María Fernanda Heredia: Biography, Work And Awards

María Fernanda Heredia Pacheco (1970) is an Ecuadorian writer and graphic designer famous for her work dedicated to children and young people. Her first steps were taken in advertising, but then she found her true calling in letters.

Heredia did not intend to dedicate himself to writing. However, he used the lyrics to approach the problems he faced at one point in his life. Thanks to this approach, she discovered that she was called to practice the literary profession.

The Quito-born writer said her passion for reading started late, since it happened after the age of 11. At the same time, María Fernanda Heredia began to keep a journal as a hobby.

He began his career at age 22 with short stories for children. It was not until 2001 that Heredia published his first novel called Amigo is written with H , which was rejected at first, but later became a great success. That work deserved several recognitions to the Ecuadorian author.

Since 2008 Heredia has been a columnist for Hogar magazine with a column aimed at adult audiences. In 2018 María Fernanda Heredia published a book called Let the birds fly, in this work the author compiled 41 of the texts she has written in that space during the last 10 years.

She is one of the most recognized Quito writers today in her area. She has received the Darío Guevara Mayorga National Prize for Children’s and Youth Literature, and Heredia also obtained the Norma-Fundalectura Latin American Award for Children’s and Youth Literature.


Early years

María Fernanda Heredia was born on March 1, 1970 in Quito, Ecuador. She is the second of four sisters. She was a very shy young woman who found comfort in writing and reading after the age of 11, when she came across the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer .

With that book came to Heredia the will to imagine universes in which she was not the same girl she saw in the mirror, but the one she wanted to become. Soon the young woman learned that she could become someone else. Furthermore, she managed to explore her own problems from different perspectives.

The author felt that through writing she could present herself in a more sincere way. Thus, she eliminated the fears she had when facing society and connected with the depths of her own being to get answers to her doubts, without feeling ashamed when raising them.

He studied at the Colegio La Dolorosa. Later, María Fernanda Heredia attended college at the Instituto Metropolitano de Diseño, located in Quito, Ecuador. It was there that she graduated as a graphic designer, a profession she practiced for ten years in the field of advertising and illustration.

Beginnings in literature

His first contact with literature came formally when Heredia was 27 years old.

At that time, the Ecuadorian wrote Gracias , a story dedicated to her grandfather Fausto in which she expressed everything she thought he needed to know, as she realized that the physical disappearance of her grandfather would be imminent.

In that first work he addressed the feelings generated by the possible loss of one of the fundamental figures in his life.

When brought to his editor, he referred to the text as a book for preschool-age children, and Heredia was perplexed, since he had not written for a young audience.

However, the writer realized then that the area in which her performance really stood out was not illustration, but literature. Heredia assured that it was the letters who seized her and not the other way around.

Thank you , the first short story by María Fernanda Heredia, managed to win the National Prize for Children’s Literature of Ecuador in 1997.

The author once stated that she has never written texts for children and that this may be one of the contributing factors to her success in this area. Use simple language to pose complex problems.


María Fernanda Heredia’s first novel was Amigo is written with H , published in 2003. In it she explored the issue of unrequited love that arises between two friends. The writer explained that this experience can mark a person as much at 12 as it can at 27.

During his more than 20 years of experience, one of the recurring themes in his texts is the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren, perhaps the most important in the life of María Fernanda Heredia. In the same way, the figure of the grandparents usually leads the narration in the stories that she writes.

The author has a list of publications that has not stopped growing since 1997. She has approximately 35 works including short stories, novels and other publications. Not counting her collaborations with print media.

His outstanding publications include In case I have not told you, The Lemonade Club and Santa Claus is Wanted, Prince Charming is Wanted, as well as his debut work, Friend is written with H.


The Ecuadorian author, for more than a decade, has been based in Lima, Peru. From there she dedicated herself to her literary work, she also collaborated in the magazine Hogar since 2008 in a column aimed at adult audiences.

In 2018 he published Let the birds fly, a compilation of 41 of the columns he has written for Hogar magazine. He assures that he chose the ones that he felt he wanted to remember, that were full of humor and that, in addition, left an interesting message, but that the number of articles did not have a special meaning.

