Kelly Barnhill (author)

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Kelly Barnhill
Alma mater
Notable workThe Girl Who Drank the Moon The Witch's Boy
SpouseTed Barnhill
AwardsNewbery Medal
World Fantasy Award

Kelly Barnhill is an American author of children's literature, fantasy, and science fiction. Her novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon was awarded the 2017 Newbery Medal.[1][2][3]

Writing career[edit]

Barnhill has received writing fellowships from the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board and was a 2015 McKnight Writing Fellow in Children’s Literature. She is the winner of the Parents Choice Gold Award, the Texas Library Association Bluebonnet award, and a Charlotte Huck Honor. She also was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, the Andre Norton Award and the PEN/USA literary prize. In 2016, her novella The Unlicensed Magician received the World Fantasy Award for Long Fiction.[4]

In 2017, her novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon was awarded the John Newbery Medal by the American Library Association.[1][2][3]

Barnhill's books include The Unlicensed Magician, The Witch's Boy, Iron-Hearted Violet, The Mostly True Story of Jack and several non-fiction titles for children.[5]

In February 2019 Kelly was the Literary Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker at the 37th annual Life, the Universe, & Everything professional science fiction and fantasy arts symposium.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Barnhill is a graduate of Minneapolis South High School in Minneapolis[7] and St. Catherine University in St. Paul. Her husband, Ted Barnhill, is an architect. They have three children.

Before finding success as an author, Barnhill studied creative writing as an undergraduate, worked for the National Park Service, and was trained as a volunteer firefighter. She began writing short stories after the birth of her second child, and these stories were eventually expanded into full-length novels.[8]

She currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


  1. ^ a b "Minneapolis author Kelly Barnhill wins Newbery Award, children's literature's highest honor". Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  2. ^ a b "'Completely Gobsmacked': Kelly Barnhill on Her 2017 Newbery Medal". Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  3. ^ a b News, ABC. "Minnesota Author Kelly Barnhill Wins Newbery Medal". ABC News. Retrieved 2017-02-02. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  4. ^ "Awards | World Fantasy Convention". Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  5. ^ Book Browse Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Life, the Universe, & Everything 37: The Marion K. "Doc" Smith Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy" (PDF). LTUE Press. February 1, 2019.
  7. ^ "In Which the Authoress Gives a Commencement Address at Her Alma Mater and Does Not Cry (okay, maybe just a little bit)". Kelly Barnhill. 2017-06-04. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  8. ^ "Minnesota author Kelly Barnhill wins Newbery Medal". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-07-04.

External links[edit]