Scholarships for 2019


San Francisco Writers Conference 2019, Photography and Visual Consultancy Melanie E. Rijkers #SFWC19

CATHERINE COULTER SCHOLARSHIP: Lana Krumwiede and Steven Browne

Eli Potter Blockchain and Crypto Currency Scholarship: Amber Price and Shelley Allen

THE DIRECTOR’S SCHOLARSHIP:  Rev. Harry Williams and Kellen Akiyama
(Donations from Laurie McLean and Dr. Ellen Taliaferro made these possible.)

The 2019 SFWC Student Scholarship for Bay Area High School Students: Christina Abudayeh

The 2019 SFWC Student Scholarship for High School Students:  Jacqueline Prata

Congratulations to all.  As scholarships for the 2020 San Francisco Writers Conference become available, they will be posted on this page and announced in the SFWC Newsletter.

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Note: Our SFWC Scholarships have no fees and all have a simple submission process.  All adult scholarships offer a full registration to the event, and some offer additional goodies.

Don’t need a scholarship? Please consider helping someone who does by donating to the ongoing SFWC Scholarship Fund.

You can contact Barbara Santos at if you would like to create a scholarship of your own.

This deadline has passed. THE DIRECTOR’S SCHOLARSHIP winners are: Rev. Harry Williams and Kellen Akiyama

SFWC Director Laurie McLean is committed to giving diverse voices a chance to be heard. This scholarship pays for the full conference registration fee (not including travel or accommodations), plus breakfast with Laurie one day of the conference to discuss anything the winner chooses.

To enter, please write 500 words (or fewer) on why your writing, based on your personal experience as a member of a marginalized group, would be a great addition to the #ownvoices conversation. Examples of marginalized identities include racial minorities, LGBTQ+ people, religious minorities, and people with disabilities.

Laurie will make her selection based on the writing quality of the essay as well as the passion exhibited by the entrant. 
Deadline for entries is December 31, 2018.

Please click here to upload your entry for the Director’s Scholarship before 5 p.m. Pacific time on 12/31/18.

This deadline has passed.  The 2019 SFWC Student Scholarships for Bay Area High School Students

The SFWC is pleased to offer a limited number of one-day scholarships (for Saturday, February 16th) to San Francisco Bay Area high school students. As a way to encourage students to pursue a career in writing and publishing, they will get an insider’s look at the SFWC and meet presenters–authors, agents and book marketing professionals.

They will also get to attend any of the SFWC sessions they choose in areas of their particular writing interest. The student scholarship winner must agree to meet upon arrival with the SFWC Volunteer Coordinator in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero Hotel by 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 16. The SFWC events will end at 6:00 pm that same day. Students may apply for a scholarship by sending us a double-spaced, 250-word essay on why books and writing are important. We would also like a sample of the student’s work.

Send your essay and writing sample to Barbara Santos, SFWC Scholarships, P.O. Box 326, Oakley, CA 94561 or email it to Barbara Santos at

Please include the name and address of your high school. Additionally we need the student’s address, phone number and email address. The winning student’s parent or guardian must sign an SFWC liability waiver that can be emailed in advance. The deadline for submissions is January 1st. Feel free to email questions to Barbara Santos at

This deadline has passed.  The winners of the CATHERINE COULTER SCHOLARSHIP for the 2019 SFWC is Amber Price and Shelley Allen.

SFWC Keynoter and prolific best-selling novelist, Catherine Coulter, offered a scholarship to the 2019 San Francisco Writers Conference.

The winner will receive a full registration to the conference PLUS a tête-à-tête with Catherine at the event! (See details below.)  

This deadline has passed.  The winner of The Blockchain and Crypto Currency Scholarships for the 2019 San Francisco Writers Conference are Steven Browne and Lana Krumwiede.

The benefactors of this scholarship are Jamie and Eli Potter, technology leaders at Autodesk and Coinbase.  Autodesk generously matched Eli Potter’s contribution that created the scholarship. 

Until we take a photo of the 2019 winners at the SFWC,

From left top: Susan Tunney, Kate Farrell (SFWC Children’s Special Event Coordinator), Vicki Hudson. Bottom row: Jean Stillwell, Vickie Luo, Vidhima Shetty, Aashna Avachat, and children’s author Mitali Perkins.

The 2018 Dr. Ellen Taliaferro Scholarship Awarded to Susan Tunney.

2018 Vicki Hudson Emerging Writer Scholarship Awarded to Jean Stillwell

If you want to donate to the SFWC Scholarship fund, click here.

Want to start a scholarship in your own name and with your own guidelines? You can help other talented writers pursue a writing career. Now you can select the recipients of a scholarship to the SFWC that you create. We want to help as many writers attend the conference as possible, so we are offering a way for you to offer scholarships – in your name, your company’s name or anonymously.

The cost of a named scholarship is $1,000. You may be as involved as you like–choosing the theme, setting the rules and selecting the winner(s). Or you can give us guidelines and we will do the work! Each scholarship has a $1,250 value (cost of the event plus additional recognition for the recipient and you in the program.) Click here to see other Scholarship Donors! To talk about creating a new scholarship, you can contact Barbara Santos.