About & Contact


MELISSA H. MWAI is an author and illustrator from Staten Island, New York. Her middle initial stands for Hern├índez, representing her Afro-Puerto Rican heritage. She creates stories and art that celebrate diversity with a dash of humor and a lot of joy. Melissa is thrilled that her authorial debut is about Stacey Abrams’ inspirational life and voting activism (National Geographic Kids 2022).

Passionate about research and learning, Melissa has a Library Science degree and works in education. She is also a member of SCBWI, Black Creators HQ, and Storyteller Academy.

She is repped by Jacqui Lipton at Raven Quill Literary.

She lives in Maryland with her spouse, two children, and pet bunny. She gives lots of hugs and besos. To her kids. And her spouse. Not to the bunny.


  • 2020 We Need Diverse Books Illustrator Mentorship Finalist
  • 2020 SCBWI MDWVDE Conference Logo Finalist
  • 2020 #PBParty Author Illustrator Finalist
  • 2020 #PBChat Mentee
  • 2020 #SunFunWrite Winner for Informational Fiction
  • 2020 #FallWritingFrenzy Winner
  • 2021 We Need Diverse Books Illustrator Mentorship Finalist


Email: melissamwaibooks (at) gmail (dot) com