Children’s Book Writing and Illustration M.F.A.


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The M.F.A. in Children’s Book Writing and Illustration at Hollins is the first of its kind in the country. Students who

  • want to both write and illustrate books for children and young adults, OR
  • who wish to work in publishing, OR
  • who wish to attain a terminal degree to teach in higher education,

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.

Hollins offers two academic paths for completing this program:

  1. a year-round program over the course of 36 months, including three magical summer sessions, or
  2. a summers-only program over the course of four to six summer sessions.


The curriculum consists of literature, creative writing, and illustration courses covering all forms and genres within children’s and young adult literature. Students learn from a diverse range of visiting speakers over the six-week summer term, including a scholar-in-residence on campus for one week and a writer-in-residence on campus for two weeks. 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 illustrated thesis project. Final-semester students get a portfolio review and feedback from a major publishing house.


Scholarships and Financial Support

Hollins offers scholarships and financial assistance. Review our offerings.


$865 per credit hour for summer 2024.


  • Housing: $1,360
  • Technology fee: $150/summer
  • Health services: $45

M.F.A. applicants must send 10-20 pages of their best creative work and a portfolio of art samples. You’ll need to provide three letters of recommendation. GRE scores aren’t required, but may be submitted. Undergraduate transcript must be submitted.

"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."

"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 Edwards - Erin Johnson - Children's Book MFA
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