An English Degree is ideal for all those who love the language and its literature, deep and broad reading, writing and words in general. It builds communication, critical thinking, creativity and a multitude of other skills. Those who earn a major in English, have several career options open to them, including media and journalism, teaching and academics, different kinds of writing, PR, advertising, publishing, editing and many more. So, if you are among those who get excited about enacting your favorite Shakespearean play, writing 2000- word essays and having heated discussions about the classics you’ve read, check out these scholarships and writing contests from around the globe that might help you learn, grow and establish a career using your passion for English literature. 

Essay/Writing Contests:

1. Nick Ivins Memorial Literature Scholarship (USA)

About- Created in 2004-05, the Nick Ivins Memorial Literature Scholarship was established in memory of Nick Ivins (BA, English Literature, 2004). Arizona State University offers the Nick Ivins Memorial Literature Scholarship to one outstanding undergraduate in the English Lit program each academic year.

Eligibility/ Requirements- To be eligible to apply, a student must:

  • be enrolled and pursuing either an undergraduate or graduate degree in English in the Department of English in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, ASU Tempe campus during the semester the scholarship is received;
  • have a 2.5 minimum cumulative grade point average and a 3.0 minimum grade point average in the major; and
  • be an Arizona resident qualifying for resident tuition.

Application & Selection criteria- 

  • An essay (maximum 400 words) discussing any work by a Modernist writer (such as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Sylvia Plath, Gertrude Stein, et al.) indicating how it has influenced English literature and/or literary theory. Preference will be given to an essay exploring the effect James Joyce’s work has had on poststructuralist thought.
  • [For students planning or having completed a study abroad program ONLY]: A personal statement (maximum 100 words) describing your participation or plans for participation in an ACMRS Study Abroad Program or other ASU Study Abroad Program, focusing on how such participation has or will inform and enhance your study of English literature.

Amount/ What it covers- The award amount for the upcoming fall semester is approximately $550.

2. International Merit Scholarship (Australia)

About- University of South Australia International Merit Scholarship is a scholarship program available to Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students in the field of courses offered by the university. This Master’s Degree Scholarships for Literature Students is also provided by the University of South Australia.

Application deadline- The deadline varies according to the period of application.

Eligibility/ Requirements- Applicants must 

  • Be a prospective international student
  • Be eligible to study in Australia
  • Not have accepted any other UniSA scholarship or bursary
  • Meet normal program admission requirements for the program applied to
  • Have achieved the UniSA equivalent of a credit average in previous studies or have an offer conditional upon completion of an award with a Credit average

You will automatically be assessed when applying for an eligible undergraduate (Bachelor) or postgraduate (Masters by Coursework) program offered at UniSA

Application & Selection criteria-  

  • The English language requirements are:

-IELTS total [6.0]
-IELTS reading [6.0]
-IELTS writing [6.0]

  • There are no particular prerequisites or assumed knowledge needed as such, but the admission criteria of the college apply. It depends on your country so check out the official site for more information. Once you have submitted an application for an eligible program you will automatically be assessed and informed about your success. 

Amount/ What it covers- Recipients will receive a 25% reduction in their student contributions (tuition fees) for their first year of study into their chosen program, up to a maximum of two semesters or eight courses.

3. SLLC MA International Scholarship (Ireland) 

About- The National University of Ireland, Cork is a constituent university of the National University of Ireland and located in Cork. The School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (SLLC) offers this master’s program designed for students pursuing MA in Languages & Cultures, MA in Translation Studies and MA in Applied Linguistics.

Application deadline- May 1, annually.

Eligibility/ Requirements-These are some things to keep in mind while applying:

  • Applications are invited from students who will commence a Taught Masters program in Autumn 2020. Applicants should already have applied through PAC ( for the relevant program. The award of the Scholarship is contingent on the student being accepted to the relevant Taught Masters program.
  • The Scholarship is open to EU and non-EU students. However, the funding will only cover the EU fee, so successful non-EU applicants will be responsible for the balance.
  • English Language Requirements: The candidate should have a very good command over English language. Therefore, the application should be written in English.

