Kelly Barnhill writes books. It is a strange job, but, to be fair, she is a strange woman, so perhaps it makes sense. She is a former teacher, former bartender, former waitress, former activist, former park ranger, former secretary, former janitor and former church-guitar-player. The sum of these experiences have prepared her for exactly nothing – save for the telling of stories, which she has been doing quite happily for some time now.
She has received writing fellowships from the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board, and was a 2015 McKnight Writing Fellow in Children’s Literature. She is the winner of the World Fantasy Award, the Parents Choice Gold Award, the Texas Library Association Bluebonnet award, and a Charlotte Huck Honor. She also was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, the Andre Norton Award and the PEN/USA literary prize. She is the author of the novels THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON, THE WITCH’S BOY, IRON HEARTED VIOLET and THE MOSTLY TRUE STORY OF JACK, as well as the novella, “The Unlicensed Magician”. She has also written a bunch of grownup-ish short stories of various descriptions (Literary, Speculative, Odd and Otherwise) that have appeared in a variety of venues, as well as essays, poetry, and a small collection of very strange nonfiction books for elementary students. She is a teaching artist with COMPAS, a statewide community arts program.
She has three completely fabulous children, an astonishingly talented husband (his name is Ted Barnhill and he designs beautiful and sustainable houses – including the one where her family lives – and he generally rules). She also teaches, freelances, volunteers, runs, canoes, camps, gardens (though badly), and hikes into the wilderness for days and days. She also bakes pie. It’s a pretty good life, actually.
She has the great fortune to be represented by Steven Malk of Writers House, who, it must be said, is a heck of a fellow.