Weli­na mai! Wel­come to my website!

My name is Kamalani, and I am a Native Hawai­ian who writes sto­ries for and about Native Hawai­ian kids. My name, Kamalani, means “child of heav­en” which, in typ­i­cal native tra­di­tion, came to my mom in a dream.

I grew up in the work­ing class neigh­bor­hood of Kali­hi-Pāla­ma. My rough and tum­ble kid-time years were spent at Kaʻi­u­lani Ele­men­tary School across the street from Kau­makapili Church and Tamashiro Mar­ket. My love of his­to­ry start­ed ear­ly when, as a child, I would read the head­stones at the ceme­ter­ies at Kamoʻil­iʻili and Kawa­ia­haʻo church­es where my grand-uncle, John Kil­ia, was a dea­con. I grad­u­at­ed from the Kame­hame­ha Schools and then earned advanced degrees on the continent.

Some things about me:

  • Remem­ber­ing stuff is my super-pow­er. I have a pho­to­graph­ic mem­o­ry, so I think I would be real­ly good at play­ing Jeop­ardy.
  • I’m pret­ty good at learn­ing lan­guages, too. I went to Japan­ese school (Pala­ma Nip­pon­go Gakko) as a kid. I speak pret­ty flu­ent Span­ish, and I learned a lot of Kore­an from the K‑dramas I love to watch. But I don’t speak as much Hawai­ian as I should.
  • The very first sto­ry I ever pub­lished was about Up with Peo­ple! in the sixth grade. Lat­er in high school I became the fea­ture co-edi­tor for Ka Mōʻī, the stu­dent newspaper.
  • I am grate­ful to Ke Aliʻi Pauahi for allow­ing this hapa-haole kid to attend Kame­hame­ha. But like many of my gen­er­a­tion, I didn’t learn our native lan­guage and his­to­ry until after high school, dur­ing the Hawai­ian Renais­sance of the 1970s.
  • I spent many hap­py years teach­ing lin­guis­tics and busi­ness writ­ing to col­lege stu­dents and pub­lish­ing Pūpū A ʻO ʻEwa Native Hawai­ian writ­ing and arts website. 
  • I am a “Pro­fes­sor Emeri­ta.” That means I have col­lege library priv­i­leges for life (yay!)
  • I am an avid read­er and gar­den­er, hav­ing inher­it­ed my love of books from my father and my green thumb from my mother.
  • My fam­i­ly is my hus­band, our daugh­ters, our grand­kids, and two beach-lov­ing dogs along with a bunch of aunts and uncles and cousins and nieces and nephews, and we all live on the islands of Oʻahu and Kauaʻi.

I am a mem­ber of SCBWI, Writ­ing Barn’s Courage to Cre­ate com­mu­ni­ty, and 12 x 12 Pic­ture Book Chal­lenge. My agent is the amaz­ing James McGowan, Book­Ends Lit­er­ary Agency.

Kamalani Hurley
Kamalani Hur­ley


Kamalani Hur­ley and Unspeak­able (writ­ten by Car­ole Boston Weath­er­ford and illus­trat­ed by Floyd Coop­er),” Pic­ture Books Are for Grownups, Too!, inter­viewed by Patrice Gopo, April 29, 2023


How I Got My Agent,” 12x12 Pic­ture Book Chal­lenge, August 16, 2022

New Client Alert: Kamalani Hur­ley,” Book­Ends Lit­er­ary Agency, July 11, 2022

An Inter­view with Pro­fes­sor Emeri­ta P. Kamalani Hur­ley,” Writer and blog­ger Bran­di-Ann Uye­mu­ra, Feb­ru­ary 8, 2022


Top­ic: Is the CTC Right for Me? March 6, 2023. In sup­port of the Writ­ing Barn Courage to Cre­ate group.

Courses I’ve Taken

  • Can­dace Flem­ing, Nar­ra­tive Non­fic­tion, The Writ­ing Barn
  • Lee Nordling, Writ­ing Graph­ic Nov­els and Comics with Inten­tion, Writ­ing Barn
  • Heather Mont­gomery, Beyond Fact-Fling­ing: Non­fic­tion and Info Books, The Writ­ing Barn
  • Kirsten Lar­son, Pic­ture Book Non­fic­tion, The Writ­ing Barn
  • Car­men Oliv­er, Per­fect­ing the Pic­ture Book II, The Writ­ing Barn
  • Don­na Janell Bow­man, Pic­ture Book Biographies
  • Rene LaT­ulippe, Lyri­cal Lab