Boston Public Library
Children's Writer-in-Residence Program

Associates of the Boston Public Library

Children’s Writer-in-Residence Program

The Associates of the Boston Public Library sponsors a Children's Writer-in-Residence program annually. The program is intended to:

The Children’s Writer-in-Residence receives a $20,000 stipend and office space at the BPL's Central Library in Copley Square. He or she must work a minimum of 19 hours per week at the BPL during the nine-month residency (September 2014 through May 2015). Projects eligible for this program are fiction, non-fiction, a script, or poetry, intended for children or young adults. Illustrations may be combined with any of these formats, but are not required. To be eligible, the applicant must be a US citizen and cannot have published more than three books to date. We will start accepting applications for next year’s program in early 2015.

Read about the program's ten prior residents.

2014-2015 Children’s Writer-in-Residence

The Associates of the Boston Public Library is pleased to announce that Natalie Coward Anderson of Charlestown, Massachusetts is the eleventh Children’s Writer-in-Residence. The selection panel chose Anderson as the 2014–2015 recipient in a blind competition based on an excerpt from her proposed novel, Rules for Thieves.

Anderson has a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in International Studies, African Studies and Political Science, and received her MSc. from the University of Oxford in Forced Migration. Although she lives in Boston, you can also sometimes find her in the mountains of North Carolina or Nairobi, Kenya. She's spent the last decade working with refugees around the world, mainly Africa.

During her residency, Anderson plans to write a young-adult novel titled Rules for Thieves. In the novel,  Tina’s mother is killed by a ruthless criminal businessman, leaving Tina to take care of herself the only way she can that doesn’t involve getting pregnant—by becoming a thief. A good one. And as a thief she can finally infiltrate her mother’s killer’s world and get what she wants most. Revenge.

2014-2015 Honorable Mention

The selection panel also awarded an Honorable Mention prize, for only the second time in the program’s history. This prize went to Jennifer De Leon of Milton, Massachusetts, based on her submission, Volar. De Leon is the editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Ms., Brevity, Poets & Writers, Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010, and elsewhere. Her essay, “The White Space,” originally selected as first place recipient of the Michael Steinberg Essay Prize and published in Fourth Genre, was listed as notable in Best American Essays 2013. She teaches at Grub Street Creative Writing Center and at the Boston Teachers Union School in Jamaica Plain.

Program News

Program alumni have published (or are in the process of publishing) sixteen titles! In March 2012, the Associates’ very first Children’s Writer-in-Residence, Hannah (Rodgers) Barnaby, published the book that she wrote during her BPL residency, Wonder Show. In addition, Anna Staniszewski has published multiple books, including most recently, The Dirt Diary (January 2014), and The Prank List (July 1, 2014).

For further information about the Children's Writer-in-Residence Program, the 2014-15 recipient, or about the Associates of the Boston Public Library, please contact the Associates' Office at 617-536-3886 or

Associates of the Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Phone: 617-536-3886