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My favorite writing buddy, Bella

Press bio

Ali Standish is the Jane Addams Book Award Honor-winning author of books for the young and young at heart, including the Carnegie-nominated The Ethan I Was Before, August Isle, Bad Bella, The Climbers, How to Disappear Completely, The Mending Summer, and Yonder. Her books are Junior Library Guild Selections, have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and School Library Journal, have been named as Indies Next titles, and have been nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards. During her years living in a tumble-down Victorian cottage in the UK, she obtained a master’s degree in Children’s Literature from the University of Cambridge. She now resides in North Carolina with her husband, son, and rescue dog. 

Who am I really though?

I grew up in a small town outside of Greensboro, North Carolina, where I was lucky enough to have lots of woods and ponds and creeks (and even a boot-sucking swamp!) to explore. In fifth grade, I read two books that changed my life: C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia and Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia. Inspired by these stories, I named my backyard Narbithia and ruled over it as a (mostly) benevolent queen. I wrote accounts of my royal adventures down in a notebook I kept in the hollow of a tree. Those hours of playing make believe and writing in the woods are the reason I became the storyteller I am today.


What else? When I became a “grown up” I went to Pomona College (chirp!) in Claremont, California, and then became a teacher in Washington, DC. While I was teaching, I got a fancy writing degree from Hollins University. But it was while I was living in a little village in England a few years later that I started writing The Ethan I Was Before. I’ve been writing ever since!


These days, I’m back in North Carolina, where I’m a part-time writer, part-time editor and full-time reader. I share my home with a wonderful husband, who plays beautiful music, a feral toddler, also known as "the boss," and a nutty dog-type-creature, who can lick his own eyeball. When I’m not writing or reading, you can find me working in my garden or baking in my kitchen.


When I really grow up, I want to be a witch.

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