Believe Scholarship"You will see it when you believe it." ~ Wayne Dyer
Thank you so much for stopping by to find out more about my Believe Scholarship. Believing in ourselves as writers and creatives is a vital part of moving forward on our journeys. I want you to know that I believe in you and support you and that’s one of the main reasons I set up the scholarship. That and to give back to a community that has and continues to be a tremendous support to me as a writer. You can read a little of the history about how the scholarship came to be below.
Lottery registration for 2019 is closed. Lottery winners will be notified May 21. Make sure you can recieve email from believeATdenisevegaDOTcom.
Applications are due Tuesday, June 4, by 11:59pm mountain time. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
Congratulations to the 2018 Recipients!
Picture Book Scholarship Recipient: Jennifer Blanck
Jennifer received free conference tuition, one-on-one critique, an intensive of her choice, $150 stipend.
Picture Book Scholarship Runner Up: Rachel Funez
Rachel received a one-on-one critique.
Chapter Book/MG/YA Scholarship Recipient: Jacqueline Peveto
Jacqueline received free conference tuition, one-on-one critique, an intensive of her choice, $150 stipend.
Chapter Book/MG/YA Scholarship Runner Up: Catherine Ringler
Catherine received a one-on-one critique.
Why I Founded the Scholarship
In the past belief—or really lack of belief—has been an obstacle in my writing journey. I often didn’t believe I had the ability to write at a certain level that a particular idea required or that I could actually tackle a new genre. I didn’t believe I was worthy of success in all its forms–completing a book, getting it published–any kind of monetary success and so forth.
And then, by taking time to really look at myself and my work, I started to believe in myself more and my approach to my writing and my career shifted dramatically. I began to detach from what are often called “external outcomes” such as publication and book sales and focused on the writing itself. The joy–and sometimes frustration–of it and found I was happier in the world at large. Not that I didn’t want to continue to publish or that when I did, I wouldn’t work hard to help the book succeed, but I no longer gave them the power to define me anymore. My success and who I am hinges on what I believe about myself and the things I can control in my life, things like whether I finished a chapter, whether I revised a scene to the very best of my ability, whether I was fully present and a good listener when teaching a class or consulting with a writer.
The scholarship will pay for:
- full tuition for both days (early registration)
- $150 stipend (use as needed for hotel, travel, child care etc)
- a manuscript critique if the recipient wants one
- The intensive of the recipient’s choice if s/he wants to attend one
This is currently a $525 total value per scholarship.
Things to Note
Conference, critique and intensive fees will be paid directly to RMC-SCBWI. I will send the stipend check for $150 directly to the recipient(s).
I reserve the right not to award one or both scholarships in a given year.
What’s Different About the Believe Scholarship
What makes my scholarship a little different is that I focus not only on where you are on your journey in terms of your writing, but also where you are on your journey as a writer. The application will ask you to evaluate some things about yourself as a writer because for me, it’s only when we define who we are as a writer and what our purpose as writers is that we can be truly happy on our journey. Sure there will be bumps in the road and your purpose may change as you change and grow, but it’s something I believe is important to visit and revisit as we go.
Believe in yourself, believe in your stories and keep writing. Only you can tell the stories you have in your heart and soul.
PAL book authors (this includes work-for-hire publications) or previous recipients of the BELIEVE Scholarship are not eligible.
The lottery registration for 2019 will open soon. Thank you for your interest!
Due to my own constraints for reviewing applications and wanting to give applicants more time to prepare their applications, I am trying something new this year. We will select applicants in a 3-part process.
Part 1: An anonymous lottery to randomly select up to 20 picture book writers and up to 20 novel writers.
Part 2: Lottery winners will receive an email with a link to the application. Be sure to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list or check your junk mail.
Part 3: Denise will review the applications and select the scholarship recipients, notifying them in advance of conference registration opening
What I Look For
- Clear, impassioned goals and purpose as a writer
- Clear explanation of the benefits of the conference
- A commitment to your craft
- A writing sample that shows you are ready to take the next step.
The sample doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to show that you have a sense of the category for which you are writing and that you’ve developed some skill. If this is your first story and you’ve never attended a class or received feedback on your work, I would encourage you to hold off applying and consider taking a class and/or getting professional feedback before taking this step.
