The Leon B. Burstein/MWA-NY Scholarship for Mystery Writing

The Leon B. Burstein/MWA-NY Scholarship for Mystery Writing

1. What is the purpose of the Burstein Scholarship?
The purpose of the scholarship is to inspire aspiring mystery writers by offering financial support to writers who want to take a specific class, attend a conference, or to do specific research as demonstrably necessary to a mystery work they are creating. It was named for Leon B. Burstein, an avid mystery fan, that more work in his favorite genre might be created.

2. Is this an official MWA-sponsored scholarship?
The New York chapter of Mystery Writers of America is managing the scholarship, but the scholarship money is donated by Leon Burstein's son, Dan. It does not come out of MWA funds.

3. How long will the scholarship go on?
Dan Burstein has donated finite funds for the scholarship. When we run out, the scholarship will end, but when that happens depends on how many applicants apply for how much each session.

4. Who is eligible to apply?
An applicant may be, but is not required to be a member of MWA. Associate and affiliate members of MWA are eligible to apply. Active members are ineligible. Non-members are eligible to apply as long as they don’t meet the criteria for active membership. (For a definition of active, affiliate, and associate memberships, see

To be eligible to apply, an applicant must live in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia.

5. How many scholarships will be awarded?
In 2016, two scholarships will be awarded.

6. How much is the scholarship?
Scholarships will be awarded in the range of $500 - $1,000, depending on the scope of the submission.

7. What are the application requirements?

Applicants will submit a completed application and a writing sample. The application may be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

The application includes identifying information necessary to confirm eligibility and a brief personal statement including a rationale as to how the scholarship will help the applicant to achieve his/her writing goals. The applicant must identify on the application how the funds will be used and an estimated budget (i.e., the specific class, conference, or other research activity, including travel).

The writing sample should be an excerpt from a work-in-progress. It may be fiction or nonfiction, book, short story, play or screenplay, adult, YA, or juvenile, but must be related to mystery writing.

8. How will applications be judged?
A panel of judges, selected from among the active members of the New York chapter will consider both the quality of the writing sample and the proposed use of the award in the selection of the scholarship winners.

9. What are the time frames for the scholarship?
The application submission period will open on May 4, 2016, and will close on August 3, 2016. DEADLINE EXTENDED: Friday, September 23, 2016. Scholarship winners will be announced November 2, 2016.

10. How will the chapter promote the scholarship?
The scholarship announcement and application will be found on the chapter website. The chapter will post announcements on The Noose and other chapter communications in print and online. Information about the scholarship will be distributed by chapter members to area writing programs. The scholarship will also be promoted at the monthly Write-Ins.

11. Who is Leon B. Burstein?
Leon B. Burstein was born in the Bronx in 1915, lived his adult life in California until his death in 1991, and always loved a good mystery. The Leon B. Burstein/MWANY Scholarship for Mystery Writing was launched in 2015 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth.

12. If I get the scholarship, what do I have to do?
Recipients agree to acknowledge the Leon B. Burstein/MWANY Scholarship for Mystery Writing in anything they publish as a result of the award. They also agree to write a brief description of whatever they did with the funds provided to them.

13. Where do I find an application?
You can download the application here: