Children’s Book Writing & Illustrating M.F.A.
Summer 2023: June 19 – July 28
Over the course of four to five summers complete your Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating M.F.A., the first of its kind in the country. Students desiring a terminal degree, and who want to both write and illustrate, can immerse themselves in a concentrated creative environment, supported by a foundation of critical study in the appropriate genres and in the history of children’s literature.
Course work covers books for children and teens, including picture books, chapter books, illustrated novels, and graphic novels. Sixty credits are required for the degree, including five illustration courses, three courses in critical study of illustration and text, and three writing courses, including an Advanced Writing Tutorial, limited to no more than six students, in which you will begin work on your thesis project, and an illustrated thesis.
Children's Book Writing and Illustrating (M.F.A.)
Students who want to obtain the Children’s Book Writing & Illustration M.F.A. receive training in both writing and illustrating. The degree requires 60 credits. Graduate students complete the degree requirements over a period of four to five summers. Final-semester students get a portfolio review and feedback from a major publishing house.
There is also a Certificate in Children’s Book Illustration at the graduate level.
Learn From the Best
Summers at Hollins are magical...
Working with talented and caring professors, studying techniques with renowned guest authors and illustrators, having time and space to create. Whatever your level of expertise, the program provides the perfect opportunity for taking your craft to the next levels.
— Laurie J. Edwards
- M.F.A. student, Children’s Book Writing & Illustrating
- Certificate in Children’s Book Illustration ’13
- Author, as Erin Johnson, of more than a dozen books, including the YA historical series WANTED (Switch Press, 2014), Cyber Self-Defense (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), and Love & Profanity (Capstone, 2014).
Summers of intense learning and creativity! That’s how I describe the M.F.A. program in Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating at Hollins. Here I have found a community where children’s literature is loved and respected, and where creativity is tempered with the expectations of today’s publishing environment. I entered the program as an older student and have delighted in the acceptance and support I have received from both the faculty and my fellow students. I like to say that I am learning about both words and pictures — and Hollins is where it all comes together.
Course Requirements for Children’s Book Writing & Illustrating M.F.A.
ART 523 and 523S: Children’s Book Portfolio (6 credits)
ART 527 and ART 527S: Intro to Children’s Book Media (6 credits)
ART 568 and 568S: Children’s Book Drawing Fundamentals (6 credits)
ART 578 and 578S: Children’s Book Design (6 credits)
ENG 528: Children’s Book Illustrators (4 credits)
ENG 542: History and Criticism of Children’s Literature (4 credits)
ENG 550: Special Topics: The Figure of the Goddess (4 credits)
ENG 558: Studies in Myth and Folktale (4 credits)
ENG 560: The Craft of Writing for Children (4 credits)
ENG 561: Genre Study in the Craft of Writing for Children (4 credits)
ENG 576: Critical Studies in Form and Genre (4 credits)
ENG 577: Gender Studies in Children’s and Young Adult Literature (4 credits)
ENG 583: Advanced Creative Writing Tutorial (4 credits)
ENG 597: Children’s Literature Graduate Workshop
ENG 599: Thesis (8 credits)
The thesis will consist of text and complete sketch dummies for either three picture books, two easy readers, one chapter book, one illustrated novel, or one graphic novel, plus six finished illustrations, accompanied by a 10-15 page critical essay situating the student’s creative work in the historical and critical context of children’s literature.
ENG 5XX: Elective critical course related to the genre of the student’s work (4 credits)
You’ll learn from professional storytellers — writers and illustrators alike. While many professors have attended Hollins in the past, many travel from all over the world to teach in this unique program.
Our Scholar-in-Residence, Sarah Park Dahlen, is an associate professor in the M.L.I.S. program at St. Catherine University. Read more about our summer faculty members in residence.
Donald A.D. Sutton, who is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in children’s book writing and illustrating at Hollins, is one of ten book creators chosen to take part in the We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) Mentorship Program for 2020.
Don’t you love it when old friends come to visit? Check out Ashley Wolff‘s temporary summer installations on the Hollins campus.
Rebekah Lowell M.F.A. ’19 will have her debut novel published by Penguin Random House. The Road to After is slated for publication in spring of 2022.
Cost & Applying
Tuition: $865 per credit hour for summer 2023.
- Technology fee for the summer: $138
- Housing: $1,325
- Health services: $45
More about graduate tuition and fees
Find out more details on applying
Application Deadline: February 15
Want to Know More?
Program chair Mary Jane Begin is happy to answer your questions.