Why a Lottery?
I read all the submissions myself (often several times) and can’t review more than 40 applicants each year due to my schedule. In the past I’ve accepted the first 40 applications but found the submissions were often rushed and not the writer’s best work. The lottery is a way for everyone eligible to have an equal chance at getting an application slot.
For those who are selected to submit an application: You may know that I teach and consult quite a bit so I ask that if you have worked with me in one of those capacities, to try to avoid submitting a sample of your work I may have seen so I can judge your application strictly on its merits (all applications are anonymous). If you really want to submit something you think I’ve seen, please note that on the application and I will have someone else evaluate your writing sample.
One entry per person for either picture book or novel.
Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements before you enter the lottery. Lottery registration will close Sunday, May 19, at 5:00pm.
Click here to register for the lottery.
The lottery registration and application deadline is in process for 2019. Thank you for your interest!
Scholarship recipient(s) for 2019 will be notified on or before June 18 or earlier if conference registration opens earlier.
I reserve the right not to award a scholarship if I don’t feel any of the applications meet the requirements or aren’t ready for the next step a conference can bring.
Picture Book Scholarship Recipient: Nina Little
Nina received free conference tuition, one-on-one critique, an intensive of her choice, $125 hotel stipend.
Picture Book Scholarship Runner Up: Erika Henhart
Erika received a one-on-one critique.
Chapter Book/MG/YA Scholarship Recipient: Joanna Cook
Joanna received free conference tuition, one-on-one critique, an intensive of her choice, $125 hotel stipend.
Chapter Book/MG/YA Scholarship Runner Up: Ann Morris
Ann received a one-on-one critique.
Because of generous donations from the RMC community, I was able to add intensives to the package this year!
Picture Book Scholarship Recipient: Kristen Olsen
Kristen received free conference tuition, one-on-one critique, an intensive of her choice, $125 hotel stipend.
There was no picture book runner up in 2016
Chapter Book/MG/YA Scholarship Recipient: Stephanie Johnson
Stephanie received free conference tuition, one-on-one critique, an intensive of her choice, $125 hotel stipend.
Chapter Book/MG/YA Scholarship Runner Up: Cara Davies
Cara received a free conference critique.
Picture Book Scholarship Recipient: Kristen Foote
Kristen received free conference tuition, one-on-one critique, $100 hotel stipend.
Picture Book Scholarship Runner Up: Ann Kelley
Ann received a free conference critique.
Chapter Book/MG/YA Scholarship Recipient: Kellye Crocker
Kellye recieved free conference tuition, one-on-one critique, $100 hotel stipend.
Chapter Book/MG/YA Scholarship Runner Up: Alda Dobbs
Alda received a free conference critique.
Conference Experiences from Recipients
One of the most valuable things I took back from the conference was the effect of being surrounded by so many creative aspiring (and inspiring!) writers. There was an energy and excitement in the group as a whole, and it has given me that extra bump I needed to keep pushing my writing to the next level.
My one-on-one critique with Deborah Warren was invaluable as well. She pointed out exactly where my manuscript was lacking, and also gave me the encouragement that what I am working on is worthwhile to keep pursuing. As someone who LOVES to write in rhyme (in an industry where attempting rhyme is generally highly discouraged), I was so pleased to hear from someone in-the-know that my rhyme is good and I should continue to write that way 🙂 It’s exactly that kind of encouragement that I can turn to when I am feeling unsure of myself.
The workshops I attended gave me a fresh perspective on the writing/creativity process. Getting to hear actual editors go through what they do on a daily basis, and how they revise a manuscript to get it to it’s best, gave me incredibly valuable insight. This info will help me to get my works polished as much as they can be, BEFORE they are ever seen by an editor. It’s these tips, tricks, and knowledge that I believe will get my manuscripts eventually recognized over the slush.
Basically, attending the Letters and Lines conference gave me the confidence and knowledge to continue on my writing journey. I met so many great people and was able to connect with other successful professionals who can help me on my way. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity!! ~ Kristen Foote, Picture Book Scholarship Recipient (2015)
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