Home : Coed Graduate Programs : Children's Literature

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

Program director:
Amanda Cockrell
(540) 362-6575

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


Find Us on Facebook


Children's lit grad student wins international children's writing prize. More »



Children’s Literature

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. One of the few in the country to offer humanities graduate degrees in children's literature, we are, we believe, the only one to offer them in the study and writing of children's literature.

Graduate students complete either an M.A. or an M.F.A. degree in the study and writing of children's and young adult literature over a period of three to five summers. The concurrent programs offer a uniquely diverse community of writers and scholars learning from each other, visits from a nationally known writer-in- residence, and the chance to participate in an annual student organized children's literature conference. The programs are closely associated with the Hollins creative writing program, and faculty are drawn from the ranks of Hollins writers and professors and other leading scholars from the field of children's literature. At Hollins you will have the opportunity to be part of a uniquely diverse group of scholars, writers, and teachers. In between you will live on Hollins' historic and beautiful campus, minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail.

M.F.A. students will ground their creative work in the scholarly study of children's literature. M.A. students may concentrate solely on the study of children's literature as a genre which has received far too little scholarly attention in the past, or may take up to half their credits in creative writing. It is Hollins' firm belief that any scholar of literature benefits from the experience of writing, and any serious student of writing must study closely the best works of others.

The study of children's literature as a scholarly experience was initiated at Hollins in 1973 by the major American poet and children's poet William Jay Smith. Possibly the most widely known and read alumna of the college is Margaret Wise Brown, a 1932 graduate, among whose many books for children are the classics Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. Among the many graduates of our program who have written for children are Karen Adams, Jessica Anderson, Jan Godown Annino, Nancy Attebury, Katherine Boling, Joan Carris, Beverly Gherman, Heath Gibson, Elissa Guest, Betty Hicks, Hillary Homzie, A. LaFaye, Dorina Lazo-Gilmore, Marilyn MacGregor, Patricia Mills, Valerie Patterson, Candice Ransom, Brian Rock, A. R. Rotruck, Lara Saguisag, Eve Tal, and Michelle Taylor.

You will hear lectures by visiting speakers who in the past have included Perry Nodelman, Nancy Willard, Lucille Clifton, Jack Zipes, Eleanor Cameron, and Alison Lurie. You will have the opportunity to participate each summer in the annual Francelia Butler Children's Literature Conference, an entirely student-led event showcasing both creative and scholarly work from students in the program.

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 »