Press Club’s Watkins scholarships available to working journalists for projects, students for college

By Melissa McGrath

Did you know the Idaho Press Club offers scholarships to working journalists every year? It’s true! Through the Don Watkins Scholarships, the Idaho Press Club funds scholarships for both working journalists and students.

You’re probably familiar with the Don Watkins Memorial Scholarship for college students; there’s more info on that below. But we also have the Don Watkins Mid-Career Scholarship, which is available to any Idaho Press Club member for a worthy project or expense.

Last year, the Idaho Press Club awarded Nathaniel Hoffman a $500 scholarship to help in writing his nonfiction book about immigration. In years past, journalists have used this funding to attend conferences, workshops and other training opportunities.

So how does it work? Any Press Club member can apply for up to $500 to use toward training or a project that will improve the working press in Idaho. The only catch is you must share what you learn with Press Club members through a presentation at a conference or a newsletter article in the Communicator. (Really, it’s not much of a catch at all!)

To apply, just send your resume and a proposal for how you’d spend the money to: Idaho Press Club, P.O. Box 2221, Boise, 83701, or e-mail it to The deadline is Feb. 15, but there’s no need to wait – apply now. The funds are paid out to reimburse actual costs, so if you use the scholarship to attend a conference or go on a reporting trip, for example, you’ll need to submit receipts for payment; that’s why it’s a good idea to plan ahead.

The mid-career scholarship is a supplement to our longstanding Don Watkins Memorial Scholarship for students. If you know a graduate of an Idaho high school who has completed a year of college and wishes to pursue a career in journalism or communications, please encourage them to apply for this scholarship!

To apply, students are asked to submit a one-page resume; a 500-word essay explaining their interest in a journalism or communications career; samples of journalistic work, whether published or unpublished; and a copy of transcripts, including GPA, through the most recent fall term. Applications may be mailed to the Idaho Press Club at P.O. Box 2221, Boise, 83701.

The deadline for both scholarships is February 15, 2013. The winners will be announced at the Press Club’s annual awards banquet in the spring.

More information is available online at If you have questions, please contact Press Club Executive Director Martha Borchers at (208) 389-2879 or

Melissa McGrath, a former newspaper reporter, is the public information officer for the Idaho State Department of Education, and is the secretary of the Idaho Press Club board.