Dhonielle Clayton (she/her)
“As a former teacher and librarian, interacting with students is a vital part of my creative process. They are the spark from which my books grow, and without them I wouldn’t be a writer. I hope to show students that they can turn their wildest imaginations into something that changes the world, and help educators inspire the next generation into becoming empathetic truth-keepers.”
Dhonielle Clayton is a New York Times-bestselling author of The Conjureverse series, The Belles series, Shattered Midnight, co-author of Blackout, Whiteout, The Rumor Game, and of the Tiny Pretty Things duology, a Netflix original series.
Dhonielle spent most of her childhood under her grandmother’s dining room table with a stack of books. She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side, but now lives in New York City.
Dhonielle was an extremely fussy and particular child with an undying love for Cheerios (Honey Nut only), pink lemonade, and frosted animal cookies. A self-proclaimed school nerd, she loved covering her books with brown paper and filled her locker with Lisa Frank stickers. She loved putting headings on her homework, odd-looking pens and freshly sharpened pencils, and numerous notebooks to fill with her research. On most Saturdays, you could find her with her equally nerdy Dad at Crown Books and then the comic bookstore where she stocked up on her weekly reading material. Plus, she was so spoiled that her grandfather took her to the library after school almost daily.
She went to Wake Forest University and wanted to be pre-med until she received a fateful F in Chemistry. This setback prompted her to change her major to English and earn a BA. She rediscovered her love of children’s fiction by re-reading Harriet the Spy, which pushed her to earn an MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University and an MFA Writing for Children at the New School.
Dhonielle taught secondary school for several years. An avid traveler, she’s been on five out of seven continents and has grand plans to reach them all. She is a former elementary and middle school librarian. She is also COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books.
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