Biography

HEATHER SMITH MELOCHE




Photo by Chris Switzer

When I was four years old, I told my mother I was going to be a writer. So far, I’ve been on track. My senior year of high school, I landed a job writing business bios for a local newspaper. Then I headed off to Michigan State University (MSU) and majored in English and Telecommunication. At MSU, I wrote and copy edited for newspaper and television, and I also mentored with poet Diane Wakoski, who was a key contributor to my creative work. After college, I went on to write for marketing and advertising, and then decided to pursue a Master’s in Teaching English as a Second Language through Bowling Green State University (BGSU). I taught writing and language to some amazing ESL students at BGSU, Wayne State University and Oakland Community College. During my teaching years, I had my first son, and as they say, children change everything…

I started writing poems and stories for my son and was having so much fun that I signed up for my first course with The Institute of Children’s Literature and worked with writer Idella Bodie, who showered me with encouragement and advice. Eventually, my first story, “Mrs. McRitter’s Cricket,” appeared in SPIDER magazine. I also published in ONCE UPON A TIME, and went on to have my short story, “The Fog Bell,” place 5th for the Children’s Division in the 2007 WRITER'S DIGEST Annual Competition. Through work-for-hire assignments, I co-wrote two picture books, The Clubhouse Conundrum and Cubbie The Mackinac Island Bear. The latter book is currently selling well in Northern Michigan. Somewhere along the way, I found my sixteen-year-old writing voice and began writing young adult novels.

In 2011, I won 1st place in the children’s/YA category of the WRITER'S DIGEST Annual Competition for my middle grade short story, “The Emperor’s New Crows,” and I also took 1st place in the HUNGER MOUNTAIN Katherine Paterson Prize for a young adult story in verse titled, “Him.” Most recently, my short fiction piece, "Crosswire Bend," appeared on the Young Adult Review Network (YARN) with the honor of being their first published short story in verse, and my novel, RIPPLE, was picked up by Penguin Putnam and is scheduled to be released in October of 2016. I am a member of the Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators (SCBWI) as well as a member of Romance Writer's of America (RWA). I currently live in Rochester Hills, Michigan, with my very witty and wonderful husband, my two beautiful sons, my two white dogs, and my two curious cats.