Michelle Obama Award for Memoir

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Scholarship Description

In recognition of Michelle Obama’s long-standing commitment to mentorship and education, as well as her inspiring leadership in encouraging young people to discover the power of telling their own stories, this award grants a college scholarship to one young, promising writer. We are passionate about encouraging the next generation of readers and authors and promoting diverse voices and stories.

Scholarship Details

  • One college scholarship for a young, promising writer
  • Part of Penguin Random House's creative writing awards program
  • Over $2.8 million awarded to public high school students since 1993
  • Awards for original poetry, memoir/personal essay, fiction/drama, and spoken word compositions

Eligibility Criteria

  • Current high school senior in a public school in the United States, including D.C. and U.S. territories
  • Planning to attend a two-year or four-year college
  • Age 21 or under

Application Process

  1. Submit your application in the fall
  2. Ensure you meet the age and school eligibility criteria
  3. Be aware of the application deadline, typically in mid-January (early submission is advised)

If you are a current high school senior who attends public school in the United States, including the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories, and are planning to attend college – either a two-year or four-year institution –you are eligible to apply in the fall. Applicants must be 21 years of age or under. Applications are usually due by the middle of January, but due to an abundance of applications that are sometimes received, it is advised that applications be submitted by the beggining of the month.

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