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Creative writing program awards $56,000 in scholarships

For the 2022-2023 academic year, the Department of Theater Arts and Creative Writing recognized six exemplary students with the Glenn Balch Creative Writing Scholarship and the Stephen R. Kustra Creative Writing Scholarship. Each scholarship award honors not only outstanding achievement in prose, but also a demonstrated passion and dedication to the study of creative writing.

The Glenn Balch Undergraduate Creative Writing Scholarship awardees are:

  • Brie Ellison
  • Simon Schabot
  • McKenna Smith
  • Mackenzie Cavender

The Stephen R. Kustra Creative Writing Scholarship awardees are:

  • Brooke Robbins
  • Olivia Hoffman

A meaningful difference

Brooke Robbins, a senior narrative arts major from Meridian, Idaho, received a Stephen R. Kustra Creative Writing Scholarship. When asked about the impact the scholarship will have on her academic experience Robbins said, “This scholarship means so much to me. It’s allowed me to fully dedicate myself to my studies and writing for the school year. If I hadn’t received it, I would have been working a part-time job to pay for school expenses. That would have greatly impacted how much time and energy I could dedicate to writing.”

Each scholarship required applicants to submit a prose sample. For hers, Robbins chose her favorite portion of a story she honed in her creative writing classes over several semesters. “I think it shows off what I can do as a writer from a technical standpoint, but also shows a bit of my personality too,” Robbins said, adding, “I’m grateful to everyone who has supported me on my writing journey.”

About the scholarships

For many years, the family of Glenn Balch, the Idaho author who wrote and published over thirty books, has funded the annual Glenn Balch Prize in Fiction for MFA students at Boise State. In 2018, Balch’s daughter, Betty Weston, established an additional award recognizing work by undergraduate creative writing majors.

Robert Kustra, former president of Boise State University, and his wife, Kathy, established the Stephen R. Kustra Creative Writing Scholarship to honor the memory of their son.

For consideration for each scholarship, students submitted prose samples and a statement of purpose describing their writing goals. Professors in the creative writing program reviewed the submissions and chose the recipients.

Students interested in applying for the Glenn Balch or Stephen R. Kustra Creative Writing Scholarships for the 2023-2024 academic year will be able to start submitting their applications later this fall.

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