Hollins Announces Winners of the 2018 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature

Hollins University has honored a retired teacher who writes poetry for children as the winner of the third annual Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature.

Elaine Magliaro will receive an engraved medal and a $1,000 cash prize for her debut children’s book Things to Do, illustrated by Catia Chen and published by Chronicle Books in February 2017. Magliaro previously received a 2018 New Writer Honor from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, which calls Things to Do “a poetic take on the world and the important things in it, from the sun and moon to a pink eraser, as experienced through a child’s eyes and imagination.”

Magliaro was an elementary school teacher for more than three decades and worked as a school librarian for three years. She also taught a children’s literature course at Boston University; served on the advisory board of the Keene State College Children’s Literature Festival; and was a member of the National Council of Teachers of English Poetry Committee. She lives in Massachusetts.

This year’s Margaret Wise Brown Honor Book award of $300 goes to Laura McGee Kvasnosky for Little Wolf’s First Howling, published by Candlewick.

Each year, Hollins invites nominations for the Margaret Wise Brown Prize from children’s book publishers located across the country and around the world. A three-judge panel, consisting of established picture book authors, reviews the nominations and chooses a winner.

Hollins established the Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature as a way to pay tribute to one of its best-known alumnae and one of America’s most beloved children’s authors. The cash prizes are made possible by an endowed fund created by James Rockefeller, Brown’s fiancé at the time of her death.

“The Margaret Wise Brown Prize is one of the few children’s book awards that has a cash prize attached,” said Amanda Cockrell, director of the children’s literature program at Hollins.

The engraved medal presented to the winners was conceived by award-winning sculptor, painter, and Hollins alumna Betty Branch of Roanoke. Winners and Honor Book recipients are presented an original linocut certificate designed and donated by Ashley Wolff, author and/or illustrator of over 50 children’s books. Winners are invited to accept the award and present a reading on campus during the summer session of Hollins’ graduate programs in children’s literature.

Margaret Wise Brown graduated from Hollins in 1932 and went on to write Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and other children’s classics before she died in 1952. Hollins celebrated her life and work with a year-long Margaret Wise Brown Festival in 2011 and 2012, which featured stage and musical adaptations of her work along with readings, workshops, guest lectures, and other activities for all ages.

The study of children’s literature as a scholarly experience was initiated at Hollins in 1973; in 1992, the graduate program in children’s literature was founded. Today, Hollins offers summer M.A. and M.F.A. programs exclusively in the study and writing of children’s literature, an M.F.A. in children’s book writing and illustrating, and a graduate-level certificate in children’s book illustration.

This summer, Hollins’ children’s literature program will release information on how to submit books for consideration for the 2019 Margaret Wise Brown Prize.


Noted Author, Academic Is New Director of Children’s Lit Grad Programs

Lisa Rowe Fraustino, a critically acclaimed and award-winning author of young adult and children’s books, has been appointed director of the graduate programs in children’s literature at Hollins University. She succeeds Amanda Cockrell, who has led the program since 1992 and is retiring from the position in August 2018.

“Lisa brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the director’s role, including an impressive record of accomplishment in both academic scholarship and creative writing,” said Patricia Hammer, Hollins’ vice president for academic affairs. “We are thrilled that she will continue Amanda’s extraordinary work with this well-respected program.”

Among Fraustino’s academic publications are two guest-edited issues of scholarly journals, the ChLA Quarterly and Children’s Literature in Education; a co-edited book of essays, Mothers in Children’s and Young Adult Literature; and the 2016 ChLA Article Award-winning essay, “The Rights and Wrongs of Anthropomorphism in Picture Books,” published in Ethics and Children’s Literature.

Her creative work includes Ash: A Novel, which was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; The Hickory Chair, a highly praised picture book; and The Hole in the Wall, winner of the 2010 Milkweed Prize for Children’s Literature.

Fraustino has also served in a number of leadership positions within the Children’s Literature Association, including president and chair of the Phoenix Award Committee, and within the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Fraustino has been a visiting associate professor in the graduate programs in children’s literature at Hollins since 1995 and is currently a professor in the English department at Eastern Connecticut State University. She earned her Ph.D. in English literature from Binghamton University with a focus on children’s literature, contemporary fiction, and composition.

