Writer-in-Residence Program
The Associates of the Boston Public Library Writer-in-Residence program is intended to:


Provide an emerging children’s writer with the financial support, editorial assistance, and office space needed to complete one literary work for children or young adults.


Encourage the imagination of young readers, and in so doing draw attention to the importance of authors and the essential role they perform in nurturing developing minds and furthering our culture.


Promote the awareness of the Boston Public Library and its resources, by establishing a living link between Library and the community.

2023-2024 Writer-in-Residence

Meet our Twenty-First Writer-in-Residence

Danielle writes with great heart, and has an original, knowing voice. The world needs her insights—now more than ever.Kathy Whittemore, Freelance Author and Senior Editor at Amherst College's Office of Communications

Danielle Emerson

The Associates of the Boston Public Library is thrilled to announce that Danielle Emerson, of Providence, Rhode Island, has been awarded the 2023-2024 Writer-in-Residence. Her standout submission, Shíghandí Ba’ Halne’: The Stories of Home, was selected from a pool of incredibly talented candidates through a blind judging process. The judges included experts from across the Young Adult books sphere.

Upon learning the news, Danielle said, "I literally couldn't stop smiling--I felt so much joy! I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to further my writing and want to acknowledge the generous support of the Associates and those who saw promise in my work.

Danielle's proposed anthology of ten varying-length short stories includes themes of family, culture, tradition, growth, grief, healing, home, community, queerness, and identity. Each story is accompanied by a personal preface, akin to a narrative piece, offering a glimpse into the forthcoming stories. Through meticulous research, Danielle delves into both familiar and unfamiliar aspects of Diné (Navajo) culture, blending personal experiences with well-researched backgrounds. From a tale following Diné photographer Lorrain's crush on basketball player Shandíín to one depicting siblings coping with loss, these narratives authentically explore varied emotions. Primed for young adult and middle-grade readers, the anthology provides a resonant exploration of home, family, school, loss, friendship, and community.

Danielle is a Diné writer from Shiprock, New Mexico, on the Navajo Nation. She has a B.A. in Education Studies and a B.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University. She writes fiction, poetry, plays, and creative essays, drawing on personal narratives and places of home—wherever that may be.

Welcome reception & READING

Abbey Room
Boston Public Library's Central Library in Copley Square
Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at 6:00 PM

On Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at 6 PM the Associates hosted a reception to officially welcome Danielle to the Library and to celebrate our outgoing 2022-23 Writer-in-Residence Rhonda DeChambeau's completed residency year. The writers read from their respective manuscripts and reflect on their writing journeys. A reception with the writers followed. To watch the full recording of the event visit our YouTube channel here!

Apply to be our next Writer-in-Residence!

Check back here in early 2024 for the application form and program guidelines

What do fellowship recipients get?

  • $23,000 stipend.
  • Up to $2,000 of additional funding for coaching / editorial assistance.
  • Private office space at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square.
  • Completed manuscript will be added to the BPL’s collection.
  • Opportunity to publicly present your manuscript at a fall reading.

What are the requirements?

  • All genres welcome! Eligible projects include fiction, non-fiction, a graphic novel, script, memoir, or poetry intended for children or young adults.
  • Since this program is intended for emerging authors, applicants should not have already published any books.
  • The recipient must work for a minimum of 19 hours per week during the year-long residency.
  • Applicants must be able to legally work in the US.

Program News

The residency has enabled many talented children’s authors to launch their literary careers. Program alumni have published (or are in the process of publishing) 74 titles! Highlights include:

  • In 2012, the Associates’ very first Writer-in-Residence, Hannah Barnaby, published the book that she wrote during her 2004–2005 residency, Wonder Show. In August 2021, she published her latest children's book, Home Is...
  • 2006–2007 alum Anna Staniszewski is a prolific author of over two dozen books for young readers, including the Unfairy Tale Life series, and most recently, My Cousin's Mermaid.
  • Elaine Dimopoulos published the book she wrote during her 2010–2011 residency, Material Girls, in May 2015. In March 2022 Clarion Books published her next book, Turn the Tide.
  • 2011–2012 alum Sarah Winifred Searle's first graphic novel for middle-grade readers, Sincerely, Harriet, was published in May 2019.
  • In March 2017, Annie Hartnett’s debut novel written at the BPL in 2013-14, Rabbit Cake, was published, and has also been optioned for a film adaptation. Her next title, Unlikely Animals, was published in April 2022.
  • 2014-2015 alum Natalie C. Anderson's debut novel, written at the BPL, City of Saints and Thieves, was published in January 2017 and been optioned for film adaptation. This was followed by Let's Go Swimming on Doomsday in January 2019.
  • Atheneum published 2015–2016 alum Jennifer De Leon's debut novel, written during her residency, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From in August 2020. Since then, she published Borderless in February 2023.
  • Autumn Allen's debut novel, written during her 2020-2021 residency, All You Have to Do, was published in August 2023.
  • Our current writer, Rhonda DeChambeau, just announced a two-book deal with Holiday House to publish her debut novel, Top Heavy, which was written during her 2022-2023 residency.


Previous Writers-In-Residence

The Associates of the Boston Public Library Writer-in-Residence program is now in its twentieth year

To read about the previous talented authors click below