University of Mississippi

Scholarships & Awards

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All of our students are fully funded.  

We offer two main sources of funding, the Grisham Fellowships and Teaching Assistantships.

GRISHAM FELLOWSHIPS IN CREATIVE WRITING

Each year we award two incoming students with John and Renée Grisham Fellowships (one in fiction and one in poetry), a $60,000 package that includes full tuition, health care, and an annual stipend of $14,000, renewable for three years.  During this time, Grisham fellows have no teaching responsibilities.  The time is a gift for them to hone their craft, and we do everything we can to see that they have the resources and encouragement to use their time to its fullest potential. While there are no teaching duties for Grisham fellows, sometimes a Grisham fellow wishes to teach for the experience, and if that’s the case, we can oblige.

TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIPS

Other incoming students receive Teaching Assistantships, and the current stipend structure for the Fellowship is $11,500 per year, which includes $250 for the health insurance premium.   Along with the stipend, TA’s will receive a tuition scholarship from the Graduate School covering resident tuition.  In addition, if you are not a resident of Mississippi, TA’s will receive a waiver of the nonresident tuition fee for themselves/spouse.   Graduate teaching fellows usually begin by serving as section leaders and graders in the English Department’s 200-level literature or 300-level Shakespeare classes.   In their second year, M.F.A.s often teach the English Department’s 100-level composition sequence or 211, Intro to Creative Writing.   More experienced instructors may be assigned to 300-level literature or writing workshops.  We’ve had good luck with our students being invited to teach various creative writing classes, which helps those who wish to pursue jobs in academia once they graduate.  M.F.A. students typically feel the teaching load is not onerous and they have enough time to accomplish their writing goals.

OTHER SOURCES OF FUNDING

Graduate School Excellence Fellowships of $3,000 are awarded competitively to incoming students with high GRE/GPAs.

Several Dissertation Fellowships of $5,000 are available for third year students so that they may forgo teaching and concentrate on finishing their theses.

Underrepresented Minority Fellowships of $7,000 are awarded to qualified incoming students.

Contests such as the Bondurant Prize and the Elvis Meets Einstein Awards are held for current students.

ELVIS MEETS EINSTEIN AWARD

Each spring our program features the Elvis Meets Einstein Award, expressly for the University of MS MFA students.  The contest is the brainchild of D. C. Berry, the first ever officially named Good Buddy of the M.F. A. Program.  The name says it all: winning entries should be both FUNNY and SMART.  The prizes reward good, fresh writing and will get some cash in the pockets of two UM MFA students every year.  This year the award will be in the amount of $1,000 per winner.

SEASIDE WRITERS CONFERENCE

Each year two University of Mississippi MFA students (one fiction, one poetry) will be selected to attend the Seaside Writers Conference (www.seasidewritersconference.com) with a full tuition waiver and housing as part of the U.M. Seaside Scholars program. This is an exclusive arrangement available only to U.M. MFA students in partnership with the SWC.

The Seaside Writers’ Conference, held each May in the beach town of Seaside, Florida, is week-long conference with workshops, craft classes, headliner authors, multiple readings, agent/editor talks and consultations, and social activities. The dates for the 2016 conference are May 7-14.

Our headlining readers for 2016 include Andre Dubus III, and Elizabeth Stuckey-French. Faculty includes Rebecca Makkai (fiction) (www.rebeccamakkai.com), Seth Tucker (poetry) (https://sethbradytucker.wordpress.com) and Matt Bondurant (fiction) (www.mattbondurant.com). Special Guests include literary agents Alex Glass of Glass Literary Management (http://www.glassliterary.com) and Duvall Osteen of Aragni, Inc. (http://aragi.net)

Come join U.M. at the beach!