She chose that title because a teacher told her when discovering one of her texts that her head was full of birds, with the intention of ridiculing her when she was a young girl.

Heredia is grateful today for continuing with a lively imagination and the enthusiasm necessary to continue bringing stories to readers around the world.

In another of his most recent works, Los fantasmas have good lyrics, Heredia addressed the issue of child sexual abuse. She explained that sensitive conversations about complex situations must be had in order to be prepared.



In her narration, María Fernanda Heredia uses humor as a bridge to establish a bond with her readers. Although she never had in mind to write for children or young people, her texts seemed aimed at children.

The simplicity in the language and in the metaphors that Heredia chooses to capture his stories are one of the factors of his success among young people. However, she continues to address issues that are sensitive to an audience of any age.


Thank you (1997).

– How should I not forget you? (1997).

– The birthday present (2000).

– Anyone here? (2001).

– Friend is written with H (2003).

– Wanted Santa Claus, Wanted Prince Charming (2003).

– The bear, man’s best friend (2003).

– In case I haven’t told you (2003).

The award I always dreamed of (2003).

Cupid is a bat / vampire (2004).

Is somebody here? (2005).

The contagion (2005).

Do you want to know the truth? (2006).

Ghost at home (2006).

There are words that fish do not understand (2006).

Where is mom? (2007).

The lemonade club (2007).

Operative broken heart (2009).

The bridge of loneliness (2009).

Photo studio heart (2009).

Hello, Andrés, I’m María again… (2010).

The best enemy in the world (2010).

Legs up (2011).

I Never Say Goodbye (2011).

The firefly knows (2011).

Welcome Feathers (2012).

The strangest thing about my house (2012).

The rain knows why (2012).

The shadow smiles (2012).

The Termita Plan (2013).

300 kilometers with Rebeca (2014).

The rare days (2015).

The astronauts (2018).

– It all started when I dreamed of you (2018).

Ghosts have good lyrics (2018).

Let the birds fly (2018).

Ghosts at Home (2018).


National Prize for Children’s and Youth Literature Darío Guevara Mayorga . Awarded by the municipality of Quito in Ecuador. María Fernanda Heredia has obtained this distinction on 5 occasions, the first in 1997 in the categories Best Children’s Story and Best Illustration for her work How should I do to forget you.

– Latin American Prize for Children and Youth Literature Norma – Fundalectura. Awarded by the Editorial Norma and Fundalectura Foundation in 2003 to the novel Amigo H writes .

Benny Award , named after Benjamin Franklin. It is assigned by Printing Industries of America (PIA) and awarded to the world graphic arts in 2003. To the work In case they have not told you .

–  At the edge of the wind Prize , awarded by the Fondo de Cultura Económica for his book Los Días Raros , co-written by Roger Ycaza.

María Fernanda Heredia’s books are recommended by various organizations, including the Banco del Libro, the Cuatro Gatos Foundation, Fundalectura, the International Board on Books for Young People and many others that are dedicated to to promote reading in young people.


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  2. Ecuador., C. (2018). Write and defeat invisibility . [online] The Universe. Available at: [Accessed 10 Dec. 2018]. 
  3. The Hour (2018). Interview: María Fernanda Heredia: ‘This book is a shout of joy’. [online] La Hora Noticias from Ecuador, its provinces and the world. Available at: [Accessed 10 Dec. 2018]. 
  4. The Hour (2018). ‘Let the birds fly’ compiles the best of a decade by María Fernanda Heredia. [online] La Hora Noticias from Ecuador, its provinces and the world. Available at: [Accessed 10 Dec. 2018]. 
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  10. (2018). María Fernanda Heredia Pacheco won the Norma Fundalectura 2003 Award – Imaginaria No. 91 – December 4, 2002. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Dec. 2018]. 
  11. What to Read (2018). María Fernanda Heredia – What to Read . [on-line]. Available at: [Accessed 10 Dec. 2018].

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