Kelly Barnhill is "a former teacher, former bartender, former waitress, former activist, former park ranger, former secretary, former janitor and former church-guitar-player." Which as she points out, "prepared her for exactly nothing – save for the telling of stories, which she has been doing quite happily for some time now."
Her distinctions include recognition from the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board, a 2015 McKnight Writing Fellowship in Children’s Literature, a 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.
Her other novels include IRON HEARTED VIOLET and THE MOSTLY TRUE STORY OF JACK, as well as the novella, “The Unlicensed Magician.” Like the rest of us with ties to Minnesota, she's written things of just about every size and shape, some paying better than others, but fortunately fewer "for exposure" over the last few years. Short stories, fiction, non-fiction, you name it, she's probably taken a swing at it at least once.
She is a teaching artist with COMPAS, a statewide community arts program, if you wanted to bring her into a classroom. HINT HINT. And she's quite good at it.
But you can read all the rest about her at her website at https://kellybarnhill.wordpress.com, naturally, or follow her on twitter at @Kellybarnhill. There are usually plenty of hijinks in her regular life to keep you enthralled and entertained! Tell her I sent you.