News for Loser Scholarship

MON, MAY 6, 2013 at 7:26 AM

Sub Pop Loser Scholarship Update and Where Are They Now?


Tonight at MIDNIGHT is the deadline for the Sub Pop Loser Scholarship, and so far we have received quite a few applications! Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to write an essay! We’ll be combing through each and every one of these over the next couple of weeks and will have a winner announced by May 20th! In the meantime, we figured you might want to know what some of our past Loser Winners are doing with their lives:

Marguerite Brown – 3rd Place Winner, 2009 (Writes and records her own music. Plays guitar, drums, and piano. Submitted a CD with killer original songs.)

“I recently gathered up my financial information for college and realized that all of my scholarships combined (including the Loser scholarship of course) paid for an entire year of my college education. I was able to graduate in three and a half years so I really only paid for two and a half years of schooling. Isn’t that nice!?
Artistically I just finished putting on a senior recital of all original music compositions. I teach at Meter Music School and accompany a dance class at ExitSpace dance out on Greenlake. Through my college years I have toured playing live music for a theatre production to L.A., Portland, Vancouver, and Miami, and have created some original music for a film that just went to the SXSW Film Festival. I applied for a fellowship to study in Indonesia for a year and find out in April if I have received the fellowship. I would be studying music over there which I think would be pretty dope.

Words of wisdom? Follow your heart. Life is really scary and it’s going to be scary no matter what you do with your time so you may as well try and fill your time with activities you value. Also don’t let other people run your life. There have been far too many scenarios where I have let other people’s opinions or judgements determine my behavior and decisions. I think being yourself always turns out for the best, especially in an artistic sense. It’s totally cool to be a Loser to anyone else as long as you are a Winner to yourself! Thanks again for the scholarship, it was a really lovely contribution. Peace!"

Stephanie Cristol – 2nd Place Winner, 2008 (Sent us a rad essay as well as a compilation of her music, show flyers that she drew, an interview with Ian McKaye for her zine Shaken Baby, and Teenage Trash, a documentary she made about the Seattle punk scene.)

“Thanks for checkin’ in! This past summer I graduated from the Evergreen State College with an emphasis on creative writing and literature. My college experience took me far and wide, from making ethnographic studies of the Washington peninsula to hanging out with punk rockers in Lyon, France. In my second year of school I started a new band, Hysterics, which has since toured all over the country and is preparing for an east coast tour beginning in a couple of weeks. My advice to scholarship Losers—who tend to be involved of lots of cool projects—would be to not stop doing those projects once you get to college. You’ll be busy, but don’t let anyone tell ya it can’t be done, not even your parents! Get to know the creative community in the town you’re living in and carve out a space for yourself to participate. I am still so inspired by the outpouring of creativity here in Olympia, where I can still be found slinging records at our beloved Rainy Day Record Co. In the next few years I plan on pursuing a masters degree in teaching so I can one day encourage other young art dweebs to follow their dreams.”

Bryn Kepler – First Place Winner, 2010 (Active in the local arts/music community, volunteer for One Reel, The Vera Project, Girls Rock!, the Hugo House Zine Archive, Sub Pop 20th Anniversary Festival. Also a drummer and visual artist.)

“Thanks for checking in- I actually had “email sub-pop” on my things-to-do-over-spring-break-list but you beat me to the punch.

As far as an update, I will be graduating from the UW this spring with a major in Architectural Studies. Winning the Loser Scholarship made it possible for me to do so much while in school, including a quarter in NYC at Parsons The New School for Design and a quarter in Rome last fall with some fellow UW students. Outside of class has been busy as well- last year I was hired by the UW as the creative advisor and programmer for a one-time music & arts festival, and this year I have started editing articles for the emerging Portland magazine “She Shreds”, a publication for women who play guitar or bass. Looking forward to the summer when I will hopefully be employed at an architecture firm in Seattle and be drumming again, something I haven’t been able to do because of time but miss more than anything.

