HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Robin Benway

National Book Award-Winning and New York Times Bestselling Author


  • When the Ending is Just the Beginning: What I've Learned from Being a Full-Time Novelist
  • What Does It Mean to be a Family?: Far From the Tree and the Research Behind the Book
  • The Writing Process: How to Start a Story, Finish a Book, and Find Your Way Through the Dreaded Middle
  • The Young Adult Voice: How to Make Your Characters Resonate with Readers


More Media

Robin Benway is a National Book Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author of six novels for young adults, including Audrey, Wait!, Emmy & Oliver (HarperTeen), and Far From the Tree (HarperTeen). Her books have received numerous awards and recognitions, including a Junior Library Guild Selection, the Blue Ribbon Award from the Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books, ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, and ALA’s Popular Paperback for Young Adults. In addition, her novels have received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly, and have been published in more than 20 countries

Benway’s most recent title, Far From the Tree, won the 2017 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, is a New York Times-bestselling title, and was named as one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, PBS, Entertainment Weekly, the Boston Globe, Buzzfeed, and others. Benway beautifully interweaves the story of three very different teenagers connected by blood explores the meaning of family in all its forms—how to find it, how to keep it, and how to love it.

Leading both dynamic workshops and keynote presentations, Benway regularly speaks at schools, libraries, craft conferences, and family-based groups.

Benway grew up in Orange County, California, attended NYU, where she was the recipient of the Seth Barkas Prize for Creative Writing, and is a graduate of UCLA. She currently lives in Los Angeles, with her dog, Hudson.

Praise for Far From the Tree: 

“Family issues are neither airbrushed nor oversimplified. From the first page to the last, this compassionate, funny, moving, compulsively readable novel about what makes a family gets it right.”
-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Equally heartwarming and heart-wrenching... Benway (Emmy & Oliver) delves into the souls of these characters as they wrestle to overcome feelings of inadequacy, abandonment, and betrayal, gradually coming to understand themselves and each other.”
-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Benway writes with remarkable control and has the rare talent of almost vanishing as an author as she inhabits each character’s perspective. Grace, Maya and Joaquin leap off the page as living, breathing teenagers, individual down to their fingerprints. The novel is also a brilliant exercise in empathy."
-- The New York Times

"If we are to judge from Ms. Benway's affecting novel–and I hope we are–the truth teenagers need to hear is that every human life has meaning, dignity, and relevance; that natural bonds matter; that no child is an island and no person's existence without consequence. These are brave sentiments in a throwaway culture....In the eloquent confidence of its life-embracing argument, the book really is something special."
-- The Wall Street Journal

"Well-plotted and told from multiple perspectives, Far From the Tree pairs pitch-perfect teenage voices with an empathy for their real pain and complex struggles."
-- Los Angeles Times

"With a well-imagined cast of secondary characters who add angst, humor, and depth, Benway adeptly leads readers through a tale of love, loss, and self-discovery. Expect to cry real tears at this one. Well-written and accessible, this is a must-purchase for all YA collections."
-- School Library Journal

Far from the Tree dives deep into themes of heartbreak and love, and presents a profound, emotional meditation on what it means to be family.”
-- Brightly

Far from the Tree is the kind of book that strikes close to a reader’s heart. I had to know what happened to Grace, Maya, and Joaquin, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Beautiful.”
-- Ally Condie, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of the Matched trilogy

Far from the Tree is a touching story about the strength and love of unconventional families, and the unbreakable bond of siblings near and far. Robin Benway’s characters are authentically crafted, full of heart, hurt, and hope.”
-- Brandy Colbert, author of Pointe and Little & Lion

Praise for Emmy & Oliver:

“Emmy & Oliver is wonderful. Funny, heartbreaking, and true... just like life. Robin Benway has written characters I felt like I’d known forever, and was so sad to see go. A must read.
-- Morgan Matson, New York Times bestselling author of The Unexpected Everything and Save the Date

“Robin Benway writes with her full heart. Emmy & Oliver is a genuinely sweet and funny novel bursting with the inextinguishable forces of love-between parents and children, distant and inseparable friends, new and reunited lovers.”
-- Stephanie Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Isla and the Happily Ever After

“Benway examines split loyalties, the impact of confessionals, and how broken bonds can be mended… Benway’s intriguing premise and honest tone are a winning combination as she movingly portrays the growing trust between her characters.”
-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“At times heartfelt, funny, irreverent, and ultimately satisfying… a good choice for fans of Stephanie Perkins’s Anna and the French Kiss or any of Sarah Dessen’s novels.”
-- School Library Journal

“Benway fearlessly examines the effects of loss and return from every perspective… Hope, confusion, frustration, and love coexist without shame as teens and parents come to grips with the realization that nothing stays the same no matter how desperately we want it to.”
-- Booklist

“Benway peels away the surface and digs down to the raw emotions the teens and their families feel… as a portrait of the emerging adolescent, it engages.”
-- Kirkus

“This realistic and painful story... twists and turns... until the bittersweet, yet perfect, ending.”
-- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

“Emmy’s narration is smart and sassy, and the romance plot is satisfying... An unusual blend of a soulmate story, a melodramatic plot, and a realistic book about adjustment, growth, and change, this will please romance fans as well as pragmatic souls with a sentimental streak.”
-- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books