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Announcing the Recipients of 2020 Special Scholarships

We are pleased to announce the recipients of a number of our special scholarships for the 2020 program season. We are especially grateful to our scholarship committee and faculty friends who helped to review and award applications–never an easy task as there were so many talented applicants! We are also very grateful to our recipients and their flexibility, as we’ve had to cancel some of our on-campus workshops and/or reconfigure them as online courses.

The kidlitwomen* Scholarship provides full tuition plus up to $500 in travel for a woman of color with a passion for illustration to attend a Highlights Foundation workshop in illustration. The committee chose two recipients:

  • Carla Torres will attend PB&J: Picture Books & All That Jazz which is happening online June 11-15. Carla lives in Puerto Rico and is currently working on writing and illustrating her first picture book.
  • Jacqueline Barnes will attend the Master Class in Illustration, happening this fall at our Retreat Center. Jacqueline recently graduated with an MFA, is a Highlights Foundation Diversity Fellow, and deep into creating a graphic novel.

The I, Too, Arts Collective Scholarship provides full tuition for a Black writer, identifying as a woman, to attend any Highlights Foundation workshop. Since many of our spring workshops are now online offerings, two recipients are being awarded this scholarship.

  • Tiffany Golden will attend Getting Your MG and YA Novel Unstuck, happening online May 17-21. Tiffany has worked with youth creating art, writing, and cooking; and says being a MG/YA writer allows her to honor the young people she knows by being able to describe some of their experiences and to mirror in print the power of their daily lives.
  • Alicia Williams is joining Writing First Chapter Books and Early Readers, happening online June 14-17. Alicia has worked with kindergartners for six years, and desires to improve her skills and confidence to be able to write early reader stories with characters her students can relate to.

The Susan G. and Gary S. Wheeler Whole Novel Workshop 50+ Award will provide a $500 scholarship to a writer 50 or over to attend the Whole Novel workshop August 16-22 or Writing the Unreal: The Whole Novel Workshop in Fantasy and Speculative Fiction October 4-11. The scholarship is intended to support a writer coming to writing later in their career.

  • Joy Janzen will attend the Whole Novel Workshop, happening August 16-22 at our Retreat Center. As a child, Joy loved reading novels that combined page-turning plots with characters she liked and wanted to see succeed. She still loves endings that leave her with hope or the possibility of change.

The PJ Library Scholarship is for authors pursuing works with themes related to Jewish culture and themes. Applicants can choose their workshop or Unworkshop and describe their interest and project in the application process. The following writers have been chosen to receive full or partial scholarships for workshops or retreats:

  • Michelle Orrelle, Revision Retreat, June 8-August 13. Michelle lives in Israel and has over the past five years taken multiple writing courses and currently belongs to a couple of writing groups. She looks forward to learning the skills that will help her improve her picture books and novel.
  • Allison Ofanansky, The Whole Novel Workshop, August 16-22. Allison has written many picture books and recently completed a middle-grade novel. She is looking forward to getting this novel in shape to send to agents and editors.
  • Richard Ungar, Odyssey Into Writing Middle Grade Science Fiction, September 20-23. Richard “loves stringing words together and marrying text with illustration.” His current project is a middle-grade fantasy novel.
  • Melissa Baumgart, Pushing the Limits: Writing Experimental Fiction for YA and Middle Grade Readers, October 29-November 1. Melissa lives in New York City, teaches writing workshops for children at the nonprofit Writopia, teaches at a Hebrew school, tutors, and does various educational writing projects while working on her own novels.
  • Julie Segal Walters, Writing Retreat for Jewish Kidlit Authors, November 18-21. Before becoming a children’s writer, Julie was the president and founder of Civic Action Strategies, a grassroots organizing and democracy development consulting firm; a lawyer and former Congressional lobbyist for civil rights and civil liberties; and political consultant. She is also a civic action consultant and frequent speaker to teachers and librarians on using picture books to spark civic action, as well as a speaker at SCBWI conferences on using humor to communicate complex lessons.
  • Arielle Vishny, Writing Retreat for Jewish Kidlit Authors, November 18-21. Arielle loves translating fascinating narratives into stories younger readers can access. Her first and most lasting encounters with antisemitism were in classrooms and in the pages of the books she read for school. She wants children to start from the assumption that 1) people like them have always existed, and that 2) the failing of classic novels to imagine them into complex and interesting roles is neither inevitable nor excusable.
  • Leah Berkowitz, Writing Retreat for Jewish Kidlit Authors, November 18-21. Leah’s professional passions include sharing the stories of heroic women in the Bible, writing creative midrash, exploring modern Jewish literature, live storytelling, teaching prayer, and creating meaningful worship and life-cycle experiences.
  • Emma Bernay, Unworkshop. Emma hopes an Unworkshop will give her the time and space she needs to think more deeply about her current writing project, which is a substantial undertaking not easily accomplished in the context of a busy congregational rabbinate. She will use the time to brainstorm and develop some new ideas for picture books.
  • Susan Kusel, Unworkshop. Susan was a librarian (and still considers herself one) and is a children’s book buyer for a bookstore. Her main writing focus is to author Jewish children’s books.

