In 2017, the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival created a memorial scholarship for one of our inspiring young writers, Victoria Brooks. As a senior at Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women, Victoria published a book of her poems, What You Weren't Told. In May of 2016, she was invited to present as a featured teen author at the Eleventh Annual Teen Book Festival, where she presented her poetry, as part of the Teen Author Panel. Victoria was pursuing a degree at Canisius College and still actively publishing her writing when she passed away in November, 2016.

The Victoria Brooks Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a teen who demonstrates passion and shows promise as an emerging writer. It includes a one-year student membership to Rochester's Writers & Books, along with a $250 certificate to apply towards teen writing workshops at Writers & Books. One teen will be selected and announced each year at the Annual Teen Book Fest event beginning in 2019.

Scholarship Criteria:

  1. Applicant must be between 11 to 18 years old at the time the application is submitted.
  2. Applicant must be able to commit to the selected Writers & Books workshops of his/her choice within one year of the award.
  3. The work submitted must be original and must reflect a clear voice and point of view. All styles and themes accepted.

Required Application Materials:

  • A letter of application (1-2 pages, typed; 500 word count maximum) stating their writing goals and how this scholarship will help further their plans.
  • A sample of writing (3,000 word count maximum/15 pages maximum). The sample may include both published and unpublished work. The sample may also include current work-in-progress.
  • All application materials must be finalized and accurate before submitting.
  • Please be sure to appropriately label or title individual pieces submitted as part of the collection.

Applications cannot be edited or resubmitted once you've applied. Applications may be submitted electronically or by mail. To be considered, the application must be either postmarked by January 25th or received electronically by 5:00pm, January 31st.

All materials should be addressed and sent to:
Mrs. Kimberly Rouleau, Chair Victoria Brooks Scholarship
c/o Our Lady of Mercy
1437 Blossom Road
Rochester, NY 14610

Email: vbscholarship@teenbookfest.org

Review Process:

  • There will be five independent reviews of the teen's submission.
  • Each reader will score the teen's work using the scholarship criteria (The evaluation rubric the committee uses in evaluating an author's work is found at the end of this application).
  • The teen's work must receive a minimal average score of 85 or above from the independent/blind reviews to make it to the final evaluation round.
  • Those projects which receive a rating of 85 or above will be re-read and scored using the same criteria. At the same time, the reader will also rank the applications in the order of overall excellence. All scores are submitted directly to the VBS Chair.
  • The full review committee will meet to determine the annual winner of the scholarship. The VBS Chair will be an impartial member of this committee and will serve to keep a record of the review process.

Announcement of the Annual Victoria Brooks Scholarship Winner
Recipients of this award are notified in writing by 5:00pm on March 30th. The award winner will be announced during the opening panel at the annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival in May.

Questions regarding this scholarship and the application should be directed to Mrs. Kimberly Rouleau. You may contact her via email: vbscholarship@teenbookfest.org

Victoria Brooks Scholarship Committee Members
The Victoria Brooks Scholarship Committee is comprised of five voting members and the VBS Chair (non-voting).

Minimally, the five voting members will include one member of the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival Planning Committee and one Writers & Books staff member.

In addition to these two committee members, in any given review cycle, the committee may also include three of the following:

  • One additional member from the TBF Planning Committee
  • One additional member from the WAB staff
  • A Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival Board member
  • A former teen recipient of the Victoria Brooks Scholarship award
  • A community member with special interest and/or expertise in young adult literature and young adult writers
Criteria Excellent
(4.0-3.5)
Commendable
(3.0-2.5)
Developing
(2.0-1.5)
Unacceptable
(1.0 or below)

Originality/Authenticity
(Ideas; Author's Purpose)

Score:

___ x 8 =____

The author's work presents ideas, topics and or themes in new or novel ways. There is a uniqueness to the ideas, topics, themes presented in the work. The intended message rings true.

The author's work presents relevant ideas, topics, themes. The intended message rings true.

The author's work often presents relevant ideas, topics, themes. Sometimes the author's intended purpose is not clear and/or is not believable.

The author's work rarely presents ideas, topics and themes in an authentic or relevant way. The author's intended purpose is not believable. The author's work may not be original. Work is copied from another source.

Development/Organization of Ideas

Score:

___ x 7 =____

The ideas are skillfully presented and detailed according to typical expectations of the genre presented (e.g., narrative story structure; poetic forms) The structure of the author's work(s) is logical and aids the development of the major ideas, topics and/or themes.

The ideas are appropriately presented and detailed according to typical expectations of the genre presented (e.g., narrative story structure; poetic forms) The structure of the author's work(s) is logical and aids the development of the major ideas, topics and/or themes.

At times, the ideas are presented and detailed according to typical expectations of the genre presented (e.g., narrative story structure; poetic forms) Occasionally there are problems with the structure of the author's work(s).

Rarely are the ideas presented and detailed according to typical expectations of the genre presented (e.g., narrative story structure; poetic forms) The problems with the structure of the author's work(s) ultimately impede the author's meaning.

Voice/Word Choice/Sentence fluency

Score:

___ x 5 =____

The author's work demonstrates a clear voice. Vocabulary used is precise and sophisticated. Shows a keen awareness of audience and for developing imagery. Sentence construction is appropriate and adds to the richness of the text.

The author's work demonstrates evidence of effective word choices and sentence fluency. Shows an awareness of audience and for developing imagery through sentence construction and vocabulary. There are only minimal errors that may impede understanding.

There is a developing voice in the author's work, but it lacks precision and/or sophistication. Shows some awareness of audience and for developing imagery through sentence fluency and word choice, but it is inconsistent. At times errors may impede understanding.

The author's work does not demonstrate an effective use of vocabulary. At times vocabulary is redundant. Sentence fluency is not varied when needed. Errors may also impede understanding.

Overall Presentation of Work

Score:

___ x 5 =____

The author's work is appropriately titled and presented in a polished form. The font type and size used does not detract from the author's message. The work is free from error. It is "ready for publication."

The author's work is titled and presented in a polished form. The font type and size used does not detract from the author's message. The work is free from error. It is "ready for publication."

The author's work is usually titled and presented in a polished form. The font type and size used does not detract from the author's message. The work has minimal errors that are "easy fixes."

The author's work is rarely presented in a polished form. The font type and size used detracts from the author's message. The work has errors that require significant editing.

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