Melinda Szymanik writes picture books, short stories and novels for children and young adults. A science graduate, Melinda initially worked in hospital administration, then went back to university to study English literature and began writing seriously when her children were small. Her books have been shortlisted or won awards in New Zealand and overseas including Children’s Choice for picture book 'The Were-Nana' (illus. Sarah Anderson) at the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards in 2009, Librarian’s Choice for her novel 'A Winter’s Day in 1939' at the 2014 LIANZAS, and a 2018 selection as a White Ravens book for her picture book 'Fuzzy Doodle' (illus. Donovan Bixley). Her short stories have appeared in trade and educational publications in New Zealand and Australia.
She is a regular ‘writers in schools’ visitor, was the 2014 University of Otago College of Education Creative New Zealand Children’s Writer in Residence, and has appeared at writers festivals across New Zealand. She teaches creative writing workshops for adults and children, blogs on writing and is one of ten New Zealand writers who run an innovative online writing experiment for children called FABO Story.