Author Biography

Brandon Sanderson Biography

Brandon Sanderson, a renowned author, has captivated readers worldwide with his immersive storytelling and meticulously crafted fantastical worlds. From his early beginnings as an aspiring writer to his current status as a bestselling author, Sanderson’s journey is one of dedication, creativity, and unparalleled success.

Born in December 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska, Sanderson developed a passion for reading in eighth grade when he discovered “Dragonsbane” by Barbara Hambly. This pivotal moment ignited his love for fantasy literature, leading him to explore the works of esteemed authors such as Robert Jordan, David Eddings, and Anne McCaffrey.

Attending Brigham Young University, Sanderson initially pursued a major in biochemistry before ultimately switching to English. His time at university allowed him to hone his storytelling skills, and he completed an impressive seven novels during this period.

In 2005, Sanderson achieved significant recognition with the publication of his debut novel, “Elantris.” This marked the beginning of his illustrious career, with subsequent works solidifying his position as one of the most influential authors of his generation.

Dedicated to continuous growth and innovation, Sanderson has expanded his repertoire into the children’s market, delved into graphic novel creations, and developed the expansive Cosmere universe, which interconnects many of his fantasy novels.

Additionally, Sanderson shares his wealth of knowledge with aspiring writers as a respected teacher of creative writing at Brigham Young University. Through collaborations with esteemed authors and hosting the popular podcast “Writing Excuses,” Sanderson continues to engage with the writing community, providing valuable insights and captivating storytelling.

Surrounded by the love and support of his wife, Emily Bushman, and their three sons, Sanderson’s personal life is as fulfilling as his professional achievements. Together, they call American Fork, Utah, home.

  • Brandon Sanderson is a highly acclaimed fantasy author known for crafting immersive worlds and captivating storytelling.
  • He began his journey as an aspiring writer in Nebraska and developed a love for fantasy literature in his early years.
  • Sanderson’s debut novel, “Elantris,” marked the beginning of his prolific career as an author.
  • He has expanded his repertoire into various genres, including children’s literature and graphic novels.
  • In addition to his writing, Sanderson shares his knowledge and experiences through teaching and collaborations with other authors.

Early Life and Education

Brandon Sanderson, a renowned author known for his captivating fantasy novels, hails from Lincoln, Nebraska. His early life was marked by a deep fascination with books and reading, which ignited his passion for storytelling. In eighth grade, Sanderson discovered the novel “Dragonsbane” by Barbara Hambly, a pivotal moment that sparked his love for fantasy literature.

Sanderson’s educational journey took him to Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. Initially, he pursued a major in biochemistry, drawn to the mysteries of the natural world. However, Sanderson’s passion for writing and storytelling ultimately led him to switch his major to English, where he could explore the craft of storytelling and unleash his creative potential.

During his time at BYU, Sanderson immersed himself in the world of literature and writing. He actively participated in the university’s science fiction/fantasy magazine, Leading Edge, where he gained valuable experience in the publishing industry. This involvement helped shape his understanding of the genre and provided opportunities to refine his skills as a writer.

Despite the demands of his studies, Sanderson dedicated himself to honing his writing abilities. He wrote extensively during his undergraduate years, completing an impressive seven novels. This prolific output served as invaluable practice, allowing him to refine his storytelling techniques and develop his unique voice.

Recognizing his talent and dedication to the craft, Sanderson pursued a master’s degree in creative writing from BYU, which he obtained in 2004. The program further nurtured his abilities and deepened his understanding of the writing process, equipping him with the necessary tools to embark on his professional career as an author.

The Leading Edge Magazine

The Leading Edge magazine, which played a significant role in Sanderson’s early years, is a renowned publication dedicated to science fiction and fantasy. Sanderson’s involvement allowed him to immerse himself in the genre and connect with like-minded individuals passionate about speculative fiction. Through this experience, he gained invaluable insights into the publishing world and established a network of contacts that would prove essential in his future endeavors.

Mastering the Craft

Moreover, Sanderson’s pursuit of a master’s degree in creative writing allowed him to refine his skills and delve deeper into the complexities of storytelling. The program nurtured his creative abilities and provided a supportive environment for experimentation and growth. With each assignment, Sanderson honed his craft, developing a mastery of narrative structure, character development, and world-building. This scholarly pursuit laid the foundation for his future success as a bestselling author.

