Home : Coed Graduate Programs : Children's book Writing & Illustrating

Hollins University
Graduate Center
PO Box 9603
Roanoke, VA 24020-1603
(540) 362-6575
(540) 362-6288 (Fax)

Program co-directors:
Amanda Cockrell
(540) 362-6575

Ruth Sanderson

General information:
Hollins University Graduate Center
P.O. Box 9603
Roanoke, VA 24020-1603
(540) 362-6575
Fax: (540) 362-6288


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M.F.A. in Children’s Book Writing & Illustrating

Summer 2015: June 22 - July 31

Hollins offers summer M.A. and M.F.A. programs exclusively in the study and writing of children's literature. Beginning in summer 2014, Hollins will add to its offerings in the area of children’s literature the M.F.A. in Children’s Book Writing & Illustrating. For the first time in the country, students who want to both write and illustrate children’s books can receive a master's degree with concentrated training in both disciplines. This degree represents a marriage of courses offered through the M.F.A. in Children's Literature and the illustration courses offered for the Certificate in Children's Book Illustration.

Designed as a summer graduate program to run concurrently and in collaboration with the M.A./M.F.A. courses in Children's Literature and the Certificate in Children's Book Illustration, this M.F.A. in Children's Book Writing & Illustrating will require a total of 60 credits. Graduate students will complete the degree requirements over a period of four to five summers. The concurrent programs offer a uniquely diverse community of writers and scholars learning from each other on Hollins' historic and beautiful campus, minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail; visits from a nationally known writer-in-residence; an exceptional array of visiting speakers; and the chance to participate in an annual student organized Francelia Butler Conference on Children's Literature. The programs are closely associated with the Hollins creative writing program, and faculty are drawn from the ranks of leading writers, artists, and scholars from the field of children's literature.

M.F.A. students will be required to take four 500-level art courses of 6 credits each, an independent study in art based on the student’s specific focus, six 500-level English courses of 4 credits each, plus 8 thesis credits for a total of 60 credits to obtain the degree. The English courses will be a combination of writing and critical study of children’s literature and children’s book illustration. All students in their final semester will receive a review of their portfolio and personal feedback from an art director in a major New York publishing house.

The core faculty for this program includes noted authors and illustrators such as Amanda Cockrell (co-director), Ruth Sanderson (co-director), Ashley Wolff, Lauren Mills, Elizabeth Dulemba, Candice Ransom, Nancy Ruth Patterson, Alexandria LaFaye, Lisa Rowe Fraustino, Hillary Homzie, Delia Sherman, Ellen Kushner, Julie Pfeiffer, C. W. Sullivan III, Brian Attebery, and Rhonda Brock-Servais.

Publication Seminar

All students writing a creative thesis will have the opportunity to participate in a four-session seminar on preparing their manuscript for marketing and publication, taught by Hollins faculty and guest instructors from the publication world.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Scholarship

The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Scholarship is a yearly competitive award that carries a $1,000 scholarship and a reading by an editor from one of HMH's three hardcover imprints: Houghton Mifflin, Harcourt, or Clarion. Learn more »