Melissa Studdard is the author of the bestselling novel Six Weeks to Yehidah, which also won the 2011 Forward National Literature Award for Middle Grade Chapter Books. She is also a professor, a book reviewer at-large for The National Poetry Review, a contributing editor for both Tiferet Journal and The Criterion, and the host of the radio interview program Tiferet Talk. As well, she is a member of many literary organizations, including the National Book Critics Circle and the Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators.
She loves anything related to writing and reading, whether it's sitting alone with a book and a cup of hot tea, or attending a large poetry reading or literary festival. She also loves travelling, meditating, going for walks, bicycling, practicing yoga, and spending time with family.
She currently resides in Texas with her wonderful daughter and their four sweet but mischievous cats.
Her official website
Filled with writing and drawing prompts and beautiful illustrations to color, this book is the perfect jump start for meaningful, creative exploration for people of all ages.
My Yehidah can be done alone or along the novel Six Weeks to Yehidah.
Six Weeks to Yehidah is a magical, mythical, mystical journey that will change how you see the world.
I wanted to share wisdom traditions with younger people, and I wanted to do it in a fun, entertaining way, through narrative and humor. The whole thing actually started as a short story, but I fell in love with the characters and couldn’t quit writing about them.
Bystringing together a new trail of words we can create worlds out of nothing more than syllables; then through those worlds we can understand the deepest parts of ourselves and the most complex aspects of our surroundings. It’s magical.
Q. How do you research for a book before you being the writing process?
Because I write about things I’m interested in, the research happens naturally through the course of living. In Six Weeks to Yehidah, for instance, there’s a lot of Native American imagery and symbolism which were already in my mind from the traveling and reading I’ve been doing for several years. I also Google all sorts of things right in the middle of the writing process. That’s always fun!
First of all, you should always remember that you’re the only person who can speak your truths, and you are worthy of being heard. Secondly, be patient and keep after it and write without ridiculous expectations. Sometimes your writing won’t be good, but you have to write through that to get to the good stuff. Quitting writing won’t fix anything. Don’t be wary of writing the bad stuff. Just laugh at it, think of it as practice, don’t show it to anyone if you don’t feel like it, and keep writing until the good stuff starts flowing again. Just do not stop writing. The most important thing is to keep doing it against all the odds, obstacles, doubts, and insecurities. Those who keep after it are the ones who succeed. I’ve seen it over and over again with my writer friends.