Bio: Melody Mansfield
Between the The Life Stone of Singing Bird (Faber and Faber, 1996), and A Bug Collection (Red Hen Press, 2013), Mansfield's short fiction, essays, and poetry have found homes in a variety of literary, academic, and commercial publications including Thought Magazine, Inside English, CAIS Journal, Fickle Muses, and Parent's Magazine. In 2014, she was awarded the Sue Alexander Grant, and in 2015, her short story, "Fertilizer," first published in Persimmon Tree, was subsequently anthologized for the Write Well Award (2016.) In 2017, "The Woman Who Wouldn't Die and Other Stories" was staged by professional actors for The New Short Fiction Series. The title story was also a Finalist for the WOW (Women on Writing) Essay Contest.
Mansfield holds a BA/ MA from CSUN and an MFA in Writing from Vermont College. She is a member of AG, AWP, and SCBWI. Her most recent publication, "How Faeries and SCBWI Saved My Life," can be read in the "Community Corner" section of SCBW Kite Tales.
She has lectured/presented at various writing conferences and gatherings including UCLA Extension Program (2011, 2015, 2016); California Association of Independent Schools (2008, 2010); Western Oregon University (2013); International Arts Workshop, Assisi, Italy (2015. 2016); Red Hen Press Reading Series, Cornelia Street Café, NYC (2014); Page One Festival of Books, Cary, NC (1996, Maya Angelou, Keynote Speaker.)
As Director of Creative Writing at Milken Community Schools, Mansfield was privileged to spend twenty years in helping students discover their own writing voices. Her programs and innovations in teaching were recognized with the highly coveted 2017 Jewish Educator Award.
In January 2018, Mansfield shifted her focus from teaching to writing. Her sadness at leaving her wonderful students and friends has been ameliorated by the fun she is having in writing a literary/YA/faery tale hybrid, Between the Song and the Sigh. The faeries in this tale fly from cuteness and slouch toward a more Yeatsian camp. They are dark and dangerous, tormented, selfish, devoted, frightened, and brave—in short, all too human.
When not writing, Mansfield is happily puttering in her bug-filled garden with her writer/professor husband, Jerry Mansfield, whom she met at the Vermont College MFA in Writing program. Their lives are sporadically enlivened by visitations from grandchildren and other assorted and magical creatures.