Summer 2017: June 19 – July 28
Completed over the course of four to five summers, the M.F.A. in Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating is 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 book illustration.
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 write and illustrate children’s books receive training in both disciplines. 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
- Certificate in Children’s Book Illustration ’13
- M.F.A. Children’s Book Writing & Illustrating ’16
- 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 Illustration Media (6 credits) (4th in sequence)
ART 568 and 568S Children’s Book Drawing Fundamentals (6 credits) (1st in sequence)
ART 578 and 578S Illustrated Children’s Book Design (6 credits) (3rd in sequence)
*ART 590 Independent study with instructor of choice (4 credits)
ART/ENG 527 and ART 527S Creating Picture Books (6 credits) (2nd in sequence)
ENG 528 Picture Book Illustrators (4 credits)
ENG 542 History & Criticism of Children’s Literature (4 credits)
*ENG 560 The Craft of Writing for Children (4 credits) [or second ENG 561 course]
*ENG 561 Genre Study in the Craft of Writing for Children (4 credits)
ENG 583 Advanced Creative Writing Tutorial in picture books, easy readers, chapter books, or graphic novel (4 credits)
*ENG 5XX Elective critical course related to the genre of the student’s work (4 credits)
*ENG 599 Thesis (8 credits)
The thesis will consist of text and complete sketch dummies for either 3 picture books, 2 easy readers, one chapter book, or one graphic novel, plus 6 finished illustrations, accompanied by a 10-15 page critical essay situating their creative work in the historical and critical context of children’s literature.
* May be completed off campus through independent study or online class
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, Katherine Capshaw, is professor of English at the University of Connecticut. She is the author of Civil Rights Childhood: Picturing Liberation in African American Photobooks and Children’s Literature of the Harlem Renaissance. Read more about our summer faculty members in residence.
Cost & Applying
Tuition: $830 per credit hour for summer 2017.
- Technology fee for the summer: $85
- Housing: $1,175
- Health services: $30
Application Deadline: February 15
Want to Know More?
Program directors Amanda Cockrell and Ruth Sanderson are happy to answer your questions.