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Scholarships and grants

The Western Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists awards five annual scholarships and grants to journalists and journalism students from Bellingham to Vancouver. The deadline for all scholarship and grant applications is usually in May each year. Please check back to the News section of for the exact deadline each year. All materials should be emailed as attachments to with the appropriate subject line for consideration.

SPJWash awards two $5,000 scholarships to undergraduate students majoring in journalism at two- or four-year Washington state colleges and universities. An additional $1,500 award, the June Anderson Almquist Memorial Scholarship, is offered to a woman or female-identifying undergraduate journalism student at the University of Washington.

To apply, please send the following items to with the subject line “Scholarships.” Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Scholarships are limited to
students with aspirations to enter the field of journalism.

  • A copy of your resume. Please include current contact information (mailing address, email and phone number). Also include what year of college you are in, your major and what year you expect to graduate.
  • A copy of your unofficial transcript with all college credits.
  • A personal essay of 500 words or less that answers the question, “Why have you chosen a journalism career and what do you hope to accomplish after college?”


Internships are an important entry into journalism, but most are cost-prohibitive and prevent diverse voices from joining the field. This scholarship is intended to support an undergraduate or graduate student at a Washington state college or university who needs financial assistance to complete an internship. The amount of this grant is undetermined and will be based on the student’s financial need. To apply, please send the following items to with the subject line “intern grant.”

  • A copy of your resume. Please include current contact information (mailing address, email and phone number).
  • A written statement of fewer than 500 words explaining their internship circumstances and financial need, as well as past journalism and school experience. Please include what you hope to learn or accomplish during your internship.
  • Grant amount. Tell us how much financial assistance you’ll need to complete an internship, including an itemization and justification of the amount you’ll need and why.


The Pew Research Center reported photographers and visual journalists have been the newsroom staffers hit hardest by layoffs throughout the United States. Their jobs have been trimmed by about half during the last 10 years. More than ever, photographers and videographers are self-funding important documentary projects within our communities. This SPJ –Western Washington Passion Projects professional grant will award $2,000, $1,000 and $1,000 award to a photojournalist of color to help a visual journalist continue a self-initiated project in 2019.

Grants are open to professional photographers and videographers in Washington state. All submissions must be documentary-style projects, and should be focused on social issues, environmental issues, or issues of social concern. Proposals will be judged by the merits of the project, the applicant’s photographic skills and the likelihood the photojournalist will accomplish the project.

Staff photographers are welcome to apply but the work must be on your own time outside of employment hours. You must be able to retain the rights to your work. The point of these projects is to challenge yourself – go where you’ve never been before in your career, stretch to new markets, control over how you dream your project is presented without the restrictions of your employer. Think strategically – if you’ve already been working on it on behalf of your paper, perhaps there is a portion of the project you could apply for (ie. a specific time period, chapter, or far away place). This is grant is for new work that wouldn’t be funded by your paper. Dream big.

This grant opens in April every spring.

To apply, please send the following items to with the subject line “Passion Projects”:

In the proposal, please include:

  • CONTACT info
  • SYNOPSIS: In fewer than 30 words, write a summary of the project.
  • PROPOSAL: Please submit a description of your project, up to 750 words, including what it is, why it’s important, what you hope to accomplish, why you’re the very best photographer to do it and how you hope it will be presented to the public when all is said and done. Photographers may propose projects that are already in progress or in the early stages. The projects must be self-initiated and self-funded (rights owned by the photographer). The project can be photographed anywhere around the world but the photographer must currently be a working photojournalist in WA state. Please include relevant research, contacts and a URL to any photographs associated with the project.
  • BIO: up to 250 words.
  • WEBSITE: Please include the photojournalist’s web page.
  • PLEASE INDICATE: if you like to be considered for the new SPJ Western Washington/ Northwest Journalists of Color Passion Projects grant for journalists of color.

*The SPJ Western Washington board reserves the right to vote on and award scholarships and grants at its discretion, based on application materials. There may be a situation when a scholarship or grant is not named in a given year. All awards are announced at the SPJ Western Washington awards party in June. Previous winners must take a year off before applying again.