Tragic news in the writing world today. Ned Vizzini, an author of young adult and middle grade books and a writer for television and various news outlets, has passed away. He was 32.
We at Scholastic are proud to have known Ned in a special way. In addition to distributing his books through Scholastic Book Fairs, he was honored with a Scholastic Art & Writing Award in 1996, and since then has been a longtime friend of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers (the nonprofit that administers the Awards). He turned his experience of winning his award into an essay called "Honorable Mention," which was published in the New York Press and then included in his first anthology of essays, Teen Angst? Naaah…. He also served as the voice of their Ask a Writer column and served for many years as a National Writing juror.
"The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards family has lost a good friend and a tireless supporter," says Virginia McEnerney, executive director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. "His work was a true example of the fearlessness and originality that our program seeks to recognize. We will miss him greatly."
Ned's writing, including acclaimed books like It's Kind of a Funny Story, dealt with tough topics in honest ways that spoke to young readers. Throughout his career, he spoke authentically and with humor about mental health issues and encouraged writers of all ages to express themselves through the written word.
The Los Angeles Times has more information.
A note for readers -- if you are facing suicidal thoughts, we urge you to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.