Scholarships and prizes

A variety of scholarships and prizes are available to students at the International Institute of Modern Letters.

Undergraduate prizes

Several prizes are available to recognise an exceptional student in an undergraduate creative writing (CREW) workshop. These include the:

Prizes are awarded annually, subject to the relevant workshop being offered in any one year.

As we do not offer undergraduate majors or full year programmes, there are no specific scholarships available for our undergraduate CREW courses.

Masters-level scholarships

Check out Victoria University of Wellington's scholarships database for detailed information about the full range of scholarships currently available to existing or prospective students, including deadlines, conditions, and the application process. You can filter your search by categories.

Send scholarship applications and direct all enquiries to the Scholarships Office.

You can also search for nationally available scholarships and grants, including those targeted to Māori or Pasifika students. Toitū Kaupapa Māori Matauranga / the Māori Education Trust offers a number of scholarships annually.

For Master of Arts in Creative Writing applicants

If you are applying for a Wellington Masters (by thesis) Scholarship, or another postgraduate scholarship, tick the relevant box on the application form and, list the name of the scholarship you are applying for.

The Copyright Licensing New Zealand Master of Creative Writing Scholarship is available to a Māori or Pasifika student who is accepted into our MA programme. One scholarship will be awarded each year.

Scholarship applications are considered pending acceptance into the programme. If a scholarship application is due on or before our 1 November course application deadline, the two selection processes run concurrently. Check the relevant deadline and do not wait for our decision on your application before applying for a scholarship.

Applicants will know the outcome of both applications before Christmas. Acceptance into the programme does not guarantee a scholarship offer.

For completing Master of Arts students

On completion of their MA year, our students can apply for a number of programme-specific IIML Project Scholarships.

We offer up to six annual project scholarships to MA in Creative Writing students who apply after completion of the final MA folio.

These include the:

  • Michael Hirschfeld Project Scholarship—awarded to a script or screen writing student.
  • Jean Squire Project Scholarship—awarded to a student in the page writing programme, with preference for it to go to a children's writer where appropriate.
  • Letteri Family Project Scholarship—awarded to a promising graduating writer.

Project scholarships will be awarded by recommendation of the examiners on the basis of merit and financial need. Applications must be submitted to the Scholarships Office by mid-November each year.

Read about previous Project Scholarship winners.

Schaeffer Fellowship

In addition to these project scholarships, the Schaeffer Fellowship (also known as the Glenn Schaeffer Award), which is currently in abeyance, has provided the opportunity for a graduate of the Writing for the Page stream to go on to grant-aided study at the IIML's prestigious North American co-centre; the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

This award is only available to New Zealand citizens. We hope to reinstate this fellowship in the future.

Master of Arts prizes

  • Adam Foundation Prize in Creative Writing is awarded to the author of the best portfolio in the Writing for the Page stream.
  • David Carson-Parker Embassy Prize in Scriptwriting is awarded to the author of the best portfolio in the Scriptwriting stream.
  • Brad McGann Filmwriting Award is awarded to a graduating film scriptwriter who has demonstrated excellent potential, to support further work on a film script.
  • Biggs Family Prize in Poetry is awarded to recognise the potential of a graduating poet.
  • Modern Letters Creative Nonfiction Prize is awarded to recognise the potential of a graduating nonfiction writer.
  • Modern Letters Prize for Fiction is awarded to recognise the potential of a graduating fiction writer.

Search for these prizes alphabetically from the Scholarships database Annual Prizes landing page.

Read about previous MA prize winners.

PhD scholarships

If you are considering applying for a PhD scholarships, read the information on PhD funding, and then contact the University's Scholarships Office if you have further questions about available scholarships, deadlines and conditions, or about the application process.

If you intend to apply for a Wellington Doctoral Scholarship, you can do this online as part of your Application for PhD admission. Doctoral Scholarship applicants must read the full scholarship regulations before submitting your application.

Scholarship applications are considered pending acceptance into the programme. The scholarship selection process is separate and acceptance into the programme does not guarantee a scholarship offer. Applicants will know the outcome of both applications by mid-August.

You can also search for nationally available scholarships and grants, including those targeted to Māori or Pasifika students. Toitū Kaupapa Māori Matauranga / the Māori Education Trust offers a number of scholarships annually.