The Kidlit Pride Scholarship helps qualified authors and illustrators from the LGBTQIA+ community attend any of our workshops. The committee has chosen two recipients:

  • Allen Wells will attend PB&J: Picture Books & All That Jazz which is happening online June 11-15. Allen has a “day job” to pay the bills but has wanted nothing more since he was six years old than to become a full-time writer of picture books.
  • Jasmyne Hammonds will attend Pushing the Limits: Writing Experimental Fiction for YA and Middle Grade Readers, October 29-November 1. Jasmyne enjoys reading authors who step outside of the box, such as A.S. King, and would love to learn techniques that feel refreshing and intriguing as she strives to write compelling stories that push boundaries.

Angela Dominguez Artist in Residence Scholarship: In honor of Angela’s work that was a central part of every 2019 Highlights Foundation workshop, this scholarship will provide full tuition to attend Summer Camp Intensive in Illustration July 19-22.

  • Recipient Steph Calvert lives outsides of Atlanta, GA, and runs a community Drawing Club for Kids in Henry County, helping to further educate herself in illustration best practices, as well as helping upcoming artists ranging in ages from 5-18.

The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Scholarship is intended to support poets in their pursuits. One full scholarship will be awarded to attend The Craft and Heart of Writing Poetry for Children, October 18-22.

  • Recipient Beverly Sweetman (pen name: B.J. Lee) lives in Florida, where she is on a mission to convey her love of language to children.

The Jack Myers Scholarship supports science writers. One full scholarship will be awarded to attend Science and Nature Writing for Kids & Teens workshop, August 5-9.

  • Recipient Nicholas St. Fleur has recently transitioned from being a full-time staff reporter to freelancing, in order to pursue his love of writing about science for children.

The Overlook Estate Foundation Scholarship is available for students pursuing a writing or illustration project in the natural sciences and environment to attend either Summer Camp in Writing Nonfiction for Children & Teens July 15-19 or Science and Nature Writing for Kids & Teens workshop August 5-9. There are three recipients:

  • Jessica Riggs will attend Science and Nature Writing for Kids & Teens, August 5-9. She is excited to share through her writing her passion about the beauty and the magic of the natural world.
  • Lisa Boeglin will attend Summer Camp in Writing Nonfiction for Children & Teens, July 15-19. Lisa is a second-grade teacher, where she shares her love of reading. In one of her first writing projects, she hopes to eliminate myths about bats, and wants to show their magnificence to others.
  • Barbara Tuttle will attend Summer Camp in Writing Nonfiction for Children & Teens, July 15-19. Barbara believes it is important to educate the next generation about the wonders of nature and the need to protect it and wants to make it entertaining. Her last article was about vultures!

We’re thrilled to be welcoming these authors and artists to their workshops!

Posted on: April 28, 2020

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