Writer in Residence


Mesa Public Library is excited for the next phase of our Writer in Residence pilot program in partnership with the Arizona State Library. March 1 - May 31 we will welcome Melissa Marr as our Writer in Residence. 

Melissa Marr Photo 1 (2) copy

Melissa Marr is an award-winning author best known for her internationally bestselling Wicked Lovely series (HarperCollins) and her children's Norse mythology series, The Blackwell Pages (Hachette). Additionally, she is the author several adult novels (HarperCollins), a manga series, a picture book (BUNNY ROO; Penguin Books), several romances, and a thriller, as well as co-editor of several fantasy anthologies. Her first board book released in January 2017, and her upcoming releases include a YA fantasy novel, another picture book (2018), and two essays in charity anthologies for mental health issues. Unlike many authors, Melissa straddles multiple genres.
Her books have been published in 28 languages and have been bestsellers in numerous countries. Prior to being a writer, Melissa taught university literature and gender studies.  She is the mother to three children: an adult daughter (for whom Wicked Lovely was written), a teenager (for whom the Norse books were written), and a toddler (for whom BUNNY ROO was written). In her free time, she offers freelance editing services, writes curriculum guides, and co-hosts a literary conference.

Marr will be using the Main Library’s board room as her public work space, where she’ll develop fascinating plotlines, create memorable characters, write sparkling prose, and wrestle with writer’s block. She’ll also be available to give guidance to other aspiring writers via one-on-one appointments, and will present two programs a month.

For more information about her work, visit her website or check out one of her books from our collection.

To schedule a one-on-one appointment, please visit the signup form

The Bones of Fiction
Thurs | Mar 2 | 6-7pm | MN
Curious about what it would be like to write a novel? Daunted by the idea of doing so? Writer in Residence Melissa Marr breaks it down - world building, character, and avoiding writer's block. In this fun and practical session, New York Times bestselling author Marr (Wicked Lovely, Graveminder, The Blackwell Pages) will share the tricks and secrets of getting the story on the page, from creating a realistic - yet imaginative - sense of space to building your world’s entire infrastructure. Come ready to ask questions and participate!

Action in Fiction
Thurs | Mar 30 | 6-7pm | RM
Novels need action, but that action should be a logical part of the story. Join Writer in Residence Melissa Marr as she covers some basic weapons (synthetic longsword, steel longsword, synthetic German messer, and staff) and how to incorporate them into your fiction. Please note that weapons will be present and attendees are welcome to take a swing (under supervision). 

Point of View and Narrative Structure
Thurs | Apr 20 | 6-7pm | MN
Few things are as complicated as point of view and narrative structure. How do you decide who's telling the story? What are the options for each structural choice? How do you know which to choose and what are the benefits of each? Join New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr (whose graduate work and university teaching specialized in this topic and whose novels are renowned for narrative structure) as we make sense of the ways you can structure your novel, the pitfalls of each option, and the benefits of each option. 

How Publishing Works: From Agent Through Publishing Day
Fri | Apr 28 | 3:30pm - 4:40pm | RM
Join New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr as she covers the 101 on publishing. Unlike many authors, Melissa has successfully published commercial novels for adults and children, picture books, and short fiction anthologies. Let her demystify the process for you in this "no question too far" session on the world of NY publishing and its changes over the last decade. 

Five Page Interactive Session
Thurs | May 4 | 6-7pm | RM
Attendees will be asked to provide the first 3-5 pages of their novels (anonymously if preferred) and, as a group with Writer in Residence Melissa Marr, we will examine how to make these critical first pages catch the attention of agents, editors, and readers. Excerpts from books in print will also be used as examples. Part of this session will include a discussion about critique partners, beta readers, and revision.

Query Letter Interactive Session
Thurs | May 18 | 6-7pm | MN
After the novel is written, thousands of words of story, you need to boil it all down to one single page to tell agents why they should request your manuscript. Bring your story summary, query letters, and questions. This is an interactive workshop led by Writer in Residence Melissa Marr to help you prepare to take the next step.

This project is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.