Summer 2018: June 18 – July 27
The first degree program of its kind in the world, Hollins’ well-respected program offers multiple options in the study, writing, and illustration of literature for children. Books such as Goodnight Moon by Hollins alumna Margaret Wise Brown start us on our path in life, and the books that children are reading now will shape our future world.
Our newest degree offering, Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating, is a unique program bringing together the best of both disciplines. All programs share courses and top-notch faculty and writers-in-residence so that students in each degree path learn from and work with each other in a collaborative, supportive environment.
M.F.A. candidates in Hollins University’s children’s literature and children’s book writing and illustrating graduate programs talk about why, as one student explains, “It’s like no other environment I’ve ever been in.”
Master of Arts in Children's Literature
M.A. in the scholarly study of the history and criticism of children’s literature, with the option to take some coursework in creative endeavors. 40 credits. More info >
Master of Fine Arts in Children's Literature
M.F.A in writing for children and adolescents, with a grounding in the scholarship of children’s literature. 48 credits. More info >
Master of Fine Arts in Children's Book Writing & Illustrating
M.F.A. in writing and illustrating books for children and teens, including picture books, chapter books, illustrated novels, and graphic novels. 60 credits. More info >
Certificate in Children's Book Illustration
Certificate program in the illustration of books for children and adolescents. 24 credits. The certificate courses may be applied to the M.F.A. in Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating. More info >
We welcome students not in pursuit of a degree, but of a greater understanding of the significance of children’s literature to the growth of the individual. Almost all courses in scholarly study and creative work are open to applicants wishing to take a few individual courses. More info >
New Financial Assistance Opportunities
Hollins now offers several new financial assistance opportunities, including assistance particularly for teachers and librarians.
Writer-in-Residence, Scholar-in-Residence and Visiting Illustrators
These visitors conduct workshops each summer, and meet individually with students. In addition, you’ll meet many other visiting scholars, writers and artists every summer. More about them and recent guest lecturers
The Margaret Wise Brown Prize
In 2016 Hollins inaugurated the first Margaret Wise Brown Prize for a picture book text, honoring Brown, a Hollins alumna from the class of 1932. The prize carries a $1,000 award and a bronze medal with an image of Brown on the front and the winner’s name and winning book title on the back. The 2017 winner is Adam Rex for School’s First Day of School. The Honor Book is I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy.
Children’s Literature Journal
Children’s Literature is the annual journal of the Modern Language Association Division on Children’s Literature and of the Children’s Literature Association. It was founded in 1972 by the late Francelia Butler and is now edited at Hollins by Julie Pfeiffer, with R.H.W. Dillard serving as editor-in-chief. Students in the Hollins M.A. program in children’s literature have the opportunity to apply for a summer internship with the journal. Visit the Children’s Literature Association website.
Our faculty don’t just teach — they do. They are all working writers and artists or scholars active in the field, and sometimes all three. They will teach you to find your own voice, your style, your medium, your passion. In addition you’ll meet visiting scholars, writers and artists every summer.
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.
Professor of English Julie Pfeiffer, editor of the Children’s Literature Journal, discusses the 2017 version of the journal which features essays about the idea of “fitting in” for children’s literature characters as well as what lies in store for the coming years for the journal.
A debut novel by Ali Standish MFA ’15, The Ethan I Was Before, is being published by HarperCollins in the U.S. January 2017 and simultaneously in the U.K. It has already been selected by the American Booksellers Association as one of their ten “Indies Introduce” children’s titles for winter/spring 2017.
Meet the Director
Amanda Cockrell, director of the graduate programs in children’s literature; B.A. and M.A., Hollins
Professor Cockrell is the author of the young adult novel, What We Keep Is Not Always What Will Stay, as well as The Legions of the Mist, The Moonshine Blade, The Deer Dancers trilogy, The Horse Catchers trilogy, and Pomegranate Seed, and received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in fiction. What We Keep Is Not Always What Will Stay was acclaimed as one of the best books for 2011 for children by The Boston Globe, and was named to the Bulletin Blue Ribbons 2011 list from The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.