Key TakeawaysDetails
Early LifeBrandon Sanderson was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska.
EducationSanderson attended Brigham Young University (BYU), initially majoring in biochemistry.
Switching MajorsDriven by his love for storytelling, Sanderson switched his major to English.
Leading Edge InvolvementSanderson volunteered for BYU’s science fiction/fantasy magazine, The Leading Edge, gaining experience in the publishing industry.
Master’s DegreeSanderson completed a master’s degree in creative writing from BYU, further refining his skills as a writer.

Early Writing Career

Brandon Sanderson’s writing career began with determination and resilience. Despite facing numerous rejections, he remained steadfast in his pursuit of becoming a published author. Sanderson submitted multiple manuscripts to various publishers, facing the disappointment of accumulated rejection letters.

However, his perseverance paid off in 2003 when he received an offer from editor Moshe Feder at Tor Books, a renowned publishing house. This pivotal moment marked the beginning of Sanderson’s journey as a published author.

“Elantris,” Sanderson’s debut novel, was released in May 2005, introducing readers to his unique storytelling style and imaginative world-building. This critically acclaimed novel captured the attention of fantasy enthusiasts, setting the stage for Sanderson’s rising prominence in the genre.

The success of “Elantris” was followed by the publication of the renowned Mistborn trilogy, which further solidified Sanderson’s reputation as a master storyteller. The Mistborn trilogy captivated readers with its intricate plot, compelling characters, and intricate magic systems, earning Sanderson a dedicated fan base and critical acclaim.

To illustrate Brandon Sanderson’s early writing career:

2005ElantrisTor Books
2006-2008Mistborn TrilogyTor Books

Through these early successes, Sanderson established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the fantasy genre, leaving readers eagerly anticipating his future works.

The Wheel of Time

After the passing of fantasy author Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson was entrusted with the monumental task of completing the final books in Jordan’s beloved Wheel of Time series. Chosen by Jordan’s wife and editor, Harriet McDougal, Sanderson embarked on the journey of bringing Jordan’s vision to life.

The Gathering Storm, the first book Sanderson co-wrote with Jordan, was published in 2009. This highly anticipated sequel garnered critical acclaim and captured the hearts of readers worldwide. It served as the catalyst for Sanderson to continue Jordan’s intricate tale.

Building on the foundation laid by Jordan, Sanderson masterfully crafted Towers of Midnight in 2010, diving deeper into the myriad storylines and propelling the series towards its epic conclusion.

Finally, in 2013, the long-awaited A Memory of Light was released, concluding the Wheel of Time series with a grand finale that left readers breathless and satisfied.

“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.” – Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World

Expanded Repertoire

Brandon Sanderson’s writing prowess extends beyond the realm of adult fantasy, as he has made a significant impact in the children’s market. In 2007, Sanderson added another feather to his cap with the publication of “Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians” by Scholastic. This humorous and adventurous tale captured the imagination of young readers, introducing them to Sanderson’s unique storytelling style and imaginative world-building.

The success of “Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians” prompted Sanderson to explore other avenues of storytelling, leading him to venture into the realm of graphic novels. He delved into this medium with the creation of series such as White Sand and Dark One, bringing his epic stories to life through stunning illustrations.

Scholastic’s “Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians” Series

TitlePublication DateGraphic Novel Artists
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians: The Scrivener’s Bones2008Hayley Lazo
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians: The Knights of Crystallia2009Hayley Lazo
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians: The Shattered Lens2010Hayley Lazo
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians: The Dark Talent2016Hayley Lazo

In addition to his work in the children’s market, Sanderson expanded his creative vision with the development of the Cosmere universe. This expansive universe encompasses many of his fantasy novels, interweaving diverse worlds, magical systems, and memorable characters. Fans of Sanderson’s works have been captivated by the intricate connections and hidden Easter eggs that are scattered throughout the Cosmere.

Teaching and Collaborations

Brandon Sanderson’s passion for the written word extends beyond his own writing career. He also dedicates his time to teaching and collaborating with other talented authors.

