Author of Shiny Broken Pieces and Tiny Pretty Things
Bio: Dhonielle Clayton (“Dhon” like “Don” or “Dawn” not “Danielle”) spent most of her childhood under her grandmother’s table with a stack of books. She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side. A self-proclaimed school nerd, she loved covering her books with brown paper, Lisa Frank folders, having a locker, putting headings on her homework, odd-looking pens and freshly sharpened pencils, and researching mythical creatures. 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 in Writing for Children at the New School. She taught secondary school for several years -- at a pre-professional ballet academy and a private K-8 school. She spent most of her twenties in and out of America – living in London, Paris, a small Japanese town, Bermuda – and wandering the planet. She’s been on five out of seven continents, and has grand plans to reach all of them. She is a former librarian, and co-founder of CAKE Literary, a creative kitchen whipping up decadent — and decidedly diverse — literary confections for middle grade, young adult, and women’s fiction readers. She is also one of the We Need Diverse Books™ team’s librarians, and the co-chair of the inaugural 2016 Walter Award for YA fiction.