|Award-winning author Angela Johnson|
According to the press release, Barry hopes both to help attract more writers of color to this leading MFA program and to acknowledge the publishing community's — and readers' — need and desire for more diversity in authorship and content.
“There is growing awareness in children's publishing that we are not as diverse in what we publish as we would like to be,” said Barry, who has represented many VCFA faculty and graduates over the years. “I hope that this scholarship will enable some worthy writers to enroll and complete the program—a program I have the highest respect for—and then sell their resulting work to a good publisher.”
He chose to honor his first client and MacArthur Fellowship recipient, Angela Johnson, one of the most prominent and recognized African-American authors for children and young adults, by naming the scholarship for her.