New scholarship will honor iconic Irasburg writer

in Arts and Entertainment/Irasburg by

IRASBURG — Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) and Phoenix Books, a Vermont-based independent bookseller, announced the creation of a new VCFA scholarship that honors late author Howard Frank Mosher.

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Called the Phoenix Books Howard Frank Mosher Scholarship, the $10,000 award will be merit-based and given annually to an emerging fiction writer from Vermont in his or her first year of VCFA’s MFA in Writing & Publishing residential program.

The first scholarship will be awarded in the 2018-2019 school year.

Mosher, who lived in Irasburg, was the award-winning author of 13 books that mostly took place in and around Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. He passed away in January 2017 after a short illness. His last book, “Points North,” will be released this January.

“This scholarship is the perfect way to honor Howard’s memory,” said Mosher’s wife, Phillis Mosher. “He always tried to help new and upcoming writers by offering them advice, and often times 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.”

Phoenix Books provided the gift and funding for the purpose of an annual MFA in Writing & Publishing scholarship, said VCFA President Thomas Christopher Greene.

“Howard was the first significant writer to support my own work many years ago and we became personal friends,” said Greene.No writer was better known in this state and among his peers for his generosity.”

Greene and poet Daniel Lusk, speaking on behalf of Phoenix Books, announced the scholarship’s creation during the third annual Vermont Book Award Gala held at VCFA on Sept. 23, 2017.

Mosher was a judge for the 2015 Vermont Book Award and this year’s gala was dedicated to him.