 

Photo Credit: Nick Lacy


Hollins, Sweet Briar Alums Help Send Middle Schoolers to Book Festival

Caity Gladstone, a 2009 graduate of Sweet Briar College, is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in children’s literature at Hollins. She’s sharing her passion for the genre as the teacher of eighth grade writing classes at  G.W. Carver Middle School in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

About a month ago, Gladstone and a colleague partnered to register their students to attend the Virginia Children’s Book Festival, which is hosted each October by Longwood University in Farmville. After all, what better way to foster a love of reading in their young students? They ran into a problem, however: All the buses were spoken for and they would have to use a chartered bus.

Hiring a bus was outside of their budget, so Gladstone and her colleague asked their students’ parents to contribute. It soon became clear that the money for the charter bus was going to be hard to come by and  they wouldn’t be able to make the trip happen.

Gladstone wasn’t willing to accept defeat. She knew that she could call on alumnae from both Hollins and Sweet Briar to help make the trip possible.

“I have always believed in the amazing support of both of these small liberal arts colleges, and they really came through,” she said.

Hollins and Sweet Briar alumnae raised enough money to not only refund the parents who had already contributed, but also create a fund for future trips. Even better, they raised the amount in a mere eight hours. As a result, Gladstone’s students were able to attend the festival and get inspiration for their own writing. They got to meet several authors — including Aisha Saeed, Meg Medina, Lamar Giles, Dhonielle Clayton, Liz Garton Scanlon, and Jarret Krosoczka — and learn about their writing processes.

“Many of the students got to speak with authors one-on-one after the sessions,” Gladstone said. “More than a couple of them said the workshops were especially useful and that they planned on using the authors’ techniques in the future when they need inspiration or have writer’s block. I think they also got a great message that authors are diverse, and so is my student population.”

One student, Abbey Colomb said, “I think I came away from that field trip knowing that I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. Everyone starts somewhere and though you may have a talent for writing, nobody is going to be writing publishing-worthy books in the eighth grade. We can’t let that stop up us. We need to keep writing so that we can learn from mistakes.”

 

Photo caption: Caity Gladstone’s students visited the Longwood University campus in October to attend the Virginia Children’s Book Festival.

 

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Adam Rex Receives 2017 Margaret Wise Brown Prize

Hollins University honored author/illustrator Adam Rex with the second annual Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature during the 2017 Francelia Butler Conference on July 22.

The award showcases the most distinguished picture book manuscript as selected by a panel of judges. Rex received an engraved medal and a $1,000 cash prize for his book School’s First Day of School, illustrated by Christian Robinson and published by Roaring Book Press.

Hollins established the prize in tribute to one of its best-known alumnae and one of America’s most beloved children’s authors. Brown graduated from Hollins in 1932 and went on to write Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and other children’s classics before she died in 1952.

In his remarks at the medal ceremony, Rex called School’s First Day of School “my favorite book of mine.” He recounted how the idea for it came to him during a gathering of children’s picture book authors and agents. “We were talking about picture book clichés, books that never needed to be written again. And somebody said, ‘A kid is nervous about his first of school.’ As we were talking about this, I guess the way my mind works I always flip things around, so I [jokingly suggested] ‘A school is nervous about his first day of children.’ The next day as I was having breakfast with my agent I told him my funny joke and he responded, ‘Oh, that’s your next book.'”

In its starred review, Booklist describes School’s First Day of School as a “charming reversal of first-day-of-school nerves [that] will delight little ones and help put their own anxieties at bay, while School Library Journal calls it “an essential purchase that is simultaneously funny, frank, and soothing. A perfect first day read-aloud.”

The study of children’s literature as a scholarly experience was initiated at Hollins in 1973. In 1992, the graduate program in children’s literature was founded. Today, Hollins offers summer M.A. and M.F.A. programs exclusively in the study and writing of children’s literature, an M.F.A. in children’s book writing and illustrating, and a graduate-level certificate in children’s book illustration.

 

Photo: Hollins President Pareena Lawrence with Adam Rex, winner of the 2017 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature


Wilson Museum Presents “Drawings from ‘The Whale'”

The debut picture book by husband-and-wife artistic team Ethan and Vita Murrow is the focus of a new exhibition at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum.

