Melissa Hekkers is a freelance journalist and author, who has frequently been featured in mainstream news outlets and other publications in Cyprus.
Her most recent publication (2020) Amir’s Blue Elephant, is her first attempt at creative non-fiction and is based on her experiences as a volunteer working with refugees on the island of Lesvos, Greece. In 2018 she published My Cape Greco Mandala, which is the third in a series, is a colouring book inspired by the wildlife of the Cape Greco peninsula in Cyprus and was preceded by My Akamas Mandala which focuses on a variety of endemic plants found on the Akamas Natural Reserve. In 2016, she published My Nicosia Mandala, the first of the above series, an innovative, interactive colouring book about the historic fortifications of the old town of Nicosia.
Since 2015, Melissa has been teaching creative writing to children and adults.
Melissa also focuses on silenced communities in Cyprus: she writes about migrants, both as a reporter and author; profiles them and teaches them creative and scriptwriting skills through European funded programmes.
In 2007, soon after graduating with a Communications degree, she published her first children’s book in both English and Greek entitled Crocodile, which won the Cyprus State Illustration Award. In 2012, she launched her second children’s book Flying across Red Skies (in English and Greek), using an experimental approach to literature, for which she was nominated for the Cyprus State Literary award. Her third, similarly well-received children’s book was Pupa (Greek and English), published in 2014 and was adapted as a theatre play in 2019. In between her last two books, she published her first free-verse poetry book entitled Come-forth.
Find Melissa online here: