Megan Shepherd

Megan Shepherd - Ghostwriter

Asheville, NC, USA

NYT bestselling author published with HarperCollins and Penguin Random House. 200,000+ copies sold. MG and YA fantasy, thrillers, nonfiction

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I'm a New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of middle grade and young adult novels published by HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, MacMillan, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. My books have been translated into over a dozen languages and several have been optioned for film/TV. I am currently working on a ghostwriting project for a major publisher that will be released in 2023. I often speak to schools and libraries and have taught for UNCA’s Great Smokies Writing Program, the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the NC Writers’ Network. I previously worked in the marketing department of an academic publisher and wrote work-for-hire nonfiction articles for the CRICKET collection of magazines.

I'm a story structure junkie. I love helping authors piece together various elements into a compelling, stand-out story. There's nothing better than helping someone find that "aha" moment when it all clicks. My greatest strength is listening--I want to fully understand my client's vision so we can collaborate on a project that shines. Much of my work has involved retelling classic literature and fairy tales, which has given me the ability to mimic a wide variety of voices and tones. I love the challenge of matching a Victorian vibe or finding clever ways to connect modern readers to old-fashioned or otherworldly stories. I've spent decades studying how to weave together characters, plot, theme, and genre, and it gives me sincere pleasure to share what I've learned. I'd love to work with you to perfect a clunky draft, build the seed of an idea into a robust book, or help you bring whatever your vision may be into fruition.

My focus is on fiction in the following genres: middle grade, young adult, fantasy, sci-fi, thriller, horror. My focus in non-fiction is in history, nature and the natural sciences, and world cultures.
Short-Form Content
English (US)
Children’s Non-Fiction
Middle Grade
Middle Grade Fantasy
Science Fiction
Women's Fiction
Young Adult Fantasy


  • Carnegie Medal nominee
  • New York Times bestseller
  • Indie Next Pick selection
  • North Carolina Book Award (2013)

Work experience


January, 2013 – Present (over 9 years)

My first trilogy, THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER, was published by Harpercollins starting in 2013. It received a starred review from School Library Journal, was an Indie Next List selection from the American Booksellers Association, and won the NC Book Award. It has been translated into over eight languages and is currently optioned for film/TV by Gaumont Entertainment. My second trilogy, THE CAGE, was also published by Harpercollins and hit the New York Times bestseller list.


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
October, 2018 – Present (almost 4 years)

My Parisian magic-inspired duology GRIM LOVELIES was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and was featured in the Indie Next List for Reading Groups.


Random House
March, 2017 – Present (over 5 years)

My debut book for a middle grade audience, THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL, was published by Random House. It was nominated for the Carnegie Medal in the UK, and received starred reviews from Shelf Awareness, Kirkus, and Booklist. It was written about in Time magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

Freelance Nonfiction Writer

Cricket Magazines
January, 2010 – January, 2012 (about 2 years)

I've written nonfiction articles for several Cricket magazines including FACES, CALLIOPE, DIG, COBBLESTONE, and APPLESEEDS.

Portfolio (10 selected works)

The Madman's Daughter

Shepherd, Megan

Grim Lovelies

Shepherd, Megan

The Hunt (Cage Book 2)

Shepherd, Megan

The Cage

Shepherd, Megan

Dog Star

Shepherd, Megan

Megan has 1 review

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Dana Claire
Was such a pleasure working with Megan. She’s extremely patient and understanding and will listen to your author needs.

Dana Claire, October 2021

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