“Drawings from The Whale,” which is on display July 20 – October 8 in the museum’s Main Gallery, features 28 original graphic drawings that convey the drama and haunting beauty of the ocean, and capture the majesty of the awe-inspiring whale. The exhibition includes a children’s reading nook and a family scavenger hunt activity.

The Murrows have collaborated on a variety of artistic projects including writing, video, film, drawing, and photography. “They approached this book as if it was a film project, set up like a storyboard paying homage to the films of Jacques Cousteau, film noir, and adaptations of Agatha Christie’s work,” explained Wilson Museum Director Jenine Culligan. “Their process included constructing props, organizing a wardrobe, and hiring two young actors and professional photographers to act out and capture the narrative.”

The Murrows share and divide duties much like a film production, working as a team to write and plan. Vita acts as producer and director; Ethan builds the drawings in conversation with Vita.

“Drawings from The Whale” is sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission with additional funds provided through Hollins’ M.F.A. program in children’s book writing and illustrating. An opening lecture, book signing, and opening reception will be held on Thursday, July 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center’s Niederer Auditorium.

Admission to the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University is always free and open to the public.

 


Hollins Announces Winners of the 2017 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature

  • The annual award showcases the most distinguished picture book manuscript as selected by a panel of judges.
  • This year’s recipients are Adam Rex for School’s First Day of School and Debbie Levy for I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Makes Her Mark.
  • The Margaret Wise Brown Prize is among the few children’s book honors with a cash award.

Arizona-based author and illustrator Adam Rex is the winner of the second annual Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature.

Rex will receive an engraved medal and a $1,000 cash prize for his book School’s First Day of School, illustrated by Christian Robinson and published by Roaring Brook Press. “This charming reversal of first-day-of-school nerves will delight little ones and help put their own anxieties at bay,” said Booklist in its starred review, while School Library Journal called it, “An essential purchase that is simultaneously funny, frank, and soothing. A perfect first day read-aloud.”

Rex’s previous works include the New York Times bestseller Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, a collection of stories about monsters and their problems. His novel The True Meaning of Smekday was adapted into the DreamWorks film Home in 2014.

This year’s Margaret Wise Brown Honor Book award of $300 goes to Debbie Levy for I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Makes Her Mark, published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.

The 2017 competition was judged by three acclaimed children’s book authors:

  • Phil Bildner, who won the inaugural Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature for his book Marvelous Cornelius, which was also a Junior Library Guild Selection and winner of the Parents’ Choice Gold Award.
  • Jane Yolen, co-author of the 2016 Margaret Wise Brown Honor Book You Nest Here With Me as well as more than 350 other books that have garnered two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, a National Book Award nomination, and the Golden Kite Award.
  • Heidi E.Y. Stemple, co-author of the 2016 Margaret Wise Brown Honor Book You Nest Here With Me and many others.

Hollins University established the Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature as a way to pay tribute to one of its best-known alumnae and one of America’s most beloved children’s authors. The cash prizes are made possible by an endowed fund created by James Rockefeller, Brown’s fiancé at the time of her death.

“The Margaret Wise Brown Prize is one of the few children’s book awards that has a cash prize attached,” said Amanda Cockrell, director of the children’s literature program at Hollins.

The engraved medal presented to the winners was conceived by award-winning sculptor, painter, and Hollins alumna Betty Branch of Roanoke. Winners and Honor Book recipients are presented an original linocut certificate designed and donated by Ashley Wolff, author and/or illustrator of over 50 children’s books. Winners are invited to accept the award and present a reading on campus during the summer session of Hollins’ graduate program in children’s literature.

Margaret Wise Brown graduated from Hollins in 1932 and went on to write Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and other children’s classics before she died in 1952. Hollins celebrated her life and work with a year-long Margaret Wise Brown Festival in 2011 and 2012, which featured stage and musical adaptations of her work along with readings, workshops, guest lectures, and other activities for all ages.

