Melanie has a long career in communications. She started out as a journalist at several newspapers in Virginia then moved into corporate communications, working in the hotel and international development industries. She is an award-winning author of two novels, “Malawi’s Sisters” and “The Color of My Soul,” and a short story collection, “Let No One Weep for Me: Stories of Love and Loss.” She serves on the board of the Hurston/Wright Foundation supporting black writers and participates in the PEN/Faulkner Foundation Writers in Schools program – sharing her novel with high-school students is a huge thrill. Melanie received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Hampton University and graduated from the master’s in writing program at Johns Hopkins University. When not working, she can be found exploring the outdoors with her dog, Karma.