Melanie Conklin grew up in North Carolina and worked as a product designer before she began her writing career. Her debut middle grade novel, Counting Thyme, is a Nerdy Book Award winner, a Bank Street Best Children’s Book, winner of the International Literacy Association Teacher’s Choice Award, and a finalist for the Missouri Mark Twain Book Award, the Iowa Children’s Choice Award, the Illinois Bluestem Award, and the Arkansas Charlie May Simon Award. She is also the author of Every Missing Piece (Nebraska Golden Sower Award Nominee), A Perfect Mistake (Utah CLAU Beehive Book Award Nominee), the forthcoming Crushed (2024), and her debut picture book, When You Have to Wait (2024). Her work has been translated into German, Dutch, Farsi, and Romanian.
Melanie speaks at national literacy events regularly, including the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention, The American Library Association Midwinter Conference, Book Expo America (BEA), and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. She has been a mentor for aspiring writers for 6 years and her mentees have gone on to sign with agents and publish over a dozen novels at Big Five publishers.
In 2020, when the world was in pandemic lockdown, Melanie co-directed the Everywhere Book Festival, a virtual gathering of kidlit authors, illustrators, and books reaching more than 43,000 unique viewers from around the world. In addition to directing online sales to 60 independent bookstores that were affected by the coronavirus crisis, the festival also partnered with We Need Diverse Books to distribute books to schools, libraries, and literacy programs in need across the USA. For her work on the festival, Melanie was one of forty publishing professionals named as honorees for the Publisher’s Weekly Star Watch 2020.
When she’s not writing, Melanie spends her time doodling and dreaming up new ways to be creative. She lives in New Jersey with her family.
If you’re writing for children, you will find Melanie an experienced and motivating mentor.