Article and Photos by Kristie Copley


Young adult author Mindy McGinnis spoke to middle and high school students at Portsmouth West Monday, March 20. McGinnis started the day speaking to each grade level at the middle school, while she finished the day presenting at the high school. McGinnis’ message to students included discussion of her own forms of inspiration for writing and how her initial attempts at writing were not failed attempts but practice that made her a stronger writer.  An Ohio native, McGinnis also discussed growing up in a small town, something to which all students were able to relate.  Senior Destiny Layne stated, “She [McGinnis] made it easier to picture people like us being authors.”


No stranger to awards and praise, McGinnis’ debut novel, Not a Drop to Drink, has been optioned for film by Fickle Fish Films, while A Madness So Discreet won the 2016 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult novel. Her most recently published novel, The Female of the Species, was given a Starred Review by School Library Journal in addition to the novel’s other honors such as The Kirkus Prize 2016 Nominee for Young Readers, SLJ’s Best Books of 2016 for Young Adults, and Goodreads Choice Awards 2016 for Young Adult Fiction.


Mindy McGinnis answers questions from middle school students 

Author Mindy McGinnis discusses her concept for one of her novels. 

Mindy McGinnis poses with Portsmouth West Middle School Students 

High School