Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing

For Creative Writing & Screenwriting students

Supporting the Talent of Promising Writers

multi-cultural classroom of adult learners

Phyllis Gebauer, a beloved Writers’ Program instructor who taught for the Writers’ Program since 1994, was passionate about providing learning opportunities for those who lack access. When she passed away in 2011, she left the Writers’ Program a generous gift with which to fund this needs-based scholarship program.

The Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing acknowledges and fosters the talent of promising writers from diverse backgrounds and cultures who might otherwise not have the opportunity to study their craft in a supportive educational environment.

Up to six scholars are named annually, and each recipient is given the opportunity to enroll in three 10-week Writers’ Program courses in creative writing or screenwriting during a one-year period.* Courses may be taken either onsite or online but cannot be deferred for any reason.

*Excluding the Writers Studio, Master Class and Pro-Series, Editing and Publishing, and 20-week classes

Application Timeline

The Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing is open to applicants once a year. Updated application requirements and submission deadlines will be released in mid-April with an anticipated submission deadline in mid-June each year.

2024-2025 Scholarship Timeline

  • April 15: Application requirements and deadlines released; scholarship opens for application submission
  • June 28: Application deadline
  • June 15 - August 31: Application review period
  • August 31: Notifications to scholarship finalists and applicants

Finalists will be notified no later than August 31.

Scholarship Awards

Awards consist of any three 10-week creative writing or screenwriting courses within the Writers' Program (excluding the Writers Studio, Master Class and Pro-Series, Editing and Publishing, and 20-week classes) to be taken between Fall 2024 and Summer 2025. Fall quarter begins Monday, September 23, 2024. Courses cannot be deferred for any reason.

In order to be considered eligible for the Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing, applicants must:

  • Have a gross income not to exceed the HUD Very Low-Income level. In 2023, this would be $41,150 in 2021 for a single-person household or $63,050 for a family of four in Los Angeles. See the LA Almanac’s Poverty and Lower Living Income Level Guidelines for details.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with a green card.

You are ineligible to apply if you are:

  • A UCLA employee, family member or dependent of a UCLA employee
  • An MA, MFA, or Ph.D. graduate in creative writing, screenwriting, journalism or playwriting
  • Pursuing a degree in any field
  • An international student
  • A former Writers’ Program Scholarship recipient
  • A former PEN Emerging Voices Fellow

Eligibility criteria will be reviewed and confirmed for all scholarship recipients.

To be considered for the 2024-2025 academic year, the following materials must be received through the application portal by June 28, 2024. We encourage all applicants to apply early.

The following materials are required to complete your application:

1. Completed Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship application with educational history, writing experience, and personal contact information.

2. Responses to two essay questions.

Essays should be typed in 12-point Times New Roman font, double spaced with one-inch margins, and should not exceed 250 words each. Be sure to include your name at the top of each page.

  • Essay 1: The Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing recognizes emerging and talented writers who lack access to writing education opportunities. What is your current writing goal, and how would this scholarship remove barriers to achieving it?
  • Essay 2: Tell us about a quality, skill, or attribute you possess that will foster your success in reaching your writing goals.

3. A signed copy of your 2023 Federal Tax Return with all schedules and worksheets (IRS form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040TEL, and W-2 forms). Redact your social security number for privacy. If you were claimed as a dependent on your parent's tax forms, you must also submit a copy of your parents' 2023 Federal Income Tax Return.

4. A copy of your 2024-2025 FAFSA Submission Summary Report

You are required to submit a copy of the 2023-2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Submission Summary Report with your application, available from The FAFSA Submission Summary Report is not the same as the FAFSA page you receive immediately after submitting your FAFSA application–the report must be processed and include the sign off of any required contributors. It can take anywhere from 7-14 days after submission to get your report, so fill out your FAFSA early. FAFSA Submission Summary Reports will not be accepted after the deadline. For school code, please see application instructions.

5. One letter of recommendation

Recommendations may be from previous or current employers, teachers or professors, mentors, or leaders of volunteer or civic organizations with whom you have worked. All recommendation letters should be typed in 12-point font on the recommenders letterhead and should describe their relationship to you, how long they have known you, and why they feel you should be considered for a Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing.

Recommenders must submit their letters directly to, attention: Gebauer Recommendation.

6. A copy of your Green Card if you are not a US Citizen

7. Verification of income if unemployed or receiving public assistance dated within the last 30 days

Apply Now

Deadline: June 28, 2024

Only complete applications received by the deadline via our application portal will be reviewed.

UCLA Extension reserves the right to request additional financial or other documentation. Application requirements are subject to change based on University policies and guidelines.


If you have questions regarding the Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing, please contact the Writers’ Program at or (310) 825-9415.


vector icon of building

Corporate Education

Learn how we can help your organization meet its professional development goals and corporate training needs.

Learn More

vector icon of building

Donate to UCLA Extension

Support our many efforts to reach communities in need.

Innovation Programs

Student Scholarships

Coding Boot Camp

Lifelong Learning