Apply for a Scholarship

Apply for a Highlights Foundation Scholarship

Our general 2022 scholarship application period is now closed. Awards were announced in April.

You can find general information about our scholarship process below. To be notified when our scholarship application period reopens, join our mailing list here.

For questions (including help if you had trouble submitting your application), contact us.

The Highlights Foundation offers a number of scholarships to our programs. In addition to the General Scholarships, there are a number of Special Scholarships in support of specific recipients or workshops, and Named Funds honoring those who have had a significant impact on children’s literature. You can find out more about these on our scholarship page.

The 2022 application period closed on March 13, 2022, and all aspiring and published children’s authors and illustrators were invited to apply. Recipients will be notified in April, and awards will be made as follows:

  • 25 full tuition scholarships and 20 partial tuition scholarships for workshops that take place at the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center.
  • 30 full tuition scholarships for online courses through the Highlights Foundation.
  • 15 scholarships for personal retreats at the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center.

Awards will be based on the following criteria, evaluated via the application:

  • Seriousness of purpose, including time and effort devoted to craft.
  • Talent displayed via a writing or art sample.
  • and Financial need.

Applicants could apply for a specific named scholarship (see list here), or our General Scholarship program. Recipients will be able to use their scholarship toward the Highlights Foundation workshop of their choice during the 2022 or 2023 program seasons.

Terms & Conditions

  1. Applicants are encouraged to apply only once per year.
  2. Travel is not typically included as part of scholarships, but there is a place to let us know if a travel stipend is helpful.
  3. 2022 Scholarship recipients can choose the workshop or retreat that meets their interests during the 2022 or 2023 program seasons.
  4. The exception is Highlights Foundation Whole Novel programs. Our Whole Novel Workshops are not a part of this application process.  They have separate scholarship funds and application processes, and these funds will be awarded in coordination with Whole Novel course dates.
  5. While scholarships can be used for applicable programs, participation is still subject to the availability of the course (i.e. recipients should sign up early to reserve their seats and ensure availability).
  6. In a case where a course requires an application for acceptance, scholarship recipients will still need to apply for that course.


Frequently Asked Questions


Where do we go to access scholarship information? 
Details about scholarships (including those available) can be found here. (There is a link to apply for or support scholarships on that page, too.) You also can apply and get more information about the process here.

I am having technical issues with the application. Where can I get help?
If you are having any difficulties, please contact us via our website here.

Who can apply?

Can Canadians or people from other countries apply? 
Yes!  Everyone is welcome to take our courses and apply for scholarships regardless of location.  If you are international and applying for an in-person scholarship, please just be aware that most scholarships do not include transportation to our retreat center or cover travel costs.

Is the term “woman” trans-inclusive for these scholarships? 

Are scholarships only need-based and only for pre-published people? Or will published or others be considered?  
Anyone is welcome to apply for a scholarship, published or unpublished. Some named scholarships are specific to where a person is on their creative journey, but many are not.

Also, financial need is only a part of the equation for scholarship selection; seriousness of purpose, talent and financial need, plus your connection to a named scholarship, are all taken into consideration by the scholarship committee. 

Does the eligibility requirement for unpublished writers apply to children’s writing, children’s books, or any kind of publishing? 
Anyone can apply for scholarships, but the seriousness of purpose aspect of consideration for the scholarships is related to writing for children/young adults. There is space on the application to tell us about your general background as well.

Do you have to have a complete draft of a work in progress to receive a scholarship?
Nope! Apply no matter where you are in your creative journey. You only have to be serious in your passion! 

What if a person has been lucky enough to participate in a workshop already? 
We’d love to see you again! If you’ve attended a workshop or received a scholarship before, you can still apply. There is a space on the application to note if you have been offered support previously. 

Financial Need

In terms of financial need, what is the maximum income to be considered? 
There is no maximum income to be considered; it is only one of the factors the committee considers. 

Do you need to show proof of income?
You do not have to prove your income; just provide a narrative about any financial need you have. 

For income, do we include our spouse’s income or just our own? 
Include the information that you feel is appropriate.

The Application Process

Can an applicant apply for more than one scholarship at a time?
You should apply only once, but you’ll see in the application that you can choose to be considered for as many of the special/named scholarships that resonate with you when you apply.

How do you choose the scholarships to apply for? And how do you choose a workshop? 
Except for some named and special scholarships that are for certain workshops/retreats, you apply for a scholarship first. Then, if you receive it, you can use it for whatever applicable workshop or retreat you’d like. We’ll have support available for scholarship recipients to help with selection.

Can you apply for both a specific scholarship AND the general scholarships? If we do check multiple scholarships, does this hurt our chances? 
We encourage you to apply to as many scholarships as resonate with you, but please submit one application per person. Applying to different scholarships by denoting interest in them does not hurt your chances in our committee’s selection process.

If you apply to the general scholarship, could the selection committee award other scholarships they think you qualify for? 
They could, but you should check off as many as resonate with you when applying.  Please review the list before you apply.

When applying for a scholarship, is it possible to choose more than one type? (i.e. Personal Retreat at the Highlights Foundation, Online Course, or In-Person Workshop at the Highlights Foundation)
You many only choose one type in the application.

I have edited books to go in all three categories: picture book, middle grade, and young adult. Can I apply more than once with different pieces, or provide more than one writing sample? 
There are spots on the application to tell us about your various interests/goals. You can only provide one sample, but you can give us a link to your website. 

Is there a timeframe for scholarship use? A scholarship expiration date? 
Scholarships awarded in 2022 should be used for applicable workshops/dates in 2022 or 2023. If there are extenuating circumstances, please let us know.


Are the personal retreats funds for a particular time frame (3-day, one week or more)? 
It depends on the personal retreat scholarship you are awarded (see the scholarship’s page on our website for details), but in general you could add extra time onto the retreat you are awarded at regular cost if there is space available. 

How long (on average) are in person workshops? Do they include meals?
It varies by workshop, but most are 3-5 days long. Meals are included; travel expenses are generally not included unless otherwise noted.

What are the safeguards on campus now with the current COVID environment?  
Our most up to date protocols can be found here.