The study of children’s literature as a scholarly experience was initiated at Hollins in 1973; in 1992, the graduate program in children’s literature was founded and this year celebrates its 25th anniversary. Today, Hollins offers summer M.A. and M.F.A. programs exclusively in the study and writing of children’s literature, an M.F.A. in children’s book writing and illustrating, and a graduate-level certificate in children’s book illustration.

This summer, Hollins’ children’s literature program will release information on how to submit books for consideration for the 2018 Margaret Wise Brown Prize.

 

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Judges, Submission Guidelines Announced for the 2017 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature

Hollins University has named three distinguished authors as judges for the 2017 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature.

Presented annually, the Margaret Wise Brown Prize recognizes the author of the best text for a picture book published during the previous year. The award is a tribute to one of Hollins’ best-known alumnae and one of America’s most beloved children’s authors. Winners are given a $1,000 cash prize, which comes from an endowed fund created by James Rockefeller, Brown’s fiancé at the time of her death. Each recipient will also receive an engraved bronze medal as well as an invitation to accept the award and present a reading on campus during the summer session of Hollins’ graduate programs in children’s literature.

Judges for the 2017 prize include:

  • Phil Bildner, author of the Margaret Wise Brown Prize-winning picture book Marvelous Cornelius, which was also a Junior Library Guild Selection and a recipient of the Parent’s Choice Gold Award. Bildner has also written numerous other picture books.
  • Jane Yolen, co-author of the Margaret Wise Brown Prize Honor Book You Nest Here With Me, as well as more than 350 other books. Her works have garnered two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, a National Book Award nomination, three Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards, and the Golden Kite Award.
  • Heidi E.Y. Stemple, co-author of the Margaret Wise Brown Prize Honor Book You Nest Here With Me and many others.

Publishers should submit four copies of each book they wish to nominate for the Margaret Wise Brown Prize:

  • One copy should be mailed to Hollins University, with contact information included, at:Margaret Wise Brown Prize
    Graduate Program in Children’s Literature
    Hollins University
    Box 9678
    7916 Williamson Road
    Roanoke, VA 24020
  • One copy should be mailed to each of the three prize judges. Mailing addresses for each judge may be obtained by contacting Amanda Cockrell, director of Hollins University’s graduate programs in children’s literature, at acockrell@hollins.edu.

The deadline for submission for books published in 2016 is January 15, 2017. Books must have been first published in 2016; reprints are not eligible. The winner of the Margaret Wise Brown Prize will be announced in May 2017.

Brown graduated from Hollins in 1932 and went on to write Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and other children’s classics before she died in 1952. Hollins celebrated her life and work with a year-long Margaret Wise Brown Festival in 2011 and 2012, which featured stage and musical adaptations of her work along with readings, workshops, guest lectures, and other activities for all ages.

The study of children’s literature as a scholarly experience was initiated at Hollins in 1973; in 1992, the graduate program in children’s literature was founded. Today, Hollins offers summer M.A. and M.F.A. programs exclusively in the study and writing of children’s literature, an M.F.A. in children’s book writing and illustrating, and a graduate-level certificate in children’s book illustration.

 

 

 

 


“Marvelous Cornelius” Author Phil Bildner Receives the Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature

Hollins University honored the winner of the inaugural Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature with a medal ceremony during the 2016 Francelia Butler Conference on July 23.

Hollins established the prize in tribute to one of its best-known alumnae and one of America’s most beloved children’s authors. Brown graduated from Hollins in 1932 and went on to write Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and other children’s classics before she died in 1952.

Phil Bildner, a former New York City public school teacher who has written more than 20 children’s books, is the award’s first recipient. The author of Marvelous Cornelius received a $1,000 cash prize, which comes from an endowed fund created by James Rockefeller, Brown’s fiancé at the time of her death. Bildner was also presented an engraved medal conceived by award-winning sculptor, painter, and Hollins alumna Betty Branch of Roanoke.

“Margaret Wise Brown said, ‘A good picture book can almost be whistled….All have their own melodies behind the storytelling,’” said judges Elissa Haden Guest and Judy Schachner in a statement. “In that spirit, we award the Margaret Wise Brown Prize to Phil Bildner for Marvelous Cornelius, a book about a simple, musical man who inspired the cleanup of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.” Illustrated by John Parra and published by Chronicle Books, Marvelous Cornelius is geared toward children ages 4 – 7.

