Official Bio

Elissa Brent Weissman is an award-winning author of novels for 8-to-12-year olds. She is best known for the popular Nerd Camp series, which won the Cybils Award for middle grade fiction and was named a best summer read for middle graders in The Washington Post. The Short Seller, about a seventh-grade stock-trading whiz, was a Girls’ Life must-read and featured on NPR’s “Here and Now.”  Elissa also created and edited Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids, a Junior Library Guild selection that was featured in Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. Her next novel, The Length of a String—a part-historical, part-contemporary story about an adopted Jewish girl who discovers her great-grandmother’s diary from 1941—comes out May 1, 2018. Named one of CBS Baltimore’s Best Authors in Maryland, Elissa lives in Baltimore City, where she teaches creative writing to children, college students, and adults.

More about Elissa

I’ve always loved reading and writing stories, from the time I was very little and living in Merrick, New York. When I was in fifth grade, I wrote a novel called The Ryland Revolt and tried to get it published. It rejected from six places and returned unread from the other four, but that didn’t stop me from writing.

After graduating from Calhoun High School, I went to Johns Hopkins University to study creative writing. I wrote the first draft of Standing for Socks my senior year in a class called The Long Work. My classmates and professors provided invaluable support, encouragement, and criticism that helped shape Fara and her story. After graduating from the Writing Seminars program in 2005, I spent a year in London, England, reading, traveling, and getting my Masters in Children’s Literature at Roehampton University.

I now live in a rowhouse in Baltimore, Maryland with my fantastic husband Grant, who I met on the Johns Hopkins table tennis team, and our seven-year-old girl and five-year-old boy. (We don’t play much ping pong anymore, but when we do Grant always wins.) I teach in the Johns Hopkins Odyssey program and run creative writing workshops for adults, teens, and children throughout the city.  Most days, though, you can find me—for at least an hour or two—in a coffee shop, drinking hot chocolate and writing on my laptop.

My first novel, Standing for Socks, was released in March 2009 from Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, and it was named one of Bank Street’s Best Books of the Year.  It’s now available through Scholastic’s Book Clubs and Fairs. My second book, The Trouble with Mark Hopper, also came out in 2009, from Dutton, and was my first book to be translated–you can buy it in South Korea! My third book, Nerd Camp, was released in April 2011 from Atheneum. It was featured as a best summer novel for kids in The Washington Post and won the 2012 Cybils Award for middle grade fiction. It was runner-up for the Sunshine State Young Readers Award in 2016. The popular series continues with Nerd Camp 2.0 and a spinoff of bite-size books called Nerd Camp Briefs. And I can’t forget about The Short Seller, which was a must-read in Girls’ Life magazine and featured on NPR’s “Here and Now.” It also earned some high praise from actress and bestselling author Danica McKellar!

My super cool anthology, Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids was featured in Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Huffington Post. It was also named one of Amazon’s Best Books of 2017. The paperback comes out June 2018.

Pre-orders are now open for my 2018 release, The Length of a String.

I’ve been published in the New York Times, American Baby magazine, named one of CBS Baltimore’s best authors in Maryland, and featured in BookPage, Newsday, Style magazine, The Jewish Times, and lots of school newspapers; I was even interviewed on a middle school TV show! Check out my News page for links.

For more info and the latest updates, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to my newsletter. I’d also love to meet you in person at one of my upcoming events, or even at your school! Happy reading!

Elissa Brent Weissman - Author

Photograph by Alisha Shaw.