September 23, 2013

Vermont college offers a scholarship to minority children’s & YA authors


Angela Johnson, the namesake for a new scholarship for minority writers

Last week, Vermont College of Fine Arts announced via a press release that it will offer a scholarship to young authors of color to some students who enroll in the school’s MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults Master of Fine Arts program. The Angela Johnson Scholarship will be given out by the school in conjunction with the Barry Goldblatt Literary Agency.

Goldblatt, whose agency has represented several VCFA alumni and faculty members, said in the announcement, “There is growing awareness in children’s publishing that we are not as diverse in what we publish as we would like to be. I hope that this scholarship will enable some worthy writers to enroll and complete the program — a program I have the highest respect for — and then sell their resulting work to a good publisher.”

Goldblatt also chose the name for the scholarship, dedicating it to his first client Angela Johnson, a MacArthur Fellow, author of more than 40 books, and three-time recipient of the Coretta Scott-King Award, given to African-American writers for outstanding children’s or YA literature.

VCFA has one of the leading MFA programs for writers of literature for young readers, and with the Johnson scholarship, they hope to attract more writers of color. It will be talent-based, and will award $5,000 to up to two students each year.


Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.