MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lerner Publishing Group today announced the Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Scholarship, a grant for students attending Hamline University’s low-residency MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. The $5,000 scholarship will be awarded annually to a new or current student in the program who shows exceptional promise as a writer of color.
The Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Scholarship was created to honor Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and her many contributions to diversity in children’s books. Hamline MFA faculty will select the finalists for the award. The winner will have the opportunity to submit a final manuscript to Lerner Publishing Group for publishing consideration.
“Awareness about diversity in children’s publishing is growing, especially after the controversy surrounding BEA panels and the social media push through the #weneeddiversebooks campaign,” explained Adam Lerner, president and publisher, Lerner Publishing Group. “Lerner Publishing Group is dedicated to diversity in children’s books and with this scholarship we want to honor Vaunda’s significant contributions to children’s literature and inspire a new generation of writers who will bring high-quality and diverse books to the market.”
“Pairing with Lerner Publishing Group to offer the Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Scholarship is a wonderful opportunity for our students,” said Mary Rockcastle, director of The Creative Writing Programs, Hamline University. “Our goal is to offer the time and resources to students to become highly skilled in the craft and process of writing. This scholarship will enable students to immerse themselves in a writing community that honors diversity at every level.”
About Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.
Lerner Publishing Group creates high-quality fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults. Founded in 1959, Lerner Publishing Group is one of the nation’s largest independent children’s book publishers with thirteen imprints and divisions: Lerner Publications, Millbrook Press, Carolrhoda Books, Twenty-First Century Books, Graphic Universe™, Darby Creek, Kar-Ben Publishing, Carolrhoda Lab™, LernerClassroom, ediciones Lerner, First Avenue Editions, Lerner Digital™, and Lerner Publisher Services. For more information, visit www.lernerbooks.com or call 800-328-4929.
About Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson won the Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction for No Crystal Stair, the Coretta Scott King Author Award for Bad News for Outlaws, and her picture book Almost to Freedom received a Coretta Scott King Honor for Colin Bootman's illustrations. She has been a teacher, a newspaper reporter, a bookseller, a school librarian, and twice a member of the Newbery Award Committee. Nelson is a youth services librarian at the public library in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, where she lives with her husband.
About the Hamline University MFA in Writing for Children and Young
The Hamline University low-residency MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults is one of only a few in the country that focuses exclusively on writing for children and young adults where students can receive a master of fine arts degree in just two years. The program offers breadth and depth in multiple writing categories—picture book, early reader, middle-grade and young-adult fiction, poetry, nonfiction, graphic novel, and comics. Students are immersed in the process and craft of writing and are supported by a community of accomplished authors, mentors, and colleagues.