Belhaven University Surprises Student with Full-Ride Scholarship for Creative Writing


April 27, 2023 (Canton, Miss.) – Best-selling author Angie Thomas and Belhaven University surprised an unsuspecting high school senior with a full-ride scholarship for creative writing.

A group of Belhaven University staff and faculty visited Canton High School on Thursday to make the announcement. Thomas, currently on a new book tour, delivered the news via video. Students burst into cheers as Thomas congratulated senior Ahniya Myers for winning the 2023 Angie Thomas Writers Scholarship.

Myers is a Canton, Mississippi native and was named winner for her creative writing submissions. “As I read Ahniya’s writing samples, I immediately fell in love with her craft,” said Thomas. “Her talent and skill blew me away, and I know that the creative writing program was created with a student like her in mind.”

The scholarship, named in honor of Belhaven University alumna Angie Thomas ’11, was created to help young aspiring writers who need the extra support to make their dreams of authorship a reality. 

“By giving Ahniya this scholarship, she can focus more on her studies and writing, which will allow her gift to thrive,” observed Thomas. “It’s an honor to know that this scholarship could play a key role in the journey of yet another exceptional writer.” 

Myers is the fourth student to win the scholarship, which covers tuition, room, and board at the University for four years.

Professor and Chair of Creative Writing Dr. Randall Smith said, “Ahniya embodies both the spirit of the Angie Thomas Scholarship and the potential of an Angie Thomas Scholar. The community of writers at Belhaven University is excited to welcome Ahniya to the BFA program, where we help one another master craft, find our purpose as writers, and reach our potential.” 

The Angie Thomas Writers Scholarship is awarded to only one incoming freshman each year, but other applicants received partial scholarships. Thomas is the author of New York Times best-selling novels “Concrete Rose,” “On the Come Up,” “The Hate U Give,” and “Nic Blake and the Remarkables: The Manifestor Prophecy.” “The Hate U Give” and “On the Come Up” were both developed into major motion pictures.