About Me

Author, Illustrator, Mom, Geek

Melissa H. Mwai (she/her) is a children’s author and illustrator. Her publishing debut, STACEY ABRAMS, is an early reader (National Geographic Kids, Jan ‘22) is out now.

She uses the initial “H” in her name to honor her family name, Hernández, representing her Afro-Puerto Rican culture.

Melissa is a former middle school English teacher and also worked in Education Assessment. She has a M.S. in Library Science, a B.A. in English/Creative Writing, and teaches elementary students in Sunday School.

She is represented by Jacqui Lipton at The Tobias Literary Agency.

A New York native, she now lives in Maryland with her spouse, two kids, and bunny.

How do I say my name?

Mwai rhymes with WHY. It is a Kenyan name.


  • 2020 #WeNeedDiverseBooks 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 #WeNeedDiverseBooks Illustrator Mentorship Finalist
  • 2022 #CookiePitch Illustrator Winner

Contact Me

Melissa H. Mwai ©️2020-2022