Application & selection criteria- 

  • Applicants should complete the Application Form. In addition, applicants should ask a recent lecturer/academic advisor/supervisor to send an academic reference separately, using the Referee Report Form.  Applicants should consult the Terms and Conditions before completing the application form.
  • Note that the applications should be typed and not handwritten. The completed application form and supporting documentation must be emailed by Friday 1st of May 2020 to

Amount/ What it covers– The selected scholars will be awarded in the form of a tuition fee waiver which will be tenable from the date of registration, for a maximum 1 year full-time and 2 years part-time. 

4. Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Students at University of St. Gallen (Switzerland).

About- The University of St. Gallen offers a variety of services to help students to identify their career goals and paths, as well as gain work experience while studying at this university. Scholarships are available for Master students’ English-language programs. 

Eligibility/ Requirements- The studentships are:

  • open for international candidates.
  • awarded to study the bachelor and master degree program in English-language program
  • open for applicants with internationally recognized relevant educational qualifications and certificates. Applicants must be successful in passing the University of St. Gallen’s internal admission test.

Application & Selection criteria- To apply for the opportunity, the applicants need to take admission in bachelor and master degree program at the university. After taking admission, candidates will automatically be considered for the opportunity.

  • Supporting Documents: Applicants need to attach the professional vision/career prospects, the reason as to why he/she should receive a scholarship, previous contributions such as social or charitable work, or ecological and/or social commitment.
  • Admission Requirements: For admission, applicants need to have their graduate degree certificates, grade transcripts, and academic qualifications certificates.
  • Language Requirement: In order to make intelligent contact with other cultures and ensure successful intercultural communication, language skills are an essential requirement.

Amount/ What it covers- The Excellence financial aid positions will be awarded worth up to CHF 6,252 for all three years; it matches the program of CHF 18,756.

5. Elaine Geering Scholarship in English Literature (New Zealand)

About- This scholarship has been established by Lloyd Geering in memory of his wife Elaine Geering. Elaine, who was undertaking a PhD in English Literature at Victoria University of Wellington up until the time of her death in 2001, was particularly interested in Old English and Medieval Literature.

Eligibility/ Requirements – The scholarship is open to any Honors, Masters or PhD students undertaking courses/research in the English department at Victoria University of Wellington, or to students who have completed their undergraduate studies at Victoria University of Wellington and are currently enrolled in postgraduate study of English at an approved overseas institution. The scholarship is offered to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents only.

Application & Selection criteria- A completed online application must be submitted by 4.30 pm on the closing date. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Any required supporting documentation (including references) must also be received by 4.30 pm on the closing date in order for the application to be considered.

Amount/ What it covers- Approximately $2,000 (subject to funds available).

6. University of East Anglia-Miles Morland Foundation African Scholarship (U.K)

About- The University of East Anglia is giving out a postgraduate scholarship, Miles Morland Foundation African Scholarship for an excellent student within the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing to enable them to study the MA Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) course in University of East Anglia University in Norwich, England.

Eligibility/ Requirements- Entrance Requirements:

-Level: Postgraduate

-School: Literature, Drama and Creative Writing

-Course: MA Creative Writing (Prose Fiction)

-Country of Birth: Any country within Africa or

-Nationality: Any country within Africa or

-Other Criteria: Both parents born in Africa (If the scholarship is awarded on this basis, copies of both parents’ passports must be provided as evidence to UEA at the point of acceptance of the scholarship.)

-English Language Requirements: The candidate should have a very good command over English language. Therefore, the application should be written in English.

Application & Selection criteria- In order to be considered for the creative writing donor-funded scholarship program, you will need to have submitted both your scholarship application and have applied for the MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) by 12 noon on Tuesday 30 June. It is possible that you might not have a response about the outcome of your course application by this date, but you should still submit a scholarship application by this deadline if you wish to be considered for scholarships.

Amount/ What it covers-Up to £25,000 to cover tuition fees and a maintenance grant.

7. Clarendon Scholarships at University of Oxford (U.K)

About- The Clarendon Fund is a major graduate scholarship scheme at the University of Oxford, offering around 140 new scholarships every year. Clarendon Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence and potential across all degree-bearing subjects at graduate level at the University of Oxford. Scholarships can be applied to any area of study including English language.

