Martin Wilson was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
He lived there until he finished high school and entered Vanderbilt University, where he earned a BA in 1995, majoring in English. After graduation, he moved to Austin, Texas, where he worked as an editorial assistant at an educational publishing house. In 1996, he moved to Gainesville, Florida, joining the MFA program of the University of Florida. While at Florida, one of his short stories won a Henfield Foundation/Transatlantic Review Award. After earning his MFA in 1998, he moved back to Austin and, once again, began working for the same educational publishing house as a copyeditor and, eventually, as a managing editor.
In 2003, Martin moved to New York City, where he still lives and works as a publicist in the book publishing industry. His short stories, essays, and book reviews have been published in One Teen Story, Tin House, Virgin Fiction 2, Pieces: A Collection of New Voices, Rush Hour, Publishers Weekly, Austin Chronicle, and other publications. His debut novel, What They Always Tell Us (Delacorte Press/Random House Books for Young Readers, 2008), won the Alabama Author Award for best young adult book. The novel was also a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, an Indie Next Selection, an ALA-ALSC Rainbow List Selection, and a CCBC Choices Book.
His newest novel is We Now Return to Regular Life (Dial Books, 2017).