Literary Agent Barry Goldblatt Announces New Writing for Children & Young Adults Scholarship for Writers of Color

Vermont College of Fine Arts and Barry Goldblatt Literary Announce The Angela Johnson Scholarship

New annual award for writers of color attending the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults degree program

September 18, 2013, MONTPELIER, VT – Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA), a national center for graduate education in the fine arts, and Barry Goldblatt Literary, LLC, announce the creation of The Angela Johnson Scholarship, a talent-based grant for writers of color attending the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults Master of Fine Arts program. The $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to up to two students annually. With the hope of helping attract more writers of color to the leading MFA program for writers of literature for young readers, coupled with the need and desire of the publishing community and readers themselves for more diversity in authorship and content, literary agent Barry Goldblatt decided to approach VCFA about establishing this annual award. “There is growing awareness in children's publishing that we are not as diverse in what we publish as we would like to be,” said Goldblatt who has represented many VCFA faculty and graduates over the years. “I hope that this scholarship will enable some worthy writers to enroll and complete the program—a program I have the highest respect for—and then sell their resulting work to a good publisher.”

Goldblatt chose to honor his first client and MacArthur Fellowship recipient, Angela Johnson, one of the most prominent and recognized African-American authors for children and young adults, by naming the scholarship for her. “I couldn't think of a more worthy writer, someone who has given so much to children's books already...why not a little more? ”said Goldblatt. “We are thrilled to offer this new award as a way of affirming our steadfast commitment to diversity both here at VCFA and within the larger community of writers for young readers,” said Melissa Fisher, director of the program. The MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults at VCFA was founded in 1997 and quickly attracted the attention of accomplished writers and publishers around the country. Faculty and alumni from the program are New York Times bestselling authors, National Book Award Finalists, and Newbery and Caldecott Medal winners. For more information about this scholarship, contact the admissions department.

About Angela Johnson: Angela Johnson is an award-winning author and poet with over 40 books to her credit. She is the recipient of The Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, three Coretta Scott King Awards, one each for her novels The First Part Last, Heaven, and Toning the Sweep, and the Michael L Printz Award. In recognition of her outstanding talent, Angela was named a 2003 MacArthur Fellow. She was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, grew up in Alabama and Ohio, and now lives in Kent, Ohio. http://www.ajohnsonauthor.com

About Barry Goldblatt Literary, LLC: For more than a decade Barry Goldblatt Literary has helped foster the careers of a diverse group of children’s and young adult authors such as award-winners and bestsellers Angela Johnson, Cassandra Clare, Lauren Myracle, Holly Black, Shannon Hale, Libba Bray and Michael Ian Black. For more information on the agency, visit: http://www.bgliterary.com

About Vermont College of Fine Arts: VCFA is a national center for education in the arts, fostering the excellence of emerging and established artists, while advancing the arts to create a more humane world. Founded in 2008, VCFA is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC), through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. VCFA offers the Master of Fine Arts degree in Film, Writing, Writing for Children & Young Adults, Visual Art, Music Composition and Graphic Design.