As a respected figure in the literary world, Sanderson serves as a creative writing teacher at Brigham Young University. He imparts his knowledge and expertise to aspiring writers, particularly those interested in the science fiction and fantasy genres. Through his teaching, Sanderson empowers students with the skills and inspiration needed to embark on their own creative writing journeys.

Beyond the classroom, Sanderson engages in fruitful collaborations with esteemed authors such as Daniel Wells and Howard Tayler. Together, they host the immensely popular podcast known as Writing Excuses. This podcast provides invaluable writing advice and insights, fostering a community of aspiring authors seeking to refine their craft. Sanderson’s role in this collaboration showcases his commitment to nurturing and supporting fellow writers as they navigate the complexities of storytelling and publishing.

“Teaching and collaborating with others is not only a way for me to give back to the writing community, but it’s also a chance for me to constantly learn and grow as a writer myself. I believe that by sharing knowledge and working together, we can all become better storytellers.” – Brandon Sanderson

The Writing Excuses Podcast

One of the most notable collaborative projects Sanderson is involved in is the Writing Excuses podcast. This podcast, hosted by Sanderson, Wells, and Tayler, offers valuable insights into the craft of writing. Each episode delves into a specific aspect of writing, ranging from character development to world-building. With its engaging and accessible format, the Writing Excuses podcast has garnered a devoted audience of aspiring authors seeking guidance and inspiration for their own writing endeavors.

Benefits of the Writing Excuses PodcastEpisodesFeatured Guests
Provides practical writing adviceOver 15 seasons and countingRenowned authors, editors, and industry professionals
Offers insights into the publishing industryApproximately 15 minutes per episodeLeading voices in the writing community
Creates a supportive writing communityAccessible on major podcast platformsEncouraging collaboration and learning

Through his teaching and collaborations, Sanderson continues to emphasize the importance of community and the power of collaboration in the world of creative writing. His dedication to sharing knowledge and supporting fellow writers has made him a cherished figure among aspiring authors seeking guidance and mentorship.

Personal Life

In July 2006, Brandon Sanderson married Emily Bushman, an English and ESL teacher. The couple has three sons and resides in American Fork, Utah. Emily also serves as Sanderson’s business manager, working from home part-time.

Brandon Sanderson’s personal life is an integral part of his success as an author. His marriage to Emily Bushman, an English and ESL teacher, has provided him with unwavering support and a stable foundation for his writing career. Alongside raising their three sons, Emily also takes on the role of Sanderson’s business manager, skillfully managing his professional affairs.

Emily’s qualifications in the field of education make her an invaluable asset to Sanderson’s career. Her insights and expertise help shape and guide their joint endeavors, ensuring that Sanderson’s literary achievements are complemented by sound business decisions. As a business manager, she plays a pivotal role in negotiating contracts, scheduling events, and overseeing the financial aspects of Sanderson’s career.

“My wife, Emily, is a tremendous help to me in organizing my career. She handles my scheduling, takes care of the kids while I’m writing, and helps me manage my contracts and business endeavors. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in both life and work.” – Brandon Sanderson

Awards and Recognition

Brandon Sanderson has received numerous awards and accolades for his work. His contributions to the fantasy genre have been widely recognized, cementing his status as a talented and influential author.

David Gemmell Legend Award

Sanderson has been nominated multiple times for the David Gemmell Legend Award, an esteemed recognition in the fantasy literature community. In 2011, he secured the award for his epic fantasy novel, “The Way of Kings,” further solidifying his place among the genre’s elite.

Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award

Sanderson’s exceptional storytelling and world-building skills have earned him the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice award for Best Epic Fantasy. This prestigious accolade showcases his ability to captivate readers with his imaginative and immersive narratives.

Hugo Award

Sanderson’s impact on the science fiction and fantasy genres cannot be overlooked. He has been honored with a Hugo Award, a highly respected prize within the speculative fiction community. This recognition highlights his ability to create profound and thought-provoking stories that resonate with readers on a deep level.

New York Times Best-Seller List

Sanderson’s books consistently appear on the New York Times Best-Seller List, a testament to his widespread popularity and commercial success. His novel “Oathbringer” even reached the coveted #1 spot, demonstrating the immense appeal of his captivating storytelling and expansive fictional worlds.

