Elissa Brent Weissman is an award-winning author of novels for 8-to-12-year olds. Her most recent books, Nerd Camp 2.0 and Nikhil and the Geek Retreat, are follow-ups to the critically acclaimed Nerd Camp, which 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.” She’s also the editor Our Story Begins: Children’s Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids, which comes out in July of 2017. Named one of CBS Baltimore’s Best Authors in Maryland, Elissa lives in Baltimore, 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 six-year-old girl and four-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!
Pre-orders are now open for my super cool anthology, Our Story Begins: Children’s Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids. And I’m currently hard at work on my 2018 release: a part-contemporary, part-historical novel called 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.