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Sara Zarr facts for kids

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Sara Zarr
Zarr at the 2011 SCBWI conference
Zarr at the 2011 SCBWI conference
Born (1970-10-03) October 3, 1970 (age 52)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Period 2007 - present
Genre Young adult fiction, essays, short fiction

Sara Zarr (born October 3, 1970) is an American writer. She was raised in San Francisco, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband. Her first novel, Story of a Girl, was a 2007 National Book Award finalist. She has subsequently had six novels published.

Biography and career

Born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in San Francisco, she earned a degree in communications from San Francisco State University. Zarr grew up as part of a Jesus Movement church and still identifies as a Christian. Her first three manuscripts were never published, but after winning the Utah Arts Council prize for best unpublished young adult novel of 2003, she was able to find an agent who successfully sold Story of a Girl as the first of a two-book deal, to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Inspired by the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart and Zarr's Christian roots, her third book, Once Was Lost (also published as What We Lost) addresses issues of faith, identity and home. The original title comes from the hymn Amazing Grace written by John Newton. While the characters are Christian, the book was published for a mainstream audience and neither promotes nor criticizes organized religion.

In 2008, Zarr contributed to the young adult for Obama project started by fellow YA author Maureen Johnson. Zarr's articles included "Red State Jesus Freaks for Obama" and "Personal Sacrifice."

Zarr has been a regular contributor to Image Journal's Good Letters blog.

In 2010, she served as a judge for the National Book Awards.

From 2013-2015, Zarr taught at Lesley University’s Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.

From 2012-2015; 2020-present Zarr hosted and produced the podcast This Creative Life. It featured Zarr in conversation with other writers. She has self-published a companion book to the podcast.

With her 2017 novel, Gem & Dixie (loosely based on some of her early life experiences), Zarr moved to the HarperCollins imprint Balzer + Bray, and has another book slated with them for 2018.

Story of a Girl was adapted into a television movie that will air on Lifetime starting in July 2017. It marks Kyra Sedgwick's directorial debut and features Sedgewick's husband, Kevin Bacon.

Awards and nominations

  • Story of a Girl - 2007 National Book Award finalist; 2008 American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults
  • Sweethearts - 2008 Cybil Award Finalist; 2009 American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults, Utah Book Award Finalist
  • Story of a Girl (audiobook) - 2009 American Library Association Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
  • Once Was Lost - 2009 Utah Book Award Winner, INSPY Award Winner
  • How to Save a Life - 2011 Utah Book Award Winner, Salt Lake City Weekly Arty Award Winner for Fiction
  • Gem & Dixie - 2017 PEN Los Angeles Literary Prize Finalist

Personal life

..... She was married in 1990; she and her husband have no children.

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