These prestigious awards and best-seller achievements reflect Sanderson’s mastery of the fantasy genre and his ability to captivate readers with his richly imagined tales.

International Recognition

Brandon Sanderson’s captivating storytelling and expansive world-building have gained international recognition, making his works a global literary sensation. Translated into thirty-five languages, his books have been embraced by readers worldwide.

Through expert translations and international publications, Sanderson’s narratives transcend cultural boundaries, allowing readers from diverse backgrounds to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of his fictional worlds.

Translations and Global Reach

Sanderson’s ability to captivate audiences is evident in the extensive translations of his works. With availability in thirty-five languages, fans around the world have the opportunity to experience his vivid narratives and complex characters, each translation offering a unique lens into his imaginative universes.

From the bustling cityscapes of Elantris to the sweeping landscapes of Roshar in The Stormlight Archive, Sanderson’s stories resonate with readers on a global scale.

International Publications and Impact

The success of Sanderson’s works is not limited to their availability in multiple languages. His novels’ international publications have ignited a passion for fantasy literature and sparked the imaginations of countless readers worldwide.

“Brandon Sanderson’s books have the remarkable ability to transport readers across borders and cultures. His storytelling transcends language barriers, captivating readers from all corners of the globe.”

Furthermore, Sanderson’s influence has extended beyond the pages of his novels, inspiring international communities of avid readers and fueling discussions and analysis that transcend geographical boundaries.

Continued Global Impact

As Sanderson continues to weave tales that capture the hearts and minds of readers everywhere, his international recognition and influence only grow stronger. With each new translation and publication, his stories find resonance in the hearts of individuals across the globe, solidifying his place as a truly international and universally celebrated author.

Continuing Success

Brandon Sanderson’s success continues to flourish with numerous projects in progress and a dedicated fan base eagerly anticipating his upcoming releases. He is currently working on the continuation of his ongoing series, including The Stormlight Archive and The Reckoners. Sanderson’s ability to captivate readers with his imaginative storytelling and intricate world-building sets him apart as a master of the fantasy genre.

One of Sanderson’s highly anticipated projects is the fourth installment of The Stormlight Archive, his epic series set in the magical world of Roshar. The sequel to “Oathbringer” is expected to delve deeper into the lives of beloved characters and unravel the mysteries of the sprawling Cosmere universe.

Another ongoing series that Sanderson is actively developing is The Reckoners. This gripping young adult series follows a group of ordinary humans fighting against super-powered beings known as Epics in a dystopian world. Fans eagerly await the next installment, eagerly anticipating the electrifying action and suspense that Sanderson is known for.

“Sanderson’s ability to create intricate and well-developed worlds is truly remarkable. His ongoing series have captivated readers and continue to leave us longing for more.”

Aside from his ongoing series, Sanderson is also working on several standalone novels and short stories that promise to transport readers to new and exciting worlds. These standalone works allow Sanderson the freedom to explore different genres and showcase his versatility as an author.

With each new release, Brandon Sanderson weaves tales that push the boundaries of imagination and ignite the passion of readers around the world. His projects in progress and upcoming releases keep fans eagerly turning the pages, eagerly awaiting the magic and adventure that only a Sanderson novel can deliver.

The Stormlight ArchiveThe continuation of Sanderson’s epic fantasy series set in the world of Roshar, filled with intricate world-building and compelling characters.
The ReckonersA thrilling young adult series that follows a group of rebels fighting against super-powered villains in a dystopian world.
Standalone NovelsBrandon Sanderson is also working on a variety of standalone novels that explore different genres and showcase his versatility as an author.

Online Presence and Community Engagement

Brandon Sanderson understands the importance of connecting with his readers and fostering a strong community. He utilizes various online platforms to engage with fans, share updates, and provide behind-the-scenes insights into his writing process.

One of the primary ways Sanderson connects with his audience is through his blog. Here, he shares personal anecdotes, writing advice, and news about his upcoming projects. The blog allows readers to get a glimpse into Sanderson’s life and creative journey.

In addition to his blog, Sanderson maintains an active presence on social media. You can find him on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, where he interacts with fans, answers questions, and announces upcoming events.

Speaking of events, Sanderson regularly participates in book signings and author appearances around the world. These events give readers the opportunity to meet Sanderson in person, get their books signed, and engage in discussions about his works.

