Melissa M. Williams is a Literacy Expert, the Author of 12 books, the Founder of LongTale Publishing, a Professional Speaker, News Contributor and the Founding CEO of the iWRITE Literacy Organization, which inspires youth to write and gives children the opportunity to become published authors.
Melissa speaks globally on the importance of balancing creativity in a high-tech generation. Melissa’s ultimate goal is to help all students become confident learners and find something to love, through the world of literacy. She inspires educators to be the example and use their own inner creativity inside each and every classroom.
An Advocate for Kids!
For the past 10 years, Melissa has been working with school districts and organizations, spreading a love for learning inside schools and homes through her own books and character development exercises for kids. She has built her career on listening to the creative needs of children and using her skills in psychology to get on their level as a reader. Melissa found a way to use the genre of realistic fiction with animals to address themes of diversity, peer pressure, family relationships and modeling behavior in a way elementary aged kids would understand. After working with thousands of students in schools and kid focus groups, she continued to hear the same question: Can kids be authors too? That question led her to start the professional publishing contest called, I Write Short Stories by Kids for Kids.
Founder of the iWRITE Literacy Organization
Melissa founded the iWRITE Literacy Organization back in 2009 and continued to receive some of the most talented writings from students all over the nation. However, her time working inside schools across Texas brought light to the fact kids were becoming less enchanted with reading, writing and creativity as a whole due to the wave of standardized testing and popular distractions found on technological gadgets and media. She remembers the summer of 2013, when every one of her elementary aged summer camp students wrote about human villains, high school bullies and video game killers. The days of fictional characters in the form of silly monsters, talking fruit, unicorns and even sharks were over. Pure and authentic creativity was becoming a thing of the past. Her work as an advocate and news contributor, speaking on the importance of literacy and creativity while balancing technology during the pivotal years of brain development truly began. Her latest programs revolve around the “i” The Guy character found inside the pages of a creative writing journal for kids with a teacher edition for use in school programs, which builds a foundation for students to associate reading, writing and learning with fun.
Melissa in the Media
As a sought after literacy expert, Melissa has been a correspondent for multiple news outlets, including ABC, FOX, KPRC, KHOU, Great Day Houston, Live Well Network and the Houston Chronicle. She can be seen regularly speaking on the need to balance literacy and the use of technology during the childhood years.