Writing and creating have always been essential avenues in author Frank Morelli’s life. As an eight or nine-year-old, Morelli would hole himself up in his room reading Tom Sawyer or paging through the National Geographic books he’d lifted from his grandfather’s barbershop. He would sit at his desk and write brand-new storylines to his favorite video games, complete with the most awful pencil sketches you’ve ever seen, and he’d store them all in a barrel-shaped piggy bank he’d won playing Skee-ball on the New Jersey boardwalk. Morelli never put a dime in that bank, but it was always overflowing with crinkled pages and future ideas. And many terrible drawings. Even though Morelli swore he’d become a pediatrician, like one of his childhood idols, Doogie Howser, the need to create overtook his love of biology. He eventually realized his Doogie-worship was more connected to the whiz-kid doctor’s consistent journaling habits than his bedside manner.
A Philadelphia native, Morelli’s life was transformed when he graduated with an English degree from Albright College and accepted a teaching fellowship in the NYC Public Schools. There, he discovered that a lifetime spent eating cafeteria tater tots would be a small price to pay for a chance to shape the future and he became enlightened to how enriching the teaching life was to the writing life. It’s probably not surprising to hear that Morelli continues to split time between the page and the classroom.
Frank Morelli’s debut young adult novel, No Sad Songs (2018), was a YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers nominee, a VOX top Hopepunk title, and winner of a 2019 American Fiction Award for best coming-of-age story. The first two books in his middle grade ‘Please Return To’ series were released in September 2019 and March 2020 respectively, and provide young readers with a roadmap to stop bullying. Morelli’s fiction and essays have also been featured in The Saturday Evening Post, Cobalt Review, Philadelphia Stories, and Highlights Magazine.
Morelli now lives in High Point, NC with his best friend, their obnoxious alley cats, and two hundred pounds worth of dog. Connect with him on Twitter @frankmoewriter, on Instagram @frankmorelliauthor, or at his author site frankmorelliwrites.com.