Photo by Sam Bond
Signing the wall at Blue Willow Books in Houston, TX.
I love spending time outdoors!
Evan Griffith is the author of the middle-grade novel Manatee Summer (a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection) and the picture book biography Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist. His books have received multiple starred reviews and been recognized as Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of the Year, National Science Teachers Association Best Stem Books, and Chicago Public Library’s Best Informational Books for Younger Readers. His forthcoming titles include The Strange Wonder of Roots and Wild at Heart: The Story of Olaus and Mardy Murie, Defenders of Nature.
Evan studied creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his MFA in Writing for Children at the Vermont College of Fine Arts where he now serves as faculty. He worked for several years as an editor at Workman Publishing in New York City, where he specialized in non-fiction for children and adults, and he continues to take on select editorial projects. He often teaches online writing classes and enjoys mentoring writers of all ages.
He lives in Austin, Texas with a mischievous tuxedo cat and several overflowing bookshelves.
The Freedom to Read
I support the freedom to read. All children deserve to see themselves and the diversity of their world reflected in literature. Public and school libraries are essential places for readers to find this literature. To learn more about the freedom to read and the fight against book bans, visit PEN America.
Frequently Asked Qs
Why do you write stories?
I write to express myself and to connect. Writing is also my way of exploring the things I’m curious about and investigating the world around me.
What books did you love as a kid?
I read a lot of fantasy books as a kid. Some of my favorite authors back then were J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, and Brian Jacques.
What books do you love *now*?
So many! Just a few of my favorite authors: Kate DiCamillo, Erin Entrada Kelly, Jason Reynolds, Rebecca Stead, and Christina Soontornvat.
Tell us about your cat!
Gladly! Her name is Kylie. She's the perfect blend of ferocious and sweet. She hangs out with me when I write.
When did you start writing?
My earliest memories from childhood involve writing and storytelling. One of the first stories I remember writing was an adaptation of a Legend of Zelda video game!
What are your hobbies?
Hiking, rock climbing, video and board games, discovering new music, and playing guitar.
Photo by Taylor Smith
Where do you find inspiration?
Nature, animals, and science are big sources of inspiration for me. So are feelings—often, I explore big or confusing feelings through my stories.
Advice for young writers?
Don’t be afraid to make a mess. First drafts are always messy! Much of the work of writing is actually revision. Practice getting your ideas down on the page, and know that you can always edit them later.
Truer Words Podcast: Evan talks Secrets of the Sea and all things writing!
Kidlit Craft Q&A: The Secrets to a Great Nonfiction Picture Book
Cynsations Blog: Evan Griffith & Sajni Patel on Reflecting Strength in Stories
Simply 7 Interview: Evan Griffith & Joanie Stone on Secrets of the Sea
VCFA "Wild Things" Blog: Manatee Summer Q&A