Sorge 2006-2007
  • Melissa Jones 2005-2006

for a student enrolled in a Department of English course at the graduate level who intends to pursue a career in writing

A fellowship awarded to an outstanding incoming student in creative writing, established in honor of Darrell Burton, whose M.F.A. in Creative Writing was awarded posthumously by Indiana University in 2004, and whose poetry appeared in Ploughshares’ special "Emerging Writers" issue, the Crab Orchard Review, The Ryder, Equinox, and elsewhere. Just prior to his death he had completed work on a collection of poems titled Weather Within.

This fund supports the Earle Ho Graduate Teaching Award in Creative Writing ("Teaching Award"), which is awarded to a graduate student who teaches creative writing on the IUB campus.

to graduate students at IUB majoring or concentrating in creative writing on the basis of demonstrated performance in the field of creative writing

to support either a graduate scholarship or fellowship in the Department of English

graduate fellowship for a student in the Department

A fellowship awarded to an outstanding incoming student in poetry, established in honor of Lynda Hull, who graduated from the M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program in 1988 and whose three collections of poetry were awarded the Juniper Prize for Poetry, the Edwin Ford Piper Poetry Award, the Carl Sandburg Award for Poetry, and Finalist status for the 1996 National Book Critics Circle Award. Lynda Hull died in 1994.

for outstanding incoming African-American, Latino/a, Asian-American and Native-American students, named in honor of Marcellus Neal, the first African-American graduate of Indiana University (B.A., Mathematics, 1895), and Frances Marshall, Indiana University’s first female African-American graduate (B.A., English, 1919).

fellowship awarded to an outstanding incoming student in fiction, established in honor of Omar S. Castañeda, who was a member of the M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program's first graduating class (1983) and whose seven novels, short story collections, books for children, and edited anthologies received several national honors including the 1993 Charles H. and N. Mildred Nilon Award for Excellence in Minority Fiction and the Boston Globe Literary Press Award. Omar S. Castañeda died in 1997.

for a graduate student whose work shows considerable promise, whether in fiction, poetry, playwriting, or creative prose

annual fellowships in English with strong preference given to women graduate students

for an incoming graduate student in the Creative Writing Program in the English Department

for outstanding graduate student in poetry

for academically meritorious graduate students in the Department of English at the Bloomington campus of Indiana University who plan to pursue either an MFA or a PhD with a concentration in the writing of fiction

fellowship awarded to an outstanding incoming student in poetry, established in honor of Yusef Komunyakaa, who taught in Indiana University’s Creative Writing Program and Department of English from 1985 through 1996, during which time his work received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry, the William Faulkner Prize, the Southern Literary Association's Hanes Poetry Prize, among other honors.