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The deadline for the 2020 scholarship application period has passed. Details for the 2021 scholarship application period will be announced in Spring 2021.

Eligibility

Each year before the end of April, new rules for the Walsh Award and the other ACES scholarships are posted on this page. Below are the rules and exercises for the 2020-21 competitions.

Applicants must be seeking degrees as enrolled college/university juniors, seniors, or graduate students during the summer and/or fall term in 2020. Scholarships are awarded without regard to the student’s major or field of academic concentration. Previous scholarship winners are not eligible.

Requirements

The specifics for all six scholarships are below. Applications must be emailed by the end of Nov. 15. All entry materials must be in English.

The Bill Walsh scholarship will go to an applicant who aspires to edit news and who demonstrates the talent and passion for language that Bill devoted his life to.

Applicants for the other five scholarships should have a commitment to a career in the editing of written materials and demonstrate effectiveness in doing so.

By submitting a separate application for each, an entrant can seek both the Walsh and one of the other scholarships, but can win only one.

The six steps to apply for the Walsh scholarship
  1. 1. Provide your résumé, with evidence of academic achievement and exemplary work in editing. Please include information on other substantial achievements/activities/interests.
  2. References: Provide the names and titles or job descriptions of a total of three instructors and/or work supervisors, and their contact information.
  3. Consider the following situation and then write, in 500 or fewer words, about what you would do if you were the rookie copy editor.
    1. The publisher at a medium-size news outlet (print and online) orders that a long report on the economy of a small far-off nation be posted as soon as possible, at length and prominently. (His niece is the author.) Naturally the story is given to the rookie copy editor, who finds the writing correct though turgid and the content wholly lacking in relevance to the news outlet’s U.S. mainstream audience.
  4. By rewriting it, edit the following first paragraph of a news article to make it clearer, more reader-engaging, and no less accurate.
    1. WASHINGTON – In the most important Supreme Court verdict of the year, justices ruled 7-1 that Congress cheated health insurance companies by reneging on a $12-million promise made under the Affordable Care Act, which later came to be known by its nickname of Obamacare and was heavily criticized by GOP congressmen. During oral argument in December, forshadowing the April 2020 insurance windfall ruling that drew just one dissent, Justice John Robert said the insurers "would not have participated in the risk corridor program but for the government's promise to pay."
  5. Write a headline using no more than nine words for each of these three pieces of news.
    1. At rocky sites across America, including Pikes Peak and the Grand Canyon, 550-million-year-old rock sits on top of rock that has existed as long as 3 billion years. But there's nothing in between. It's as though that time period between 3 billion years ago and 550 million years ago has literally been wiped from Earth. It's called the Great Unconformity and some researchers believe it's the result of one massive cataclysmic event in Earth's history.
    2. Counterintuitive as it may seem, white voices carry a weight on matters of race that a black person’s does not, if only because other white people can’t dismiss their advocacy as self-interest. They will be heard in ways and places black people never will.
    3. Global finance officials are pledging closer cooperation in efforts to lift the world economy out its current slowdown, but tensions persist on a number of fronts between the United States and other nations over trade and other issues.
  6. What is the worst thing a copy editor can do or allow regarding the editing of a news story? And why do you think it is the worst?

Using one or more Word or PDF attachments, email your complete application – with “Walsh scholarship” in the message field – to alex@aceseditors.org. Begin the file name of each attachment with your last name.

The four steps to apply for an ACES Education Fund scholarship
  1. Provide your résumé, with evidence of academic achievement and exemplary work in editing. Please include information on other substantial achievements/activities/interests.
  2. References: Provide the names and titles or job descriptions of a total of three instructors and/or work supervisors, and their contact information.
  3. Please respond in 500 words or fewer to this: If you could pose one question to a group of 700 editors – such as might be found at an ACES national conference – what would it be, and why would you choose that question?
  4. Write a summary or headline (in ten or fewer words) for each of these three pieces.
    1. False claims are 70% more likely than true ones to be shared on Twitter, research has found. Overall, false news travels faster, farther and deeper through the social network than true news, according to researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Those patterns applied to every subject they studied, they said, not only politics and urban legends, but also business, science and technology.
    2. In the time it takes to read this story, about eight girls under the age of 15 will have given birth – mostly in the world's poorest countries – and many will never go back to school. Julia Gillard, former Australian prime minister, is campaigning for the right of girls to stay in education, and wants to stress the sense of urgency. There are 130 million girls who are completely missing out on school.
    3. During the day, downtown Basel is all business. In this Swiss city the major industries, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, are all about precision and control. But in summer Basel quickly reveals another face. At workdays’ end, hundreds of professionals stroll down to the banks of the Rhine and strip down to their skivvies. Then they shove their business wear into a waterproof backpack known as a wickelfisch (“fish pack”), jump into the river and let its swift current carry them on the home commute.

Using one or more Word or PDF attachments, email your complete application – with “ACES scholarship” in the message field – to alex@aceseditors.org. Begin the file name of each attachment with your last name.

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