On October 27, 2015, Maine author Maria Padian will give the keynote address at the MCA’s Champions for Children Event featuring the 2015 Giraffe Awards. Maria is an award-winning, Maine author who left the world of political reporting behind for the world of young adult fiction.
“We think we’re all playing the same game, but we’re not.” — Out of Nowhere
In most recent novel, Out of Nowhere, Maria explores the issues of human rights, racism, cultural identity, and community through the eyes of Maine kids. Inspired by real communities and real people in Maine, Maria writes about what can happen when communities change and cultures collide. Through the eyes of the protagonist Tom, we witness how kids often become unlikely champions for themselves and each other.
Out of Nowhere was named the winner of the 2014 Lupine Award and received the 2014 Maine Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction. Maria’s other novels include Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress and Jersey Tomatoes are the Best.
On writing YA fiction, Maria writes “I’ve had to revisit that time of life when, for better or worse, you lead with your heart and check your brain at the door.”
Maria has worked as a news reporter, a congressional aide, a press secretary, a freelance writer and a radio essayist. Her work has been awarded by the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi, the Georgia Broadcasters Association, the Maine Library Association and the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Maria is a graduate from Middlebury College and the University of Virginia. She resides in Brunswick with her family. Her next novel is slated for release fall 2016.