Sara Zarr

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sara Zarr
Sara Zarr.jpg
Zarr at the 2011 SCBWI conference
Born (1970-10-03) October 3, 1970 (age 44)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Period 2007 - present
Genre Young-adult fiction, essays

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.[1] Her first novel, Story of a Girl, was a 2007 National Book Award finalist.[2] She is also the author of Sweethearts and Once Was Lost. All three are published by Little, Brown.[3]


Born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in San Francisco, she earned a degree in communications from San Francisco State University. Zarr grew up as an Evangelical Christian, a faith with which she still associates though she lives in a predominately Mormon community.[4] Her first three manuscripts were never published, but after winning the Utah Arts Council best young-adult novel of 2003,[5] she was able to find an agent who successfully sold Story of a Girl as the first of a two-book deal.[6]

Inspired by the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart and Zarr's Christian roots, Once Was Lost addresses issues of faith, identity and home. The title comes from the hymn Amazing Grace written by John Newton.[7] 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 YA for Obama project started by fellow YA author Maureen Johnson. Zarr's articles included "Red State Jesus Freaks for Obama" and "Personal Sacrifice."[8]

In 2013, Zarr began teaching at Lesley University’s Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.[9]


Standalone novels[edit]

  • 2007 — Story of a Girl
  • 2008 — Sweethearts
  • 2009 — Once Was Lost (Republished as What We Lost in 2013)
  • 2011 — How to Save a Life
  • 2013 — The Lucy Variations
  • 2013 — Roomies co-written with Tara Altebrando

Zarr also reads the audio version of her books.

Short fiction[edit]


  • "It Is Good" appears in Does This Book Make Me Look Fat?, edited by Marissa Walsh, 2008
  • "Who Is My Mother, Who Are My Brothers?" first appeared in Image, and appears in Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical, edited by Hannah Faith Notess, 2009



External links[edit]