The study of children’s literature as a scholarly experience was initiated at Hollins in 1973; in 1992, the graduate program in children’s literature was founded. Today, Hollins offers summer M.A. and M.F.A. programs exclusively in the study and writing of children’s literature, an M.F.A. in children’s book writing and illustrating, and a graduate-level certificate in children’s book illustration.

Photo: Phil Bildner receives the Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature medal from Hollins President Nancy Gray.


Conference’s New Award Recognizes Founding Director of Children’s Literature Studies at Hollins

Amy Deligdisch (left) and Jessi Cole Jackson (right), co-chairs of the 2016 Francelia Butler Conference, with Amanda Cockrell, founding director of the graduate programs in children’s literature at Hollins.

Hollins University’s Francelia Butler Conference (FBC), a one-day, student-run conference dedicated to celebrating children’s literature, is presenting a new prize this year in honor of the founding director of Hollins’ graduate programs in children’s literature.

The Amanda Cockrell Award joins already established $100 prizes that highlight the creativity, diversity of talent, and drive of Hollins’ children’s literature graduate students.

“When considering all that Amanda has poured into this program from the beginning and all she has done for its students, naming the award after her was the obvious choice,” said Amy Deligdisch, a children’s literature graduate student and co-chair of FBC for 2016. “Over the years she has counseled us, taught us, guided us, answered a million questions, sent a thousand emails, and kept track of dozens of students at once. We salute her for creating a program that has become a safe haven to so many of us, a home away from home.”

With R.H.W. Dillard, Cockrell founded the program in 1992, one of the first of its kind in the country devoted exclusively to the study and writing of children’s and young adult literature. Today, students may pursue an M.A. or M.F.A. in children’s literature, an M.F.A. in children’s book writing and illustration, or a certificate in children’s book illustration.

The FBC offers graduate students the opportunity to submit creative and critical papers for critique by a panel of distinguished judges. The Shirley Henn Award is given to the top piece in the categories Critical Writing and Creative Writing: Long Form. Students may also submit original artwork to the conference’s art show and compete for the Margaret Kates Award in the Illustration category. The Cockrell Award honors students in a fourth category, Creative Writing: Short Form, which encompasses works such as picture books and poetry.

Another FBC tradition, a silent auction, helps raise funds for future conferences. According to Deligdisch’s fellow conference co-chair, Jessi Cole Jackson, who is also a children’s literature graduate student, “Last year’s silent auction was so successful that it will not only fund the 2016 conference, but also support ten years of a new award category. By dividing the Creative Writing award into Long Form and Short Form, novel excerpts and short stories no longer have to be judged beside shorter works. Authors will now have the chance to have their work considered in comparison to siblings instead of cousins.”

This year’s FBC takes place on Saturday, July 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Niederer Auditorium, Wetherill Visual Arts Center. Admission is free and open to the public. The keynote speaker for this year’s event is Marah Gubar, who teaches and writes about children’s literature from a variety of periods, but is especially interested in 19th– and 20th-century representations of childhood and the history of children’s theatre. Her book Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children’s Literature won the Children’s Literature Association’s Book Award. She is associate professor of English at MIT and previously directed the children’s literature program at the University of Pittsburgh.

 


Beloved Picture Book Characters Adorn the Hollins Campus this Summer

Ferdinand the Bull, Eyeore, Pooh and Piglet, Mister Toad from Wind in the Willows, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and The Runaway Bunny and his Mama have all found a home at Hollins this summer.

Acclaimed illustrator Ashley Wolff, who teaches in Hollins’ graduate-level certificate program in children’s book illustration, has created cutouts of both classic and contemporary picture book characters and placed them around campus for the Summer 2016 Term, which runs through July 29.

“I’ve had these in mind for several years, and last year I finally got serious about finding a material to make them from,” she explained.

Wolff is the author and/or illustrator of over 50 children’s picture books including Baby Beluga, Stella and Roy Go Camping, Me Baby, You Baby, Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?, Mama’s Milk, and the Miss Bindergarten series. Her artwork has been exhibited widely in national shows and her books have won numerous state and national awards. She lives and works in San Francisco.