Gunn Center Scholarships

Scholarship in Science Fiction Studies

The Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction is pleased to offer two scholarships for SF studies at the University of Kansas:

Donate! If you would like to donate to support SF studies at KU - either to honor a loved one or just to help students in need - please contact us, and we'll be more than happy to work with you! Please send Gunn Center Director Chris McKitterick a note at with any questions. We use KU Endowment accounts to ensure that all donations are secure and are used entirely and exclusively for the designated purpose.

Scholarship in Science Fiction Studies

This student award is a substantial scholarship for studying or writing science fiction at the University of Kansas, and has been granted since 2009. Funding comes courtesy of a University of Kansas alum friendly to the Gunn Center and the English Department who regularly provides a sizable scholarship for 1-2 undergraduate or graduate students to study science fiction or the writing of science fiction at KU. Preference is given to Kansans, but everyone studying SF at the University of Kansas is eligible.

The deadline to turn in Phase 1 application materials to the KU English Department is early March.

If the Scholarship is not granted during the Phase 1 application period, we continue to consider applicants until the start of the Fall semester (late August each year). New students hoping to receive the scholarship for Fall semester must submit directly to Chris McKitterick at

The Award consists of a monetary award plus a tuition reduction toward the Speculative Fiction Writers Workshop if you also successfully apply for the workshop and are invited to join.

The Award

The Scholarship in Science Fiction Studies consists of:

  • A monetary award sufficient to cover the cost of up to several SF-related courses or other appropriate educational expenses for a given year. Specify in your application letter how you hope to use the funds.
  • A tuition reduction of $200 toward the summer Speculative Fiction Writer's Workshop, if you successfully apply for the workshop and are invited to join. This must be used within 18 months of the applicant winning the Scholarship in Science Fiction Studies.
  • Your name posted here!

The first-deadline recipient is announced during the English Department Awards Ceremony in May. The August-deadline recipient is announced in September. Below are the SF Scholarship winners to date.


To apply for the Scholarship in Science Fiction Studies, submit the following to the University of Kansas English Department by the deadline:

  • Your name, address, resident status, graduate or undergraduate status, and major (and any minor) fields of study.
  • A short essay (500 - 2500 words) about how you would use and benefit from a scholarship in the study of or writing of science fiction (or both). How could this scholarship help you do things you couldn't otherwise afford? Specify dollar amounts, as this helps us determine the amount of the award.
  • You can find submission instructions on the KU English Department website. For more details, or to apply after the March deadline for regular-semester use, contact Chris McKitterick at

There are two submission deadlines:

  1. The first deadline is early March, and applications go through the KU English Department. See the KU English Department website for details.
  2. The second deadline - if funds remain - for incoming KU students is prior to the start of classes (end of August), especially for new, incoming students. For questions or to submit for August consideration, contact Chris McKitterick at 

More details:

  • This is a scholarship to study or write speculative fiction. For some definitions of SF, see our our definitions page. Also read James Gunn's essay on the Protocols of Science Fiction for more insight.
  • We may award one or two deserving students per year, depending on qualifications, needs, and funding availability.
  • All current or incoming KU students - traditional or non-traditional - are eligible to apply.
  • Both Kansas residents and non-residents are eligible, though preference goes to Kansas residents.
  • You may apply each year whether or not you were awarded, but preference goes to new applicants.
  • Winner is also eligible for the Mark Bourne Speculative Fiction Writing Scholarship, for use in the Center's summer program, but must apply separately to be considered.


Adam Mills

Our first two-time winner, Adam used his scholarship to attend the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts in Orlando, where he presented a paper titled "The Case Study of Cthulhu: Affect, Adaptation, and Illustration in Replicating Lovecraft's Monsters," and to help support his speculative-fiction studies and teaching at KU.


Adam Mills

Adam used his scholarship to support his speculative-fiction studies at KU, and to help enable him to work on AboutSF projects over the summer.


Amanda Hemmingsen

Amanda used her scholarship to attend the Science Fiction Institute at KU. After graduation, Amanda has continued her relationship with the Gunn Center through running the Lawrence Science Fiction Club, co-chairing the 2016 World Science Fiction academic-track programming committee, and more.


Justin Wilson

Justin used his scholarship to help him afford several courses in SF literature and writing at KU. He just defended his MFA thesis - with honors!


(No Award)


Isaac Bell

In addition to helping pay for studying SF at KU, Isaac used his scholarship to help launch James Gunn's Ad Astra journal. After graduation, Isaac has continued his relationship with the Gunn Center through continued involvement with AboutSF, Ad Astra, and in many other ways.


Benjamin Cartwright

Ben used his scholarship to cover not just the Speculative Fiction Writing Workshop, but also the SF/F/H Novel Writing Workshop, and the Science Fiction Institute - all in the same summer! After graduation, Ben has continued his relationship with the Gunn Center through ongoing work with AboutSF, as guest author/academic in the summer Intensive Institute in SF Studies, and in many other ways.


Melissa Lytton

Melissa used her scholarship to help cover financial needs at KU and also to purchase hardware and software to enable her to get started on her (now-flourishing!) career in book design. Check out her website: Happy Goth Productions.

updated 5/19/2016

Home | A Basic SF Library | Staff | | Educational Program | Films and Online Videos | SF News | SF Youth Program
CSSF Awards | Campbell Conference | James Gunn Essays | SF Hall of Fame | CSSF Blog | Resources | Donate