To keep his readers informed about his latest releases, signings, and appearances, Sanderson utilizes a mailing list. Fans can sign up to receive regular updates directly in their inbox, ensuring they never miss out on any exciting news.

Furthermore, Sanderson’s website offers an interactive experience for readers. It provides additional information about his books, characters, and worlds, allowing fans to immerse themselves further in the story. The website also hosts forums and discussion boards, encouraging fans to engage with each other and share their thoughts and theories.

Through his online presence and active community engagement, Brandon Sanderson creates a welcoming and inclusive space for his readers to connect, share their love for his works, and interact with the author himself.


Brandon Sanderson is a highly acclaimed author known for his immersive storytelling and richly developed fictional worlds. From his early years as an aspiring writer to his current status as a bestselling author, Sanderson’s dedication and passion for his craft shines through in his captivating works. His contributions to the fantasy genre, including the completion of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, have solidified his place as one of the most influential authors of his generation.

With a devoted fan base and a multitude of ongoing projects, Brandon Sanderson’s literary journey continues to inspire and entertain readers worldwide. Whether it’s his intricate world-building or the compelling characters he creates, Sanderson’s ability to transport readers to new and exciting realms is unparalleled. His dedication to his craft and his commitment to delivering quality storytelling have earned him numerous awards and accolades.

As he continues to write and expand his repertoire, Sanderson’s fans eagerly anticipate his upcoming releases and eagerly delve into his latest works. With each new novel, he takes readers on unforgettable adventures, weaving intricate plots and delivering memorable experiences. Through his captivating storytelling and imaginative worlds, Brandon Sanderson has solidified his position as a master of the fantasy genre and a beloved author among readers of all ages.


Who is Brandon Sanderson?

Brandon Sanderson is an acclaimed author known for his immersive storytelling and richly developed fictional worlds. He has garnered international recognition for his work and has become a prominent figure in the fantasy genre.

Where was Brandon Sanderson born?

Brandon Sanderson was born in December 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

How did Brandon Sanderson develop a love for reading?

Brandon Sanderson developed a love for reading in eighth grade after being introduced to the book “Dragonsbane” by Barbara Hambly. This sparked his interest in fantasy literature and led him to delve into works by authors such as Robert Jordan, David Eddings, and Anne McCaffrey.

What did Brandon Sanderson study in college?

Brandon Sanderson initially studied biochemistry at Brigham Young University before switching to English. He completed a master’s degree in creative writing from BYU in 2004.

How did Brandon Sanderson begin his writing career?

After graduating from college, Brandon Sanderson pursued a career as a writer. He wrote extensively during his time in college, completing seven novels. Despite facing numerous rejections, Sanderson remained dedicated to his writing career and eventually received an offer from editor Moshe Feder at Tor Books to publish one of his books.

What was Brandon Sanderson’s debut novel?

Brandon Sanderson’s debut novel was “Elantris,” which was released in May 2005.

What is Brandon Sanderson known for in the fantasy genre?

Brandon Sanderson is known for his acclaimed Mistborn trilogy and his involvement in completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. He has cemented his place as a prominent author in the fantasy genre.

What other genres has Brandon Sanderson explored?

In addition to fantasy, Brandon Sanderson has also ventured into the children’s market with books such as “Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians.” He has also written graphic novels and created the expansive Cosmere universe.

Does Brandon Sanderson teach writing?

Yes, Brandon Sanderson teaches a section of a creative writing course focused on science fiction and fantasy at Brigham Young University. He also collaborates with other prominent authors on the writing advice podcast, Writing Excuses.

Can I connect with Brandon Sanderson online?

Yes, Brandon Sanderson maintains an active online presence through his blog, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and in-person events. He also provides behind-the-scenes information and interactive experiences on his website.

Has Brandon Sanderson received any awards for his work?

Yes, Brandon Sanderson has received numerous awards and accolades for his work. He has been nominated for the David Gemmell Legend Award multiple times and has won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice award for Best Epic Fantasy. He has also been a Hugo Award winner.

Is Brandon Sanderson’s work translated into other languages?

Yes, Brandon Sanderson’s works have been published in thirty-five languages, gaining international recognition.

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