Melanie Duckworth was born in England, but has lived most of her life in Adelaide and went to high school in Mount Gambier. Her family moved to Adelaide when she was eleven. She found this an isolating experience but formative for her writing, as she took refuge in writing stories and was encouraged by winning a number of competitions. She moved to Adelaide when she finished high school and completed an Honours degree in English and European Studies at Adelaide University in 2000. Since then she has worked as a Home Support Worker for the Paraplegic and Quadriplegic Association.
Melanie has twice won the Max Harris Literary Award for Youth Short Story and Poetry. She received the Independent Arts Foundation Literary Scholarship in 1997 and a Carclew Project Development Grant in 1999. She was editor of the dBYoung Writers' Page for a few years.