Identity: 801 Creative Women; Mapping Literary Utah; Writer
Sara Zarr is the acclaimed author of novels for and about young adults. She was raised in San Francisco, CA, graduated from San Francisco State University in 1994, and moved to Salt Lake City in 2000. Her first novel, Story of a Girl, was published in 2007 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. It was a 2007 National Book Award Finalist. This was followed by five more novels with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, including Once Was Lost (2009), and How to Save a Life (2011), which each won the Utah Book Award. Her most recent young adult novel is Goodbye from Nowhere (HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, 2020). She also has a book-length work of nonfiction, Courageous Creativity: Advice and Encouragement for the Creative Life (Beaming Books, 2020).
Her books have been variously named to annual best books lists of the American Library Association, Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, the Guardian, the International Reading Association, the New York Public Library and Los Angeles Public Library, and have been translated into many languages. She has written essays, creative nonfiction, and short fiction for Image, Hunger Mountain, Response, and Relief Journal as well as for several anthologies, and has been a regular contributor to Image’s daily Good Letters blog on faith, life, and culture.
In 2010, Sara served as a judge for the National Book Award Young People’s Literature category. From 2012-2015, she hosted and produced the podcast This Creative Life. She has been on faculty for Lesley University’s Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program, and as of 2019 is on faculty for Seattle Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA in Creative Program. She has led retreats and workshops in a variety of settings, including at the Glen Workshop, the Writing Barn, and at the University of Utah.
In 2014, she received a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. Her first book, Story of a Girl, was made into a 2017 television movie directed by Kyra Sedgwick.