About Salwa Emerson

Salwa Emerson was once scolded by her 100-year-old great-uncle for her “overweening desire to be different.”

Her answer:
“We’re all different –I’m just being my own, unique version of it.”



As a pre-teen in New York City, Salwa Emerson’s version of different meant wearing 4-inch-high platform clogs and fluorescent orange lipstick.  Besides her funky fashion sense, Salwa Emerson expressed herself by singing and writing cheeky articles for her school newspaper.

Interesting fact: Salwa Emerson thought school was boring, so she skipped 8th grade.

Judy Blume (Are You there, God? It’s Me Margaret); Sue Townsend (The Secret DIary of Adrian Mole, Aged 133/4); SE Hinton (The Outsiders); JD Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)

Besides her own children: Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon); Jason Reynolds (Ghost); Stephan Pastis (Timmy Failure)

Emerson has worked for many years as a teacher and mentor to preteens and teens of all backgrounds, from underserved communities to prestigious private schools. Formerly a homeschooling parent, she’s designed dozens of arts-based programs for New York City families and conducted fun creative writing workshops for kids of all ages.

Most of the characters in the Chance Striker series are reincarnations of the people she knew growing up and raising kids in New York City. The character Chance was inspired by Salwa Emerson’s nine-year-old son, whose love for soccer and practical jokes begged to be written about.

When she’s not teaching, writing, or watching her son play soccer, Salwa Emerson can be found: knitting, hiking, reading in her hammock, making art on her ceiling, practicing yoga, or searching for a cure for her chronic case of wanderlust.