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 (or at the bottom of this page, if you're viewing this on a mobile device.) 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 more than 45 books for young readers, including the award-winning picture book Library Lion, which has been translated into more than fourteen languages, is currently being performed as a musical stage production in Israel, the UK, 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, illustrated by Matt Phelan. Next up is the third book in her YA Evil Librarian trilogy, CURSE OF THE EVIL LIBRARIAN, coming in August 2019. 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. It’s great how life surprises you sometimes. I fell into children’s books pretty much by accident, but now it’s hard to imagine wanting to do anything else! I love writing books for young readers.
So far I've written more than 45 books, including board books, beginning readers, picture books, coloring and activity books, and middle-grade and young adult novels. I've also written some uncredited novelty and licensing titles. My best-known book to date is Library Lion, which was a New York Times bestseller, won many awards, and has been translated into many languages. It's also now being performed as a musical in Israel, the UK, and South Africa! My newest books are the YA novel Revenge of the Evil Librarian and the picture book Marilyn's Monster.
When I’m not writing, I love watching movies, going for walks, hanging out with friends, watching The Walking Dead with my boyfriend, and playing fantasy RPGs on my Xbox. And reading, of course! I also recently started taking boxing lessons, which has been a lot of fun. I love plays and musicals, and I sometimes perform in community theater. My most recent show was Iolanthe with Village Light Opera Group in NYC. (UPDATE: I haven't had enough time to commit to rehearsals in a while, so most of my singing these days happens at karaoke. I miss being in muscials, though!) I also go to see Broadway shows with my best friends from high school as often as I can.
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.