HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Emily McDowell

Author, Illustrator, Writer, & Entrepreneur


  • Transforming Pain Into Opportunity



Emily McDowell is a writer, illustrator and entrepreneur who specializes in chronicling the human condition. In 2012, she left a successful career in advertising to launch her greeting card line, making cards for the relationships we really have. Now a multimillion-dollar stationery and gift company, Emily McDowell Studio products are sold online at emilymcdowell.com and in nearly 2,000 stores worldwide. In 2015, Emily’s Empathy™ Cards, designed to help people communicate more authentically around serious illness and loss, struck a nerve around the world. McDowell’s first book, There Is No Good Card for This: What To Say and Do When Life Gets Scary, Awful, and Unfair To People You Love (HarperOne), coauthored with empathy expert Dr. Kelsey Crowe, debuted January 2017.

Written in a how-to, relatable, we’ve-all-been-that-deer-in-the-headlights kind of way, There Is No Good Card for This isn’t a spiritual treatise on how to make you a better person or a scientific argument about why compassion matters. It is a helpful illustrated guide to effective compassion that takes you, step by step by step, past the paralysis of thinking about someone in a difficult time to actually doing something (or nothing) with good judgment instead of fear.

McDowell’s work has been featured by The New York Times, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, BBC News, and NPR's All Things Considered, among many others, and in 2015, she was named one of Slate's 10 Designers Who Are Changing the World.

If you’re familiar with McDowell’s work, you probably also know that audiences really connect with her down-to-earth, conversational communication style. As a speaker, her primary goal is to leave her audience with actionable information they can put into practice, while also entertaining them, making them laugh, and making them think.

Currently, McDowell resides in Los Angeles.

Praise for Emily McDowell:

“Emily McDowell brought her charm and wit to our stage, but even more than that she came wildly prepared. She inspired our attendees to action with practical, specific examples. Everyone encounters situations where they want to help, but they don't know what to do when someone they love is grieving or suffering. Emily solved that for our people. Over and over throughout the weekend, we heard about how her insights and wisdom showed them how to care. They left knowing what to do when they meet the suffering of others. Such insight is a rare gift, and our community is better off because of Emily's investment in them.”
--Chris Guillebeau, Founder & Chief Troublemaker, World Domination Summit

“Emily is a down-to-earth speaker and presenter, and has made it her life's mission to make a difference for millions of people. Her entrepreneurial spirit and unprecedented success in the business world set her apart as a role model for aspiring leaders as well. What’s more, she is engaging, personable, very real and received very high marks from our audience.”
--Matthew Zachary, Founder & CEO, Stupid Cancer

“Emily McDowell’s energy and authenticity are contagious. She engaged our attendees with her wit and creativity from the moment she stepped onto the stage and left them inspired and empowered. Emily has that rare balance of being both a poised professional and a down-to-earth intelligent funny woman who is just as excited about connecting with her audience when she steps off the stage as she is when she steps on.”
--Nicole Stevenson, Founder, Craftcation Business + Makers Conference and Patchwork Show Modern Makers Festival

Praise for There Is No Good Card for This:

“A heartfelt and practical guide for caring when it really matters.”
--Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In

“This book is a gift. It’s the wonderful crash course in Humanity 101 that none of us got to take in school. Without judgment, and with humor and compassion, this book shows you how to show up as the best possible version of yourself when it matters most.”
--Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic

“This book makes complicated things simple and helps us say to each other what we’re dying to say. When I hand it to my friends, they’ll laugh, cry and breathe easier. The realness and support in these pages feels like oxygen in a world suffocating from shininess and formality.”
--Glennon Doyle Melton, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Love Warrior and Carry On, Warrior

“This book has fundamentally changed how I approach helping and caring for others. Compassion and creativity literally leap off the page. It’s full of sage advice on how to be a better friend, colleague, family member, and partner to those who are suffering.”
--Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals

“At last, a book for the vast swath of us who really care but don’t know how to show it sometimes. Kelsey and Emily made this enormous and complex issue accessible and so wonderfully helpful. It’s just right for any human being who ever plans on being close to another.”
--BJ Miller, MD Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF