Tonya Duncan Elli

Tonya Duncan Ellis

TONYA DUNCAN ELLIS writes picture books, chapter books and middle grade novels, and successfully self-published the 13-book SOPHIE WASHINGTON chapter series, which has sold over 175,000 copies. Her debut picture book, THEY BUILT ME FOR FREEDOM, will release through HarperCollins, Balzer+Bray in May 2024. A diversity advocate, Tonya is a member of the Brown Bookshelf’s Highlights Foundation-sponsored Amplify Black Stories cohort and has served on faculty at Highlights. She was a 2023 We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) Black Creatives Mentor. Tonya is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), has presented on marketing for SCBWI’s 2023 Winter Conference in New York City and is a winner of SCBWI’s 2022 Independently Published Book Marketing Grant and SCBWI Austin’s 2021 Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award. Tonya founded and hosts the Write This! Instagram Live show, featuring bestselling and award-winning authors, illustrators and publishing professionals. She is represented by Sara Megibow of kt Literary and lives in Houston, TX

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