Maureen Johnson is a graduate of the University of Delaware. Prior to that she attended an all-girl Catholic preparatory high school. In the short period between her undergraduate and graduate careers, Johnson worked in Philadelphia, London, and New York City. She was the literary manager of a Philadelphia theater company, a waitress in a theme restaurant, a secretary, a bartender in Piccadilly, and an occasional performer. She studied both writing and theatrical dramaturgy at Columbia University, where she received her MFA in Writing.
Maureen Johnson's first novel, The Key to the Golden Firebird, was published in 2004. It was followed by The Bermudez Triangle and 13 Little Blue Envelopes in 2005, Devilish in 2006, and Girl at Sea in 2007.
In June 2007, Johnson's book The Bermudez Triangle was challenged by the parent of a student in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Johnson responded on her website by calling for greater transparency in the school system's challenge process. To resolve the controversy, the school board did not remove the book but placed it in a restricted area of the high school's library.
Suite Scarlett, the first book in the Suite Scarlett series, was published by Scholastic in May 2008. The second book, Scarlett Fever, was released on February 1, 2010. On November 27, 2009, Johnson became a New York Times Best Selling author when Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances, a book that she co-wrote with John Green and Lauren Myracle in 2008, reached number ten on the Children's Paperback list.
The Last Little Blue Envelope, the sequel to Johnson's 2005 novel, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, was published in April 2011. The first work in her new Shades of London series, The Name of the Star, was published in September 2011. The sequel to The Name of the Star, The Madness Underneath, was published in February 2013. She is currently at work on the next book in the Shades of London series, with work on another Martin family novel to follow thereafter.
In May 2013, Johnson's collaboration with YA author Cassandra Clare The Runaway Queen was published, one of ten stand-alone titles in an e-only short story series entitled The Bane Chronicles. The series features Clare's warlock character Magnus Bane from her series The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Johnson's subsequent titles include The Rise and Fall of the Hotel Dumort (August 2013), No Immortal Can Keep a Secret (October 2013), and The Last Stand of the New York Institute (January 2014, co-written with Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan). The collection will be compiled into a single ebook and released in September 2014.
Johnson was also a scriptwriter for the Nintendo DS and PSP versions of the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince video game.
Since 2011, Johnson has been the coordinator of LeakyCon Lit programming.
Johnson lives in New York City.
In September 2008 Johnson launched the political social networking community YA to support Barack Obama's candidacy for president. It is hosted by Ning and includes archives of discussion forums, user-generated content such as videos and photos, and daily blog updates written by YA authors such as Scott Westerfeld, Lauren Myracle, Cecily von Ziegesar and Megan McCafferty. She is also known as John Green's secret sister on VlogBrothers.13 Little Blue Envelopes - ALA Teens' Top Ten 2006
Devilish - 2007 Andre Norton Award nomination
"Most Interesting Twitter User to Follow" Mashable Open Web Awards 2009
The Name of the Star - YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults