Welcome! My name is Ernie Lindsey, and I’m a USA Today bestselling author of mystery and thriller novels. As of December 2016, I have been writing fiction for over twenty years, and I’ve been lucky enough to write as a full-time novelist for the past four. If you’re here on this page, looking for an MFA scholarship, it’s likely that you have the same dream I did—still do—and that’s to give life to the creativity inside your mind, then have the opportunity to share it with the world.

I’ve been writing fiction for a long time, and I appreciate how hard the process can be. Prose or poetry, we creative writers identify with one another in the unique understanding that pieces of us are born, and die, with our work.

It’s for that reason that I would like to help ease at least some of the financial burden for our future authors and poets. I never attended an MFA program myself, partly due to the expense, and it would be highly beneficial to the creative community for our next Stephen King or Thomas Pynchon to focus more on the act of creating, rather than worrying about paying for textbooks or where next month’s rent is coming from.


This is my personal offering for an MFA scholarship, straight from my own pocket. My family and I wish it could be more, but the “starving artist” concept is real, as some of you will soon learn. As I previously mentioned, the winner may use the monetary reward at their discretion. Put it toward lunch, debt, tuition; it’s your choice. Spend more time writing and less time stressing out.


Given that an MFA in Creative Writing can consist of more than one emphasis, entrants may choose from one of the following choices.

Fiction: Submit a single, original work of flash fiction, no more than 1000 words and no less than 500 words. You may choose any topic or genre, with some exceptions: pornographic or discriminatory content is allowed. Whether you’re the next John Updike or Dean Koontz, embrace your creativity.

Poetry: Submit three to five original works on any topic. Use your best judgment based on poem length, word count, etc. Again, note that pornographic or discriminatory content will be not be accepted into the pool of entrants.

Creative Non-Fiction: Submit a single, original essay of no more than 1000 words or less than 500 words. You may choose a topic of your choice; pornographic or discriminatory content will not be considered.


Applicants must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Open to U.S. residents only
  • Entries must be received by July 1st, 2017
  • Email your entry to ernie (at) ernielindsey (dot) com
  • Submit your work/entry in a single MS Word file attached to the email. (Important Note: You retain all rights to your work.) No links to Google Docs or Dropbox, etc.
  • Applicants should include their name and address in the submission document. Please do not include additional information beyond your entry, name, and address.
  • Applicants should include the school they are currently attending or planning to attend in the body of the email
  • Entries will be read, judged, and the winner notified by August 15th, 2017, along with the prize awarded upon confirmation.
  • MFA Scholarship Winner(s) have the option of having their entry posted on this site and shared with social media if they choose to do so.

I look forward to reading and enjoying your submissions. Best of luck!

Previous Winners

Coming Soon