Featured Writers

Janna Knittel

Janna Knittel is from the Pacific Northwest and has lived in Minnesota since 2004. Her book, Real Work, is a 2023 Minnesota Book Award finalist. Knittel’s work includes the chapbook Fish & Wild Life and poems in Blueline, Breakwater Review, Constellations, Cottonwood, North Dakota Quarterly, Pleiades, Whale Road Review, and…

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Maya Washington

Maya Washington is an award-winning multi-hyphenate artist: writer, poet, director, narrative and documentary filmmaker (writer/director/producer), actress, creative director, visualist (photography), and arts educator. Her award-winning film, Through the Banks of the Red Cedar, about her father, Vikings football legend Gene Washington, premiered on PBS in 2022. Her memoir, Through the…

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Will McGrath

Will McGrath is an award-winning writer and journalist based in Minneapolis. His debut, Everything Lost Is Found Again, is a joyous investigation into the southern African kingdom of Lesotho, where he lived for several years. That book won the Disquiet Open Borders Book Prize, as well as the Society of…

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Elizabeth Verdick

Elizabeth Verdick writes a mix of nonfiction and fiction for children. Her main reading audience is toddlers and preschoolers. She has also written nonfiction for elementary-age kids. Verdick is a graduate of Hamline University’s MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and she has taught picture-book writing classes and done manuscript critiques to…


Patricia Kirkpatrick

Patricia Kirkpatrick received the Lindquist & Vennum Poetry Prize for Odessa and was awarded a 2013 Minnesota Book Award. Her awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bush Foundation, Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Loft, and Minnesota State Arts Board. She has taught writing at many colleges, including the University of…


Julie Gard

Julie Gard’s prose poetry collections include Scrap: On Louise Nevelson and Home Studies, which was a finalist for a 2016 Minnesota Book Award. Her chapbooks are Obscura: The Daguerreotype Series and Russia in 17 Objects. Gard’s poems, stories, and essays have appeared in Gertrude, Fourth River, Clackamas Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, Ekphrasis, and Blackbox…


Anne Ursu

Anne Ursu is the author of several middle grade fantasies, including Breadcrumbs, an NPR Backseat Book Club pick, and The Real Boy, which was longlisted for the 2013 National Book Award. She is a recipient of the McKnight Fellowship and teaches at Hamline University’s Masters in Fine Arts in Writing for Children. Ursu lives in…


Beth Dooley

Beth Dooley has been writing about the Northern Heartland for over 20 years. She is the author of six books, including Minnesota Book Award finalist In Winter’s Kitchen. Her column, “Seasonal Kitchen,” appears weekly in the Star Tribune, and she contributes regularly to Minnesota Public Radio’s “Appetites.” Dooley is the co-author with Sean Sherman of…


Rachel L. Coyne

Rachel Coyne, a novelist and poet, is a graduate of the Perpich Center for Arts in Minnesota and Macalester College. She is a devotee of Pablo Neruda, a lover of Don Williams songs, and collects vintage editions of Jane Eyre. Her published works include the novels The Patron Saint of Lost Comfort Lake and Whiskey…


Kurtis Scaletta

Kurtis Scaletta is the author of several novels for young readers including Mudville, Mamba Point, The Tanglewood Terror, The Winter of the Robots, and Rooting for Rafael Rosales. He also wrote the Topps League series. Scaletta was born in Louisiana, but moved a lot as a kid. He lived in five states and three foreign…


Swati Avasthi

Swati Avasthi (SWA-thee Of-US-thee) started writing when she was five, but she took a serpentine career path (working as domestic violence legal coordinator, law student, theater director, and stage manager) before she returned to writing. Her first book, Split, received the International Reading Association Award, Cybils Award, and has been translated into four languages. Her…

The Minnesota Writers Directory is a project of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library as the Minnesota Center for the Book. The Library of Congress designated The Friends as Minnesota’s Center in 2012, and in that role The Friends promotes reading, literacy, and libraries throughout Minnesota. Learn more >>

How To Get Listed on the Directory

Thanks for your interest! If you currently live in Minnesota and have your work published in book form, you can apply to be listed. (Before applying, please read the Eligibility Criteria to see if you are eligible for listing.) We will contact you after we’ve reviewed your application.

Criteria for all applicants

  • You must live and work in Minnesota. If you live in Minnesota for part of the year, please outline your availability in your application. You will be accepted at the discretion of the Minnesota Center for the Book.
  • You must be willing to provide an email address for your profile. (This will not be listed on the website, but it will be used to create a unique contact form linked to your email address.)
  • You must be willing to have your location in Minnesota (county only) listed in the directory.