This scholarship was established in honor of James Cross Giblin. Kent Brown, retired Executive Director of the Highlights Foundation, says: Jim had a profound effect on all parts of the juvenile publishing industry. We knew that, you and I. We have seen it at work.
But what has moved me most is Jim’s passion for helping others to believe in the magic their own writing can bring to children. The establishment of the James Cross Giblin Scholarship Fund ensures that passion is perpetual.
Let me tell you about a special moment, one I have never forgotten. July 12, 1986. Chautauqua number two and the first of seventeen years of Jim’s service as faculty for the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop.
“Before I begin my talk this morning, I want to introduce you to the person responsible for introducing me to children’s books and reading. Mother, will you please stand.” That was a powerful tribute to a mother…and a mentor.
So many of us who write or publish or teach in the service of children have had special mentors. Often a parent or grandparent or teacher influenced us at an early age. Some of us have been blessed to be able to serve in some small way as mentors for others. I like to think of mentoring as a wonderful cycle, surely less scientific than the Water Cycle of our fifth-grade years, but no less powerful. The influence of a mentor lives far beyond the mentor.
James Cross Giblin has been a mentor for many.
Not long ago I had lunch with LeeAnn Blankenship, who was attending her third Highlights Foundation program. She was recounting her first experience with us. She remembered a transition from doubt to confidence. It was meeting with Jim Giblin at her first workshop that brought about that transition. “He made me feel like publication could happen to me. I practically flew home in my car. He was so encouraging, and took a personal interest.”
I won’t recite the details of Jim’s career.
But I will tell you about the the James Cross Giblin Scholarship Fund, an endowed, ongoing scholarship program within the Highlights Foundation, established this year by Jim. Each year, the fund will provide access to our programs for a number of writers, with a focus on aiding those who have a strong talent and passion for juvenile nonfiction. The fund will also support attendance at appropriate programs for those working in children’s publishing, and who have the potential to make a long-term professional contribution.–Kent Brown, retired Executive Director