“Wild, beautiful, and free. The Words We Keep is a poetic page turner. A raw, relatable story of mental illness, romance, and the power of love.” — Jennifer Niven, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Erin Stewart writes relatable, realistic fiction for tackles tough topics. Her novel, THE WORDS WE KEEP, received the prestigious Schneider Family Book Award from the American Library Association for its portrayal of the disability experience. The novel features mental health themes such as anxiety in what Kirkus calls “a sprawling, engrossing read” with “an overpowering sense of hope underlined by an achingly sincere message: Speak up and get help if needed.”

Erin’s debut novel, SCARS LIKE WINGS, was a Junior Library Guild Selection, Amazon Editor’s Pick and winner of BookPal’s 2019 Outstanding Works of Literature award. School Library Journal called the book, which tells the story of a burn survivor’s quest for her new normal, “thought-provoking . . . will push readers to think deeply about empathy, hope, and resilience in the face of heartbreak.

She has two new books forthcoming, THE FORGOTTEN MAGIC OF ZOEY TURNER (January 2025), and EVERY BORROWED BEAT (March 2025).

Erin loves speaking with readers and students about her the writing process, the importance of story, as well as the value of using writing as an avenue to speak up about mental health issues.

Erin's Featured Titles

Every Borrowed Beat

Delacorte Press |
Young Adult

For fans of FIVE FEET APART, this emotional and romantic YA offers an unflinching look at not only the realities of heart failure, but at memory, grief, guilt, and what it means to live—in spite of another, because of another, for another. For yourself.

Sydney Wells should have died. She was supposed to die.

She never expected, after years of waiting, to receive a heart transplant. Now, seventeen-year-old Sydney doesn’t know what to do with her life. Her daily routine consisted of staying indoors, eating heart-healthy foods, and posting about her transplant list experiences on TheWaitingList with her long-distance BFF (and heart failure buddy) Chloe.

Now, Sydney latches onto the one thing that gives her meaning: learning as much as she can about the person whose heart she inherited. After finding the family of her likely-donor, Mia, Sydney falls deep into her world—and may also be falling for Mia’s best friend, Clayton.

But Sydney isn’t the only one hiding something. Mia’s brother Tanner won’t talk to Clayton, and Clayton won’t tell Mia why. And hundreds of miles away, Chloe’s health has taken a turn for the worse. Sydney needs to face what’s in her heart—the truth, the guilt, and the future—before it’s too late.

The Forgotten Magic of Zoey Turner

Aladdin |
Children’s/Middle Grade

A girl whose anxiety disorder has been ruling her life since her father’s death unexpectedly has the story she’s written come alive in this adventurous and tender middle grade fantasy perfect for fans of Barbara Dee and Jamie Sumner.

Zoey Turner used to see magic everywhere. With a dad like Zoey’s, it was hard not to. Not only did they read The Magic of Ever After series together every day, they also used to create original stories together. Used to. Ever since her dad died unexpectedly last year, all Zoey sees is danger.

Fear has shrunk homeschooled Zoey’s life to the span of one block, where she keeps close to the people that she needs the most. Her mom is almost never out of sight, and Jada, the owner of Ever After Books, is always around to talk about their favorite fantasy trilogy. Zoey finally ventures outside her comfort zone for the chance to meet famed author Raven M. Wells, only for the outing to lead to a panic attack.

Instead of a signed book, Zoey ends up with a novelty pencil embossed with the phrase make your own magic that she uses to cope with her disappointment by writing a story like the ones she and her dad shared. The next day, Zoey is shocked to find her fantastical tale has come true. Emboldened by the pencil, Zoey takes risks she thought were long behind her in pursuit of her happy ending. But is she really in charge of how the story ends?

The Words We Keep

Delacorte/Penguin Random House |
Young Adult

A beautifully realistic, relatable story about mental health—anxiety, perfectionism, depression—and the healing powers of art—perfect for fans of Girl in Pieces and How it Feels to Float. Whatever you struggle with, you are not alone and you are already enough—just the way you are.

It’s been three months since The Night on the Bathroom Floor–when Lily found her older sister Alice hurting herself. Ever since then, Lily has been desperately trying to keep things together, for herself and for her family. But now Alice is coming home from her treatment program and it is becoming harder for Lily to ignore all of the feelings she’s been trying to outrun.

Enter Micah, a new student at school with a past of his own. He was in treatment with Alice and seems determined to get Lily to process not only Alice’s experience, but her own. Because Lily has secrets, too. Compulsions she can’t seem to let go of and thoughts she can’t drown out.

When Lily and Micah embark on an art project for school involving finding poetry in unexpected places, she realizes that it’s the words she’s been swallowing that desperately want to break through.

Scars Like Wings

Delacorte/Penguin Random House |
Young Adult

Relatable, heartbreaking, and real, this is a story of resilience–the perfect novel for readers of powerful contemporary fiction like Girl in Pieces and Every Last Word.

Before, I was a million things. Now I’m only one. The Burned Girl.
Ava Lee has lost everything there is to lose: Her parents. Her best friend. Her home. Even her face. She doesn’t need a mirror to know what she looks like–she can see her reflection in the eyes of everyone around her.

A year after the fire that destroyed her world, her aunt and uncle have decided she should go back to high school. Be “normal” again. Whatever that is. Ava knows better. There is no normal for someone like her. And forget making friends–no one wants to be seen with the Burned Girl, now or ever.

But when Ava meets a fellow survivor named Piper, she begins to feel like maybe she doesn’t have to face the nightmare alone. Sarcastic and blunt, Piper isn’t afraid to push Ava out of her comfort zone. Piper introduces Ava to Asad, a boy who loves theater just as much as she does, and slowly, Ava tries to create a life again. Yet Piper is fighting her own battle, and soon Ava must decide if she’s going to fade back into her scars . . . or let the people by her side help her fly.


Finding YOUR Story

In this session, Erin will discuss the value of using art to find and tell the story inside of YOU. She will discuss how she came to write THE WORDS WE KEEP and SCARS LIKE WINGS, as well as what it means to mine life for the stories all around us. Discussion will center on questions such as: What make a great story? Why are stories so important? How can you best share yours? Students will learn what it takes to tell a great story (voice, theme, characters) by examining classics.


The Words We Keep

Drawing on her most recent book, The Words We Keep, this session will focus on how to use poetry and words to write about tough topics like mental health. Erin will talk about her own journey to writing a story based on her experience with anxiety, and will give tips and encouragement on how attendees can face their own struggles and share them with the world. Discussion will also focus on why speaking up, connecting and sharing is so important with mental health, and life in general!


Creating Captivating Characters

In this workshop-style session, Erin will discuss the art of creating characters by experimenting with voice, identifying what your character wants and examining the journey of a good character arc. Students will participate as a group and individually as they create a character, role-play with dialogue and sketch out a hero’s journey.

Erin’s Newsletter Link

Erin’s Events Link

Erin’s News Link

Link to Blackout Poetry

Erin’s Author Essay

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Scars Like Wings
Junior Library Guild
Amazon Editor’s Pick
Amazon Book of the Month
BookPals’ Outstanding Works of Literature Award 2019
Whitney Award for Best Debut novel, Storymakers, 2019
BookExpo America Buzz Book

The Words We Keep
The Schneider Family Book Award, American Library Association, 2023
Kirkus Best Book of 2022

Erin’s books are available in more than 17 different languages, as well as an Audible

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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