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The Killer Nashville Scholarships

The Killer Nashville Scholarships Program is open for submissions.

The annual Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference was created in 2006 as a way to give back to the writing community and educate/empower writers in all stages of their careers. In that spirit, and thanks to generous donors, Killer Nashville offers several scholarships each year. “Writers’ voices are crucial, especially today,” says Clay Stafford, Killer Nashville Founder. “And we are delighted to continue to discover voices that might otherwise go unnoticed. These scholarships make dreams come true.”

Scholarship amounts vary depending upon need and the scholarship is awarded up to the full out-of-pocket costs to attend Killer Nashville. Funds will be awarded to authors who demonstrate need in an essay format. Applicants should submit their entries no later than July 5, 2021.

Scholarship recipients will be asked to give a presentation at the Killer Nashville Awards Dinner.

Ellery Adams Cozy Scholarship

Ellery Adams is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of thirty-five mystery novels and hopes to continue writing as long as she can. Ellery’s popular series include the Secret, Book, and Scone Society mysteries and the Book Retreat Mysteries. She has written six different mystery series to date.

Ellery’s love of mysteries has been a lifelong affair, and cozy mysteries hold a special place in her heart. Small villages, hot cups of tea, fresh-baked scones, a cat curled by a fire, fast friendships, a hint of romance, a smart, gutsy sleuth, and a murder or two. What’s not to love? The puzzle, the pursuit, the balancing of the scales—what a delightful respite from the realities of our hectic world.

Cozies are often dismissed as being light and fluffy reads. Ellery doesn’t believe this is the case. The cozy mystery, like any story, is far more than a colorful cover or witty title. It is the tale of an average person making a difference in their world, and of a group of people coming together in the name of justice and the common good. A well-written cozy will always find readers.

If you want to follow in the footsteps of the Agatha Christie, then pick up your pen and write your story. Most of all, enjoy your experience as a writer and as an attendee at Killer Nashville.

Funds will be awarded to cozy authors who demonstrate need in an essay format. When applying, you must include that you are a cozy author in the essay. The money will be used to pay for attendance to the conference, breakout sessions, a critique, and lodging on a case-needed basis.

Kris Calvin Scholarship

Kris E. Calvin is an economist trained in forensic psychology and has been honored by the California Assembly and Governor’s office for her efforts regarding child advocacy.

Her thriller One Murder More was awarded the 2016 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award for Best First Novel, Best Political Thriller, and Best Female PI/Sleuth.

Kris loves discovering new authors and hopes that the Kris E. Calvin Scholarship will help her do just that. A long-time supporter of Killer Nashville, Kris has seen the difference that Killer Nashville has made in the lives and careers of past attendees; so beginning in 2017, Kris generously offered to fund an account annually to cover the tuition of a talented, unpublished, fiction or nonfiction author who may not have the funds to purchase the Killer Nashville full four-day registration, but otherwise has the funds to make it to the conference.

Kris’s goal is that this writer will experience what she has felt at Killer Nashville: the support and encouragement of the Killer Nashville family while gaining solid, real-life knowledge from internationally-bestselling, working, professional writers, publishers, editors, agents, publicists, and entertainment attorneys.


“Receiving the Kris E. Calvin Scholarship was a fantastic opportunity for me. I had attended Killer Nashville the year before and loved the conference and the writers I met, but sadly couldn’t afford to attend again given I was paying for school at the time. When I heard I received the scholarship, I was delighted! The experience once again was invaluable. Today I am enrolled in NYU’s low residency program working toward an MFA in Creative Writing as well as running my own organization in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Young Eager Writers Association is designed to provide young writers with irreplaceable knowledge, strong connections, and inspiring opportunities such as Killer Nashville did for me.” – Desiree Brown, Killer Nashville Kris Calvin 2018 Scholarship Winner

Lisa Jackson Scholarship

Before Lisa Jackson became an internationally known bestselling author, she was a single mom struggling to put food on the table. She hoped against hope that someone would pay for her stories and that day came.

Lisa is now the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 85 novels, including “Close to Home”, “Never Die Alone”, and “After She’s Gone”. She is also the co-author of the “Colony” series with her sister Nancy Bush. There are over 20 million copies of Lisa’s books in print in 20 languages.

Lisa has been a big supporter of Killer Nashville, and she was one of the Guests of Honor at the 2014 conference.

Now, Lisa wants to give back, and has donated money to start a Killer Nashville Scholarship Fund. Her hope is to help someone struggling financially, who wants to attend the Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference.

“Over the years, writing conferences have helped me connect with other writers, editors and agents. In my opinion Killer Nashville is one of the best, so I’d like to help another writer or two have the opportunity to attend by offering this scholarship.”

Funds will be awarded to authors who demonstrate need in an essay format. The money will be used to pay for attendance to the conference, breakout sessions, a critique, and lodging on a case-needed basis.

“Here’s to having a blast at Killer Nashville, where there’s a lot to be learned and fun to be found!”



– Write an essay that illustrates your financial need and why you want to attend the Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference.
– Entries should be a minimum of 500 words long, double-spaced, and in 12-point Times New Roman or Courier with at least 1-inch margins.
– In the top left margin of your essay, in single-spaced format, include your name, mailing address, email, and phone number(s) where you can be reached by the Killer Nashville Scholarship Committee.
– Attach entries to the form below.
– The deadline is July 5, 2021.