Discipline: Literature – fiction

Denene Millner

Discipline: Literature – fiction
Region: Atlanta, GA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2023

Denene Millner is a six-time New York Times best-selling author, Emmy Award-nominated TV show host, and award-winning journalist who has penned more than 30 books, among them Taraji P. Henson’s Around the Way Girl and the picture book Fresh Princess. Her debut solo novel, One Blood, a multi-generational epic about motherhood, adoption, and race, will be published in eight countries when it releases in September 2023.

The Atlanta-based writer and editor is also the editorial director of Denene Millner Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint that publishes stories featuring Black children and families. Under her leadership, it has published books that won Caldecott Honors, a Newbery Honor, a Southern Book Award, several Coretta Scott King Awards and honors, and a Kirkus Prize for young readers' literature.

While at MacDowell, Millner wrote the first chapters of her novel, tentatively titled What They Created Was Love, about an unwed pregnant teenager whose family is torn apart in the wake of her being forced to give birth in a maternity home and surrender her baby to adoption. The book is the follow-up to her novel, One Blood, an epic that explores birth, adoption, race, and reproductive trauma through a triptych of three women.



Denene Millner worked in the Sprague-Smith studio.

In January of 1976, the original Sprague-Smith Studio — built in 1915–1916 and funded by music students of Mrs. Charles Sprague-Smith of the Veltin School — was destroyed by fire. Redesigned by William Gnade, Sr., a Peterborough builder, the fieldstone structure was rebuilt the same year from the foundation up, reusing the original fieldstone. A few…

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