Application and deadline- 10 Jan/24 Jan  (annual)

Eligibility/ Requirements- An applicant is eligible if he or she has:

•An outstanding academic record-An excellent academic record is essential. The majority of successful scholars usually have at least a first-class honors degree or its equivalent. For example, a GPA score of at least 3.7, if the mark is out of 4, noting that a lot of the Clarendon scholars achieve higher than this score. Or an applicant must have an outstanding academic record at Master’s level, noting that an exceptional Master’s degree can compensate for a moderate first-degree performance.

•Future potential and aptitude-Particular consideration is given to an applicant’s future academic potential and aptitude of the proposed course of study. This may be assessed by reviewing references and research proposals to determine evidence of an applicant’s aptitude for research, and the likelihood of contributing significantly to the field of study.

•Student motivation-This is assessed through evidence of the applicant’s commitment to the proposed course as well as evaluation of the personal statement and the referees’ reports.

Application & Selection criteria- If you apply for a full- or part-time master’s or DPhil course at Oxford by the January deadline for your course, you will automatically be considered for a Clarendon Scholarship. You do not need to submit any additional documents specifically for the Clarendon Scholarships – there is no separate scholarship application form.   You do, however, need to apply before the January deadline (10 or 24 January 2020) for your course if you wish to be considered for the scholarship.

Amount/ What it covers- All Clarendon Scholarships cover tuition and college fees in full. Scholars on a full-time course receive a generous annual grant for living costs – which will be at least £15,009 for 2019-20. Scholars on a part-time course will receive a study support grant, to assist with non-fee costs. In 2019-20, part-time DPhil scholars should expect to receive at least £2,502 and part-time Master’s scholars should expect at least £5,003. The scholarships are normally offered for the full period for which you are liable to pay tuition fees to the University, which is usually the same as the length of the course.

Essay/ Writing competitions

1. Wasafiri New Writing Prize (UK)

About: Wasafiri has become the UK’s leading magazine for international contemporary writing. Launched in 1984, it is now renowned for publishing some of the world’s most distinguished writers. They have created a dynamic platform for mapping new landscapes in contemporary international writing featuring a diverse range of voices from across the UK and beyond. Committed to profiling the ‘best of tomorrow’s writers today’ they simultaneously celebrate those who have become established literary voices, offering a creative space for dialogue and debate.

Eligibility: The competition is open to people of any nationality and any age group who have not published a complete book in the category entered.

Application: All entries submitted via the online application form will receive an acknowledgement to confirm receipt. If you require assistance please contact

Prizes: The three winners will be published by Wasafiri and receive a cash prize; They will also be offered the Chapter and Verse or Free Reads mentoring scheme in partnership with The Literary Consultancy (depending on eligibility).

2. 2020 Koffi Addo Prize for Creative African Writers- Nonfiction (Uganda)

About- The Koffi Addo Writivism Prize for Creative Non-Fiction is an annual award for creative non-fiction by emerging African writers administered by the Centre for African Cultural Excellence (CACE) and sponsored by the Koffi Addo family.

Eligibility- Entrants must be unpublished writers (unpublished here means those            

of who have not had a book published), residents in an African country. Questions of eligibility shall be resolved by the CACE administration and their decision is final.

Application- follow these steps to apply for the contest:

  • Entries must be submitted online, by emailing them to as attachments (not in the body of the email), clearly labelled in the subject: 2020 Koffi Addo Prize.
  • The writer must include in the body of the email, other information about him/her i.e. country of residence, age, legal name, and pen name (where applicable), and telephone contact.

Prizes- The benefits of winning are:

•Shortlisted writers may be invited to attend the annual Writivism Festival in Kampala, Uganda, in August 2020.

•The winner of the prize will be awarded $500 (USD) cash and may be considered for a one-month writing residency at a university in an African country.

•The winner will be required to produce a complete first draft of a publishable creative nonfiction manuscript before the residency.

•The winner, on taking up the residency, commits to publishing the manuscript edited through the residency, under the Writivism Series with a CACE partner publisher.

English is a global language that has infinite potential for you to explore and utilize to your advantage. Studying English literature can help you unleash your creativity and at the same time, it can challenge you. So, make use of these opportunities and bring out the best version of the litterateur in you.

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