I’m not funny enough for a humorous quip, but would encourage Loser hopefuls and winners alike to stay/get involved in arts communities outside of their college because there are so many great opportunities to be had that aren’t necessarily school-affiliated."

Kelton Sears – First Place Winner, 2009 (Renaissance man from Maple Valley, WA, not only wowed us with his essay, but charmed us with his vast array of arty submissions. Aspiring filmmaker and writes short stories too!)

“I just got back from SXSW and Treefort Festival in Boise playing with a band I’m in called Kithkin—it’s been cray cray but some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. I met all the guys I play with now at Seattle U, where I’m a senior now. I never would have met all these guys if you all at Sub Pop decided it was a good idea to give scholarships to weird kids. I seriously can’t thank you guys enough for giving that opportunity to all the junior weirdos across the PNW—for most scholarships you have to have published a groundbreaking physics study in a journal, or visited Uruguay as a visiting diplomat or something. When you are 18 and trying to figure out how to pay for school, looking for scholarships can be a terrifying experience. The Loser Scholarship was great because I looked at it and thought “hey, maybe these people will care about all the doodles and recordings and videos I’ve been making.”

Since I’ve been at Seattle U, I’ve worked as the Editor-in-Chief at the newspaper which has been awesome—I’ve gotten to interview GWAR and confront our Jesuit catholic school president about his positions on gay marriage.

Also, here’s a video we just released last week that has a bunch of dragons in it. We spent two and half weeks standing around in the woods in the middle of winter with a video crew shooting. We lit the entire video only using flashlights. For one of the last scenes we broke into this giant 14 story abandoned grain silo next to the west seattle bridge. It was like 1 in the morning and we heard footsteps coming up the stairs and freaked out because we thought we were going to get shanked by a graffiti gang, but we scared whoever it was away with our flashlights. More advice for future Sub Pop losers—never break into an abandoned factory without bringing a flashlight:

Kithkin – Fallen Giants [Official Video]
The Official Music Video for Kithkin’s new song ‘Fallen Giants’, the first single off of their new LP coming in 2013…"

Posted by Sasha Morgan

NEWS : FRI, MAY 25, 2012 at 10:12 AM

We’ve Found Our Loser Winners, Rejoice!


Thank you so much to everyone who applied for the Sub Pop Loser Scholarship this year! We had more entrants than ever, and we’re super inspired by the amount of creativity spewing forth from the youth of the Northwest. Without further adieu, here’s the list of the 2012 winners:

1st Place – Kelsey Curtis of Portland, OR

Why we picked her: Kelsey’s photography was stellar, she volunteered her services to rad organizations like the Dill Pickle Club, and had an articulate essay detailing her passion for art & street photographers.

Check out some of Kelsey’s work here.

2nd Place – Joe McGehee of Renton, WA

Why we picked him: Joe’s essay included a really moving story about his father, he detailed why art is his anchor, he’s extremely motivated (attended pre-college art courses at Academy of Art in Cali), he helped with art classes at the YMCA, and submitted a fabulous portfolio to boot.

Take a look at some of Joe’s art at his blog

3rd Place – Brianna O’Brien of Seattle, WA

Why we picked her: We loved Brianna’s super creative sketches (she aspires to be a fashion designer) and we loved her dedication to being involved in arts organizations that reach out to those in need (9/11 Project, Nike project to design shoes for underprivileged Native American youth, etc.). She was also selected as one of the teen artists to display their work as part of the “Arts on the Waterfront” series.

Posted by Sasha Morgan

FRI, MAR 23, 2012 at 9:05 AM

The 2012 Sub Pop Records Loser Scholarship is on


Hey there!

Sub Pop Records in Seattle, WA is offering a grand total of $13,000 worth of college scholarship money to three eligible high school seniors. There are three scholarships—one for $6,000, one for $4,000 and one for $3,000. To apply for these scholarships you must be a resident of Washington or Oregon, and a graduating senior on your way to full-time enrollment at an accredited university or college. We are looking for an applicant who is involved and/or interested in music and/or the creative arts in some way.

