The Sonny and Gita Mehta Scholarship for Writers at University of East Anglia


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The Sonny and Gita Mehta Scholarship for Writers is a prestigious award designed to support emerging writers from the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, and North Africa. This scholarship aims to nurture literary talent and provide writers with the resources they need to develop their craft. Established in honor of novelist and essayist Sonny Mehta and his wife Gita Mehta, also an acclaimed writer, this scholarship celebrates their shared passion for literature and commitment to supporting new voices in writing.

Also Apply: Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program

The scholarship is awarded annually to a promising unpublished writer who demonstrates exceptional literary promise. The recipient receives a substantial monetary grant intended to cover living expenses and allow them the freedom to focus on their writing. In addition, the winner has the opportunity to attend writing workshops, seminars, and other career development activities organized in conjunction with the award. This comprehensive support empowers recipients to dedicate time to improving their skills and creating new work.

For aspiring writers struggling to find their voice and get their work noticed, the Sonny and Gita Mehta Scholarship represents a potentially career-changing chance to receive mentorship and funding. The award has a strong track record of propelling past recipients into successful publishing careers. As such, it is highly coveted by unpublished writers from eligible countries. Winning the scholarship can truly launch a writer into the literary world.

Eligibility Criteria

The Sonny and Gita Mehta Scholarship is open to writers from the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, and North Africa. Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Country of Birth: Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, North Africa
  • Country of Nationality: Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, North Africa, Roma
  • Country of Residency: Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, North Africa

Applicants must not already have a published book to their name in any genre or format. The award specifically aims to assist writers seeking their debut publication. If an applicant has contributed to an anthology or published work in journals/magazines, they are still eligible as long as they do not yet have a published book. Self-published works do not count as having a published book.

Also Apply: The Austrian Development Cooperation Scholarship

The scholarship is focused on supporting unpublished writers so that they may achieve the milestone of their first publication. It provides assistance at the earliest stages of a writer’s career when they most need financial support and exposure. Writers who already have published books under their belt do not qualify. The award aims to give unpublished writers their big break into the publishing world.

In addition, applicants cannot be receiving funds from any other scholarships or awards at the time of their application. The scholarship is intended as the applicant’s primary source of support for focusing on their writing. If selected, the recipient must agree to forego any other funding awards/scholarships for the duration of the Sonny and Gita Mehta Scholarship term. This rule ensures recipients can devote their full attention to developing as a writer.

Application Process

Aspiring writers interested in the Sonny and Gita Mehta Scholarship must complete an application form available through the award’s website. The annual deadline for applications is May 1, 2024 for the 2024 scholarship cycle. Writers have approximately two months to prepare and submit their applications ahead of the May 1 due date.The application requires the following components:- Background information confirming the applicant’s eligibility:

  • A detailed resume or CV summarizing the applicant’s literary achievements to date
  • A short biography highlighting the applicant’s origins, influences, and goals as a writer
  • A writing sample showcasing the applicant’s literary talent (e.g. novel excerpt, short story, poetry, etc.)
  • A statement of purpose describing why the applicant wants the scholarship and how they would use it to further their writing career

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Applicants must carefully review the eligibility criteria and scholarship timeline to ensure they submit their materials correctly by the May 1 deadline. Application instructions remind writers to verify their birthplace, nationality, and residency fall within the required regions. Works that violate or fail to meet all criteria will be disqualified.

The Sonny and Gita Mehta Scholarship committee rigorously vets all applications to identify the most promising unpublished writer for the award. Judges look for exceptional creative talent as demonstrated through the writing samples and statements of purpose. They want to see literary promise worthy of investment. The application process is highly competitive, as recipients receive considerable resources and exposure.

Also Apply: Application for Kulturweit Youth Program

Terms and Conditions

If selected for the Sonny and Gita Mehta Scholarship, the winning writer must adhere to certain terms and conditions:

  • The recipient cannot accept any other scholarships, awards, or monetary prizes for the duration of the Sonny and Gita Mehta Scholarship, which is one year. They must devote their full focus to developing their craft.
  • The recipient must relocate to a participating artist residency program for the full year of the scholarship. Room and board will be covered, allowing the recipient to fully immerse themselves in writing free of financial concern:
  • The recipient must commit to attending a series of webinars, workshops, seminars, and other activities organized by the scholarship sponsor to supplement their writing development while in residency.
  • The recipient must participate in regular check-ins, evaluations, and progress updates with the scholarship committee.
  • The recipient must submit samples of any new work produced through the scholarship for consideration in future promotional materials.
  • If the recipient succeeds in getting a book contract during the scholarship period, they must acknowledge the support of the Sonny and Gita Mehta Scholarship in interviews and promotional materials for their first published book.

These obligations are designed to ensure the recipient focuses completely on writing and that the scholarship achieves its goal of launching the career of a promising new writer. Recipients must demonstrate full commitment to developing their potential as authors.

The Sonny and Gita Mehta Scholarship represents a potentially life-changing opportunity for unpublished writers from the target regions to develop their talents and break into print. Offering financial support, mentorship, training, and more, this award empowers recipients to pursue writing full-time and achieve that critical first publication. For undiscovered writers who meet the eligibility criteria, the May 1 2024 application deadline presents an exciting chance to take the next step toward literary success. Winners join an esteemed circle of scholarship alumni who have gone on to successful writing careers. Aspiring writers should carefully review the criteria and application process to ensure they submit a competitive entry for this prestigious scholarship.

Also Apply: Chinese Government Scholarship (Fully Funded) 2024/2025

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