Janae Marks

Storyteller: Janae Marks

Janae Marks is an author of middle-grade novels. Her debut, From the Desk of Zoe Washington, is an indie bestseller and was named a Best Book of the Year by Parents magazine, Book Riot, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Chicago public library and The Boston Globe. Her second novel is A Soft Place to Land. She has an MFA in writing for children from The New School and lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughter, and miniature schnauzer named Cookie. Visit her website at janaemarks.com.

On writing for children:

“I have always been interested in writing for this age group, since books were so important to me as a child. I want to continue telling stories about contemporary Black girls so they can feel represented in the books they read. In some ways, I write for my childhood self, since I never really saw myself books in back then.”

What was the most valuable or memorable experience of AMPLIFY for you?:

I loved getting to be in a space where we could speak openly
about our experiences as Black authors and illustrators in a predominately white publishing world. The faculty and guest speakers shared incredibly useful advice. I also enjoyed connecting with the other creators in my cohort and hope to maintain these connections and friendships for years to come!

“Writing brings me joy, and I hope my stories entertain and inspire all kids.”

Janae Marks

Follow Janae Marks:

A Soft Place to Land
From the Desk of Zoe Washington

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The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.