Where I grew up: Staten Island, NY
Other places I've lived: Queens, NY; Lansing, NY; Ithaca, NY; Brooklyn, NY
Birthday: February 22, 1974
Where I went to college: Cornell University
Where I got my MFA: The Vermont College of Fine Arts
Parents: Yes (Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad!)
Pets I have had: Cats, gerbils, crickets, fish
Pets I have not had but have daydreamed about having: Snakes, horses, dogs, eels, lizards, chickens
Favorite books: Too many to list here
Favorite TV shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Dr. Who, Firefly, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Favorite Movies: Too many to list here
Favorite Gilbert and Sullivan operetta: The Pirates of Penzance
Favorite Disney Princess: Belle
Favorite Powerpuff Girl: Buttercup
Favorite band to see in concert: The Violent Femmes
Favorite band to listen to: Changes all the time, although I will always have a special place in my heart for Meat Loaf, They Might Be Giants, Oingo Boingo, and assorted Broadway showtunes. Lately I'm listening to a lot of My Chemical Romance.
Favorite kind of pancakes: Blueberry
Favorite punctuation mark: The em dash
Everything that you ever wanted to know about me, and probably more. If there's anything you want to know that's actually not on this page somewhere, please email me and ask!
If you need a photo for an event or article, you are welcome to use the "more recently" one at left. If you need a larger/higher-quality version, please email me and I'll be happy to send it to you.
The Short Version:
Michelle Knudsen is a New York Times best-selling author of 45 books for young readers, including board books, picture books, early readers, and middle grade and young adult novels. Her best-known book to date is the award-winning picture book Library Lion, which has been translated into fourteen languages, is currently being performed as a musical stage production in Israel and South Africa, and was selected by Time Magazine as one of the Best 100 Children's Books of All Time. She is also the author of the Trelian trilogy of fantasy novels (The Dragon of Trelian, The Princess of Trelian, and The Mage of Trelian) and the young adult novel Evil Librarian, which was awarded the 2015 Sid Fleischman Award for Humor. Her most recent picture book is Marilyn's Monster (Candlewick, March 2015), illustrated by the wonderful Matt Phelan. Next up is the YA sequel REVENGE OF THE EVIL LIBRARIAN, coming on Valentine's Day 2017. Michelle also works as a freelance editor and writing teacher, and is a member of the Writing for Young People MFA faculty at Lesley University. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
The Somewhat Longer Version:
Like many writers, I've been writing for about as long as I can remember. When I was very young, I mainly liked writing poems. I started writing short stories in high school and college, and sold a few nonfiction magazine articles, but never really thought about writing children's books until I was hired as an editorial assistant in the children's division of Random House. I wrote several books for Random as part of my job (children's book editors sometimes write books "in-house") and eventually began writing and submitting my own manuscripts. Itís great how life surprises you sometimes. I fell into childrenís books pretty much by accident, but now itís hard to imagine wanting to do anything else! I love writing books for young readers.
When Iím not writing, I love watching movies, going for walks, hanging out with friends, and spending way too much time on the internet. And reading, of course! I also love plays and musicals, and I sometimes perform in community theater. My most recent show was Iolanthe with Village Light Opera Group in NYC.
In July 2010, I received my MFA in writing for children and young adults from The Vermont College of Fine Arts. I also do some work as a freelance editor and private writing coach; see my editing page for more information on that. And in June 2015, I started teaching with Lesley University's MFA program in Writing for Young People.
Agent and Publisher Info:
My agent is the fabulous Jodi Reamer at Writers House, LLC.
My current publisher is Candlewick Press, and my wonderful editor is Sarah Ketchersid. I have also published books with Random House, Golden Books (before they were purchased by Random House), Simon & Schuster, and The Kane Press.