Norma Fox Mazer.
Family, friends, and colleagues are honoring in their own ways Norma Fox Mazer, the children’s and YA author who died of cancer on October 17. Remembrances of Mazer include a memorial scheduled for next weekend and the establishment of a scholarship fund by her family, to which several of her former students and other writers are pledging the royalties from a recent anthology.
The memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 7 at 2 p.m., in the Vermont College of Fine Arts chapel in Montpelier, followed by a reception in Noble Hall.
Mazer’s family, including her husband, children’s book author Harry Mazer, have announced the establishment of a scholarship fund for Vermont College MFA writing students in honor of Mazer, who taught children’s and YA book writing in the school’s MFA department from 1997—2006. Contributions to this scholarship fund can be sent to Fox Mazer Fund, c/o Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, Vermont College of Fine Arts, 36 College St., Montpelier, Vt. 05602.
Eleven of the 12 contributors to Such a Pretty Face: Short Stories About Beauty (Abrams/Amulet, 2007), as well as the anthology’s contributing editor, Ann Angel, are donating their royalties to the Fox Mazer Fund, to honor Mazer, also one of the book’s contributors. All of these writers graduated from Vermont College’s MFA in Writing for Children’s and Young Adults program. Five of the contributors, as well as Angel, were Mazer’s students while at Vermont College, and all but one of the remaining six contributors were colleagues of hers in the MFA program. Writer Ellen Wittlinger only met Mazer once, but also wanted to honor Mazer’s legacy by donating her royalties to the fund, alongside the other contributors to Such a Pretty Face.
“Norma meant so much to us,” Angel explained about the group’s decision. “You could ask any one of the people involved in this book and we would have at least one writing story and one personal story. She was gifted at reaching out and simply being present in our lives when we needed friendship, understanding, and support,” she said.
“Such a Pretty Face was created in the spirit of just this sort of friendship and mentoring,” Angel added. “All of the people who were involved as writers have developed into cherished friends. I can't imagine a better way to honor Norma than to carry on the tradition.”