Brandy Colbert, MFAC Faculty

Brandy Colbert

Graduate Adjunct - CLA

Brandy Colbert is the award-winning author of several books for children and teens, including Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, which was the winner of the 2022 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Nonfiction and a finalist for the American Library Association's Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction Award and the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction; Stonewall Book Award winner Little & Lion; and The Only Black Girls in Town. Her books have been chosen as Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections, and have been named to many best of lists, including the ALA's Best Fiction for Young Adults and Notable Children's Books. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, and her short stories and essays have appeared in several critically acclaimed anthologies for young people. She lives in Los Angeles.

Q&A with Brandy Colbert

How did you come to teach at Hamline MFAC?
When MFAC was looking for new advisors a few years ago, they reached out to ask if I was interested in teaching. I had never considered it before, but I admired the faculty and alumni, so I decided to challenge myself, and I'm so glad I did. I started in July 2018.
What’s your favorite part of residency?
I always enjoy learning through lectures, workshops, and conversations about how different we all are as writers. It's fascinating and inspiring to see how many different methods we use to get to the same finished product.
How would you describe your faculty advising style?
Overall, I value honesty, open communication, and dedication to the craft.
What’s your favorite book to recommend to MFAC students?
One of my favorite parts of advising is recommending books to students based on their individual projects or interests, so I wouldn't say there's one particular book I have in mind. But I love when a student connects with a book that I believed they'd find valuable in some way.
Creative Writing Programs house
We asked you to send a photo that represents a favorite Hamline memory. What's happening in your photo?
There are too many fun memories to choose just one, and I'm also terrible at remembering to take photos in the moment, but I wanted to shout out the Hamline Creative Writing Programs house, which is one of my favorite places to visit when I'm at residency (this picture is from July 2019, during my third residency). Our MFAC director, Mary Rockcastle, and the rest of the creative writing programs crew have made it such a warm, welcoming space, and it's nice to have a home base on campus.



Young adult

The Blackwoods
Balzer + Bray, 2023

Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre (nonfiction)
Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins Publishers, 2021

The Voting Booth
Disney-Hyperion Books, 2020

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2019

Finding Yvonne
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2018

Little & Lion
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2017

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House, 2014

Middle grade

The Only Black Girls in Town
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2020