Author Angie Thomas names winner of full-ride scholarship for young writers


JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – New York Times best selling author Angie Thomas announced the winner of the Angie Thomas Writers Scholarship at Belhaven University.

“All I could do after the call was drop to my knees, cry, and thank God,” said Imani Skipwith, a senior at Mississippi School of the Arts. She was selected as the winner of the scholarship based on her writing submission and experience.

“Imani is truly gifted from God. That was clear the moment I first read her entry. The Belhaven Creative Writing program was made for writers like her. It’s an honor to know that such a brilliant young woman will benefit from a scholarship in my honor. I have no doubt that Imani will soar under the guidance of the entire Belhaven family,” said Thomas.

The scholarship was designed to help young aspiring writers who need the extra support to make their dreams of authorship a reality.

Thomas, along with Belhaven officials surprised Skipwith on Wednesday, April 8 to deliver the good news during a Zoom call.

“It was such a jaw-dropping moment,” said Skipwith. “My mother and I both cried, and everyone on the call was teary-eyed. Words cannot explain the amount of joy and shock I felt when I heard her (Thomas) tell me that I won. I look up to her, and it means a lot to me that someone so spectacular has found faith and promise in my work.”

Skipwith is the first student to win the scholarship, which covers tuition, room and board at the University for four years. The full-ride scholarship is awarded to only one incoming freshman each year. Other applicants received partial scholarships as part of the Angie Thomas Writers Scholarship.

These scholarships were named in honor of Belhaven alumna Angie Thomas ’11, author of New York Times best-selling novels On the Come Up and The Hate U Give.

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