To apply for these scholarships we would like you to submit an essay, no longer than one page, letting us know about one or more of the following topics:

  • What are you doing in the arts/music field in your community?
  • How and/or why did you become interested in artistic outlets?
  • How would this scholarship money help you to progress in your chosen field?
  • What are your influences and/or who inspires you?
  • Who are some of your favorite bands or artists?

Applicants are strongly encouraged to send digital links and/or provide hard copies of their artwork along with their essay (we have never had a winner who submitted only an essay). However, please be aware that Sub Pop will not return any of this material, so please don’t send originals. Sub Pop will give equal opportunity to all applicants who fit the criteria outlined above. The deadline for applications is May 15th.

Please send all submissions and attachments to by May 15th, 2012. We will announce the scholarship winners on May 28th.

All physical submissions should be sent to:

Sub Pop Records
Attn: Scholarship
2013 4th Ave, 3rd Floor
Seattle, WA 98121

Amount: $6,000 / $4,000 / $3,000 — checks will be made payable to the university or college of the winning applicants’ choice and applied to winning applicants tuition.

Posted by Sam Sawyer

FRI, MAY 28, 2010 at 10:02 AM



For those of you wondering, we contacted all three losers today. If you have not been contacted, you’re a winner. (Which is to say that we have now talked to all three of the winners of the 2010 Sub Pop Loser Scholarship. They now know who they are, and we’ll have more info on them here next week!)

Thanks so much to everyone who applied! We thoroughly enjoyed looking through your essays. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but Washington and Oregon got a lotta talent.

Posted by Sasha Morgan

MON, JUL 6, 2009 at 4:52 AM



The results are in, finally! Sorry we’re late on announcing, but we spent all Fourth of July weekend locked in the office deliberating. J/K. We actually knew last week, but I may have started my holiday early and was a little too lazy to make a post.

So without further ado, let me introduce the lucky Sub Pop Loser Scholarship winners for 2009!

FIRST PLACE: Kelton Sears

Mr. Sears, Renaissance man from Maple Valley, WA, not only wowed us with his essay, but charmed us with his vast array of arty submissions. This guy is a musician (listen to his original song “Rewired” here), an aspiring filmmaker (he makes short films and video announcements for Tahoma High School), AND he writes short stories too! Kelton plans on majoring in Creative Writing at Seattle University in the fall.


Seattle native Kiku Hughes impressed the Sub Pop Loser Scholarship panel with the format of her submission. She created the aesthetically pleasing Loser Magazine highlighting her love of writing and design. Kiku writes for Three Imaginary Girls, designs show posters, and has involved herself wholeheartedly in the Seattle music community. She’ll be attending New York University in the fall and plans to major in Media, Culture and Communications and minor in Studio Art.

THIRD PLACE: Marguerite Brown

Miss Brown plays guitar, drums, AND piano and has been doing it since she was 12. She writes and records her own music, and has already played gigs at a variety of Seattle venues—Gallery 1412, Neumos, and Bumbershoot! We loved the CD of original songs that she submitted, as well as her passion for getting out there and playing live! She’ll be attending Cornish College of the Arts and plans on majoring in Music Composition.

Congratulations to these amazing kids, and thanks everyone for submitting your essays!

Posted by Sasha Morgan

TUE, JUN 16, 2009 at 5:48 AM



Thanks so much to all of the kids who applied for the Sub Pop Loser Scholarship 2009! We didn’t get as many applications this year because we dropped the ball and announced it pretty late, but you get to be totally stoked on account of less competition! We’ll announce the lucky losers on July 2nd, so check back to read more about who we’ve selected for our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes of $6,000 / $4,000 / $3,000! Also, that picture is of my cousin Michael just because he’s a high school senior. I’m trying to turn him on to the good stuff.

Posted by Sasha Morgan