writer. rioter.

on good days, both. 

Malavika Kannan is an 18-year-old author and advocate for girls changing the world. Men online have called her a "future single mom," "liberal twig of a woman," and "decent writer, minus the social justice," but Malavika prefers to call herself an activist for representation, empowerment, and justice. Malavika is currently a freshman at Stanford University.

She wrote her debut YA fantasy novel, The Bookweaver’s Daughter, when she was seventeen years old. An #OwnVoices novel rooted in Ancient Indian mythology, The Bookweaver's Daughter won a 2018 National Scholastic Medal, and will be releasing through Tanglewood Publishing in 2020.


A nationally-recognized essayist and journalist, Malavika uses stories to speak truth to power and disrupt narratives. She's written about culture, politics, and identity for HuffPost, Washington Post, Teen Vogue, NYLON, Vice, and Harper’s Bazaar. Her essays about gun violence and women of color in literature reached millions of readers, and in 2018 her HuffPost essay went viral, exploring the Indian-American experience with empathy and humor. She currently writes for The Stanford Daily, focusing on justice, diversity, and accountability.


Since young people are central to political change, Malavika founded Homegirl Project, a youth-led organization that empowers girls of color as political leaders. Homegirl Project has served thousands of girls nationwide through its ground-breaking political mentorship programs. She's organized national social campaigns for Women’s March, March For Our Lives, and Giffords, most recently Slam Gun Violence, a social justice poetry project featured in Refinery29. In 2019, she interned for Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, the first AAPI woman from Florida elected to Congress.


Malavika has been recognized as a 2018 HerLead Fellow, 2019 & 2020 YoungArts Winner in Writing, 2018 & 2019 Scholastic National Medalist, US Senate Youth Delegate, Women’s March Youth Leader, Giffords Courage Fellow, Library of Congress essay winner, and Cameron Impact Scholar. You can keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter. Here's to making space, supporting girls, and changing the game!