Monica Valentinelli is a writer, artist, and game developer who lurks in the dark. She writes both original and media tie-in fiction and works on games and comics, too.
A frequent guest at conventions, Monica is best known for creating the Make Art Not War Challenge and her work related to the Firefly TV show by Joss Whedon. She was the lead writer and developer for the award-winning line of Firefly RPG books, and also wrote the Firefly: The Gorramn Shiniest Language Guide and Dictionary in the ‘Verse which was released from Titan Publishing in April 2016. A veteran with over ten years of gaming experience, she has worked on several other games including Dread Names, Red List for Vampire: the Masquerade and “In Volo’s Wake” for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition.
Her publications also include many stories such as “Tomorrow’s Precious Lambs” for Extreme Zombies and “The Dig” for the Lovecraft Zine, and several anthologies. For example, Monica successfully crowdfunded Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling with Apex Book Company. The co-edited collection, which earned a Publisher’s Weekly starred review, was released in December 2016. Her debut comic Last
Man Zombie Standing was published in 2013 as part of the Unfashioned Creatures: A Frankenstein Anthology from Red Stylo Media. You can discover more of the author’s publications through her list of published stories or her list of published games.
Monica’s non-fiction repertoire spans both digital and print works and includes online articles, worldbuilding games, reference materials, and essays. She has written for sites including HowtoWriteShop.com, Sony’s Crackle.com, SFWA.org, GeeksDreamGirl.com, and BookLifeNow.com. Her essays have also appeared in books such as Family Games: The 100 Best, The Bones: Us and Our Dice, and For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small Press Publisher.
Monica holds a B.A. in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives with two very spoiled cats nicknamed Lord Lardbottom and Captain Whinypants, an albino water frog named Al, and her long-time partner. In addition to writing and editing, she enjoys traveling, designing jewelry, cooking, taking photos, gaming, watching anime and martial arts movies, exploring old places, and hiking. She is represented by Jennie Goloboy of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.
For more about Monica, you can subscribe to her weekly newsletter.
If you know how to pronounce Tarantino, then you’ll be able to say Valentinelli. Tarantino is pronounced exactly how it looks, and Valentinelli is the same way. Tar-an-ti-no versus Val-en-tin-el-li or Va-len-tin-el-li. Valentinelli simply has more syllables in it.
Scheduling Interviews and Guest Posts
To schedule an interview with Monica or request a guest post, please use her Contact page and include the following details: your name, the name of your organization/website, the topic of your interview, and proposed dates/times. Please note that her ability to engage in interviews and guest posts varies based on her schedule.
Monica is also happy to support other writers when she can. She is willing to host guest posts related to books, games, or comics, but may not be able to put your post up in a timely manner due to travel or scheduling.
Currently, Monica is a member of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.
Monica Valentinelli writes stories, games, essays, and comics in her Midwestern studio. She’s an artist, a former musician of 20+ years, and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Creative Writing program who now writes full-time. Monica is the developer for Hunter: the Vigil Second Edition, and was the lead developer/writer for the Firefly RPG books based on the Firefly TV show by Joss Whedon. Her new books, The Gorramn Shiniest Dictionary and Language Guide in the ‘Verse and Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling, are available wherever books are sold. Her sanity is kept by her two cats, water frog, and her long-time partner. When she’s not obsessing about deadlines, she designs jewelry and dabbles in watercolors and acrylics. For more about Monica, visit www.booksofm.com.
Awards & Accolades
- The Firefly RPG corebook was nominated for the Product of the Year and the Game of the Year in the 2015 ENnie Awards.
- Echoes of War: Thrillin’ Heroics won a Judge’s Spotlight Award in the 2015 ENnie Awards.
- The Firefly RPG was nominated for Game of the Year in the 2015 Origins Awards.
- The Firefly RPG took 2nd Runner Up for Game of the Year 2014 in the Golden Geek Awards
- The Escapist nominated the Firefly RPG for Game of the Year 2014.
- Eclipse Phase: Rimward was nominated for a 2013 Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Supplement and a 2013 ENnies Award for Best Production Values.
- GalleyCat Varney the Vampire Re-Mix Grand Prize Winner 2012
- HAUNTED: 13 Tales of Ghostly Horror won Best Anthology in the 2011 Preditors & Editors Reader’s Choice Awards.
- BURIED TALES OF PINEBOX, TEXAS won first place for 2009 best anthology in the annual Preditors & Editors Reader’s Choice Awards.
- “Promises, Promises” won first place in a submission contest for White Wolf Publishing. The story was then published in the 2007 Spring Edition of White Wolf Quarterly.
- “Prey” won an Honorable Mention through the MIRRORMASK 2005 fiction competition sponsored by FutureFire.net.
- UNFRAMED: the Art of Improvisation for Game Masters was nominated for two 2015 Golden Geek Awards, Best Supplement and Best Artwork & Presentation.
- FAMILY GAMES: the 100 BEST was a nominee in the category of Best Game-Related Publication in the 2011 Origins Awards.
- CHASING SHADOWS, a horror movie screenplay Monica co-wrote, placed as a finalist in the Shriekfest 2009 competition.
- FlamesRising.com won a Silver ENnie through the hobby games industry awards at GenCon: Indianapolis in 2008.
Online Article Reprint Information: If you are interested in republishing any of Monica’s online articles or blog posts for your publication, please use the contact page to submit your request. Be sure to include the name of the website or publication and how you’re affiliated with it.