VCFA Young Writers Network

Founded by alumni of VCFA’s Writing for Children & Young Adults Program, the VCFA Young Writers Network connects the college’s passionate—and growing—alumni community to the children least likely to meet real authors. 

The VCFA Young Writers Mission

We’re helping to raise a diverse next generation of writers by creating a national mentoring network that inspires young writers to:

  • Discover their voices
  • Develop their craft
  • Explore future careers in writing

Excellent Writing Instruction for Underserved Kids

We work with existing nonprofits in communities where VCFA authors live, connecting our talented authors with youth populations that are underserved by existing creative writing resources and underrepresented in children's literature as a whole.

At each site, our authors offer engaging in-school, after-school, and vacation workshops on all aspects of the writing craft, for ages 6-18. All programs are at no cost to children.

Current Partners

826 Boston

New York City
Behind the Book
NIA Brooklyn

Northern New England
Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire
Children's Literacy Foundation

Check Out Our Work

In 2016-17, we brought our authors into more than a dozen schools and community programs, offering over 120 hours of creative writing programs to 765 kids. See more of our work below.

We're Dreaming Big

Our goal is to use VCFA’s powerful alumni network to create broader, more equitable access to writing instruction for kids—and, over the long term, to foster a more diverse community of authors. (Read more about why children’s book diversity is so crucial.)

Our program is one of many important efforts to diversify children's literature.

In the coming years, the Young Writers Network will:

  • Build partnerships in up to six communities, collaborating with nonprofits that share our mission of providing excellent programming for diverse young writers.
  • Provide dozens of workshops to hundreds of children each year.
  • Organize group author visits to high-need communities where such opportunities are rare.
  • Launch a creative writing camp in Montpelier for diverse teens who are serious about the craft.
  • Engage over 1,000 young writers every year with programs that inspire, build skills, and provide a network of support for aspiring writers.

Young Writers Staff & Advisors


Katie Bayerl

Alumni Liaisons

  • Heather Hughes, Bay Area
  • Danielle Pignataro, New York City
  • Adi Rule, New Hampshire
  • Tamara Ellis Smith, Vermont


  • Alan Cumyn (WCYA Faculty Chair)
  • Melissa Fisher (WCYA Program Director)
  • Heidi Kim (WCYA alumna)
  • Uma Krishnaswami (WCYA faculty)
  • Kekla Magoon (WCYA faculty & alumna)
  • LoriGoe Pérez (WCYA alumna)

Stay in Touch

Join our mailing list for periodic updates on Young Writers Network events and opportunities to get involved.

Make a Gift

Your gift will help the VCFA Young Writers Network reach more children this year. (Designate your gift to the "VCFA Young Writers Network.")

To learn more about giving options, contact: Alissa Auerbach, 802.828.8555

Foundation Support

  • Esther B. Kahn Charitable Fund
  • New England Foundation for the Arts
  • Paterson Family Foundation
  • Vermont Community Foundation

Major Sponsors

EML Agency

In-Kind Sponsors

Help a Diverse Writer Attend VCFA

There are more ways to support diversity in children’s lit through VCFA! You can help diverse authors attend the nation’s top MFA program in Writing for Children & Young Adults.

Support a VCFA scholarship. (Designate your gift to “WCYA scholarships.”)

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