Beginning in 2016, Hollins University in Roanoke, Va., will award an annual Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children’s Literature to the author of the best text for a picture book published during the previous year. Winners will receive a $1,000 cash prize, drawn from an endowed fund created by James Rockefeller, Brown’s fiancée at the time of her death. Recipients will also receive an engraved bronze medal, and be invited to accept the award in conjunction with an on-campus reading during the summer session of the university’s graduate program in children’s literature.
“The Margaret Wise Brown Award will be one of the few children’s book awards that has a cash prize attached,” said Amanda Cockrell, director of the children’s literature program at Hollins, in a release. Nominations for the award will be accepted from children’s book publishers. A three-judge panel – consisting of established picture book authors – will review the nominations and choose a winner.
Brown, author of Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, among many others, graduated from Hollins in 1932. Hollins began offering academic courses in children’s literature in 1973; its graduate program was founded in 1992. Summer M.A. and M.F.A. programs in the study and writing of children’s literature as well as illustration are currently offered. For more information about the prize, click here.