Margaret Meacham is the award-winning author of fourteen novels for children and young adults, including Oyster Moon
, which has recently been optioned for film by Green Films LLC. Her other books include Secret of Heron Creek, Quiet! You’re Invisible, A Mid-Semester Night’s Dream
, and her latest, A Fairy’s Guide to Understanding Humans
. Her books are sold internationally, and two titles have been translated into French and German. She has written reviews, articles and short stories for numerous publications including Library Journal, Country Magazine, Successful Student Magazine, Maryland Magazine, Highlights for Children, Baltimore Magazine
, and The Baltimore Sun
Meacham currently teaches writing and children’s literature at Goucher College and Gotham Writer’s Workshops. Honors and Awards include: Judge, Maryland Writer’s Association Writing Competition, 2008 and 2009, Key Note Speaker, Baltimore CityLit Festival 2008, Bethesda Literary Festival Featured Author, 2007, Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Presenter 2003-2005, Healy Lecturer, Roland Park Country School, 2000, Maryland Notable Author Award, 1998, Highlights for Children
Humorous Stories Award. She is currently working on a nonfiction handbook titled Story Kit: Everything You Need to Write Great Books for Kids
When asked how she became a writer, Meacham says:
I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a city of bridges, steep hills and steel mills. We lived on a hill and we had a big old Buckeye tree in our backyard. As a child I spent a lot of time up in that tree, looking out over the neighborhood, pretending, making believe, imagining and dreaming.
Today, as a children's writer, I visit schools regularly to talk to the kids about books and writing. Invariably the kids ask, "What made you decide to be a writer?" I like to tell them that I decided I wanted to be a writer way back when I was in second grade. I had a very strict teacher that year. She put a lot of stock into perfect handwriting and perfect spelling, and since I had then, and still have, in spite of Mrs. Gray's best efforts, horrendous handwriting and terrible spelling skills, second grade was not a good year for me. I much preferred my Buckeye tree to the classroom, but there was one thing that strict teacher did that helped. At the end of the day she would tell us to put everything away, to fold our hands, and to listen. And then she would read to us.
As I listened to the stories she read, I was transported out of the class room, on to the farm with Fern and Wilbur in Charlotte's Web
, or into C. S. Lewis's Narnia. I thought then how wonderful it would be to be able to create characters who seemed as real to me as the kids sitting right next to me, and what a miracle it was that these authors could create whole worlds with nothing more than little black marks on a piece of white paper. It seemed like a miracle to me then, and today, after more than two decades of writing, it still does.
I live now in Brooklandville, Maryland, a small town just north of Baltimore, with my husband, John, a good-natured man who doesn't seem to mind my piles of books and papers, or the vacant stare I sometimes give him when I'm lost in a story. We have three children, Pete, Jen, and Katy, all of whom have brought us unimaginable joy as well as large helpings of anxiety, pride, worry, hope, fear, and of course, countless ideas for stories. We have two dogs, an Australian Shepherd named Sachem, and a shelter dog named Dodger. Dodger often keeps me company in my office. I still live on a hill, but instead of doing my dreaming and imaging in a Buckeye tree, nowadays I do it in my office in front of my computer, and when I'm lucky, my imaginings turn into stories, which I hope will help another child somewhere to survive second grade