Meredith Russo
Award-Winning Author, LGBTQIA+ Activist

Meredith Russo is a novelist and public speaker from Chattanooga, Tennessee, where she was born and where she received a degree in Creative Writing and Women’s Studies from the University of Tennessee. Her award-winning debut novel, If I Was Your Girl, released in 2016 and won the Stonewall Award, as well as honors for the Walter Dean Myers Diversity Award and the Lambda Literary Award. Her sophomore novel, Birthday, was released in May 2019.


Meredith is a contributor for the New York Times, Radical Hope, (Don’t) Call Me Crazy, and Meet Cute. The best place to keep up to date on her current work is Patreon, where she publishes one short story, one novel chapter, and small multimedia side projects every month. She has thousands of followers on social media, where she frequently speaks about politics, gender, writing, and publishing. She is one of only a few prominent transgender women speaking to transgender issues and creating transgender art.


Since Meredith Russo’s debut release, she has spoken on panels, in interviews, and as a solo presenter domestically and abroad. She was interviewed at Denmark’s Bogforum and has spoken for Highbridge Green School in the Bronx, Middleton High School in Wisconsin, and the Philadelphia Free Library’s author series. Her panel appearances include the Bay Area Book Festival, the American Librarian Association’s summer convention two years in a row, and the Southern Festival of Books. You can follow Meredith on Twitter.

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Flatiron Books

Six years of birthdays reveal Eric and Morgan’s destiny as they come together, drift apart, fall in love, and discover who they’re meant to be—and if they’re meant to be together. From the award-winning author of If I Was Your Girl, Meredith Russo, comes a heart-wrenching and universal story of identity, first love, and fate.

Flatiron Books

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school, and all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone. When she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, and they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love?

Meredith Russo gives her unique and informed perspective on gender and society.
Trans Issues
Meredith Russo's novel, If I Was Your Girl deals with trans issues. Russo talks on writing about these issues and personal experience.
Working in Literature as a Minority
An educated author, Meredith Russo speaks on what it's like to be a minority writer in the business of books.

Kirkus and Shelf Awareness interviewed Meredith Russo in honor of Pride Month!

Bustle published an original essay from the author on first love, and PBS NewsHour online, Thought CatalogRefinery29Girls’ LifeEpic Reads, and The Horn Book recommend reading the novel this pride month.

Meredith Russo’s Birthday was YA Pride’s Queer Women’s History Month’s book list for May 2019.

Waiting for Wednesday podcast highlighted Birthday as one of the most awaited books.

Birthday was nominated as one of Barnes & Noble’s Most Anticipated LGBTQAP YA Books of 2019.

Read Book Riot’s preview of Birthday as one of the top YA books hitting the shelves in Spring 2019.

Birthday was a part of Barnes & Noble’s Valentine’s Day Round-up.

Read a review for If I Was Your Girl on

Check out her interview on

Read’s interview with Meredith.

Follow Meredith on Twitter and Instagram 

Advance praise for Birthday "Rarely have we seen a story like Meredith Russo's BIRTHDAY...One of the great wonders of Y.A. fiction is its power to create new narratives that replace fear and hatred with empathy and acceptance, and to show young people a path for the future that's better than what we've seen. Russo's narrative expression of the need to live one's truth, and the option of choosing love through it all, is a valuable reminder of what really matters."
New York Times Book Review

"A realistic picture of the challenges that teens may face when finding themselves and falling in love.”
- Publishers Weekly

"Russo does a superb job of capturing and dramatizing Morgan’s agony and Eric’s confusion, exciting her readers’ deep empathy. Beautifully written, Birthday is an altogether singular contribution to the gradually growing body of transgender literature and, indeed, to mainstream literature, as well."
— Booklist, starred review

"Stonewall Award Winner Russo (If I Was Your Girl, 2016) captures the intense longing of two teens who feel trapped in their small, football-obsessed Tennessee town."
- Kirkus Reviews

"Birthday is a luminous and profoundly moving coming-of-age story of love, family, friendship, destiny, and the struggle to live as one’s truest self. It will break your heart, piece it back together even stronger, and do it again and again until the last page."
— Jeff Zentner, Morris Award-winning author of The Serpent King

“Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, this book is a celebration of friendship, life, and enduring love between two teens.”
— Mason Deaver, author of I Wish You All the Best

“I couldn’t put this book down. Birthday broke my heart and made me tear up, but it was also so triumphant. This book will save lives.”
— Camryn Garrett, author of Full Disclosure

"An emotional, winning touchdown."
- Kirkus Reviews

Praise for If I Was Your Girl "This new novel for teens breaks new ground...powerful."
O Magazine

"A beautifully rendered YA novel . . . the first written by a transgender woman about the transgender teen experience."
San Francisco Chronicle

"A vivid, compassionate portrait of a teen finding her place."
The Washington Post

"An illuminating debut guided by hope and overwhelming kindness.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A necessary, universal story about feeling different and enduring prejudices…full of love, hope, and truth.”
— Kirkus, starred review

"This is everything a coming-of-age novel should be—honest, complicated, and meaningful. Transcends the typical 'issue' novel to be a beautiful tale in its own right."
— School Library Journal, SLJ Popular Pick