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Denise Lewis Patrick was born in Natchitoches, Louisiana. She attended local schools and earned a degree in Journalism from Northwestern State University of Louisiana in 1977. That same year, she moved to New York City. She has been both a writer and editor in various areas of the publishing industry, particularly for children. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans in 2015.

Denise has managed middle and high school writing programs and worked with budding writers in afterschool programs and workshops. In addition to being a published author of over 30 books for young people, she has taught first-year writing, creative writing and journalism as an adjunct professor at several universities.

In Other Words...


When I visit schools, there are two questions children always ask:  'What's your favorite book that you wrote?' and 'What's the most important thing to do if you want to become a writer?'   

Now, the answer to the first question is hard. Nearly everything I write is autobiographical in some way.  There's a little part of me, or something I've experienced directly (or that happened to someone else I know) in all of my work. I always change the story a little, and change the names up. So my characters almost become brothers, sisters, aunts or uncles to me—and sometimes children, though I do have real ones.

And the answer to the second question is soooo easy. If you want to be—or become a writer, read.  That's right, read everything. Read all the time! Think about the world, and all the other people who live in it! Then you can start creating worlds of your own."