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Center for Cartoon Studies founders receive Bookstock literary inspiration award


Vermont’s Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS), and co-founders Michelle Ollie and James Sturm received this year’s Literary Inspiration Award at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 24 in a presentation at Town Hall Theatre in Woodstock. 

CCS MFA student Annabel Driussi, a comic artist, science illustrator and Bookstock 2023 workshop instructor will accept the award on behalf of the honorees. In bestowing the award, Bookstock honors people or organizations for contributing to Vermont’s literary prosperity and storytelling traditions. 

“The Center for Cartoon Studies is a vital part of Vermont’s treasured culture of storytelling and the arts,” said Peter Rousmaniere, chair of Bookstock’s board of directors. “CCS is the only college-level training program of its kind in the United States. It is a truly unique institution that we’re proud to honor.” 

Nominated by Liza Bernard, programming & marketing librarian at The Norman Williams Public Library in Woodstock, who said she chose co-founders Michelle Ollie and James Sturm along with The Center for Cartoon Studies because, “They created an influential organization that now has a certified MFA program. They have educated readers, supported writers and artists, and brought creative energy to the region.” 

The award design features a drawing by famed Argentine cartoonist and Eisner Award winner Ricardo Siri, better known as Liniers, who was a CCS fellow in 2016-2017. The drawing on the award is of one the center’s beautiful campus structures, the historic Post Office building located in the village of White River Junction. Past winners include Dede Cummings, writer, poet, book-designer, and publisher of Green Writer’s Press, Renee Reiner and Michael DeSanto, founders of Phoenix Books. Reiner will present the award.

 “To be recognized in 2022 for our efforts was a tremendous honor, and surely a highlight of our career. So, to be able to stand here and pass the Bookstock Literary Inspiration Award forward is the epitome of creating community,” she said.

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