Phoenix Books, which operates four indie bookstores in Vermont, and the Vermont College of Fine Arts have created a new VCFA scholarship honoring the late author Howard Frank Mosher. The $10,000 Phoenix Books Howard Frank Mosher Scholarship will be given annually to an emerging fiction writer from the state in his or her first year of VCFA's MFA in Writing & Publishing residential program. The inaugural scholarship will be awarded in the 2018-2019 school year. Phoenix Books provided the gift and funding for the initiative.
"Phoenix Books embodies the spirit of independent booksellers in the state and we at VCFA couldn't be more grateful for their generosity and to partner with them on this project," said college president Thomas Christopher Greene. "This scholarship is a wonderful tribute to Howard Frank Mosher, who was a giant in Vermont. Howard was the first significant writer to support my own work many years ago and we became personal friends. No writer was better known in this state and among his peers for his generosity. Phoenix Books has stepped up in a big way in a manner that Howard would appreciate, nurturing a new generation by providing opportunity that otherwise might not be available."
Renee Reiner, co-owner with Michael DeSanto of Phoenix Books, said they "are honored to create this scholarship at VCFA. Howard was a great supporter of this institution and I believe he understood its intrinsic value to writing, to writers, and to the arts. Our hope is that this scholarship will support the works of new emerging Vermont writers, which Howard and VCFA have both done so well."
Mosher, who lived in Irasburg, Vt., was the award-winning author of 13 books that primarily took place in and around Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. He died earlier this year. His last book, Points North, will be released this January.
"This scholarship is the perfect way to honor Howard's memory," added Phillis Mosher, the author's widow. "He always tried to help new and upcoming writers by offering them advice, and oftentimes encouraged them to pursue an MFA. He was also a champion of local bookstores. He used to say that independent booksellers were the ones that made him a success."