on good days, both.
Malavika Kannan is an 18-year-old author, essayist, 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 and empowerment. She's 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.
Malavika uses writing to disrupt narratives, with critical essays on culture, feminism, Gen-Z, politics, and identity appearing in HuffPost, Washington Post, Teen Vogue, NYLON, Vice, and Harper’s Bazaar. Her op-eds on gun violence and Kamala Harris's campaign reached millions of readers, and in 2018 her HuffPost essay went viral, exploring the challenges of Indian-Americn writers with empathy and humor. She currently writes for The Stanford Daily, focusing on justice, diversity, and representation.
An advocate for girls in politics, Malavika is founder and executive director Homegirl Project, a national youth-led 501c3 organization that empowers girls of color as political leaders. Homegirl Project has served thousands of girls nationwide through its ground-breaking political mentorship programs, winning the 2020 T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge. She's organized national social campaigns for Women’s March, March For Our Lives, and Giffords, most recently Slam Gun Violence, a viral poetry campaign released by Refinery29. In 2019, she interned for Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, the first AAPI woman from Florida elected to Congress.
Malavika has been recognized as a 2020 Global Teen Leader, 2018 HerLead Fellow, 2019 & 2020 YoungArts Winner in Writing, 2018 & 2019 Scholastic National Medalist, US Senate Youth Delegate, Women’s March Youth Empower 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!