|Born||October 3, 1970|
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
|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 Her first three manuscripts were never published, but after winning the Utah Arts Council prize for best unpublished young adult novel of 2003, she was able to find an agent who successfully sold Story of a Girl as the first of a two-book deal, to Little, Brown Books for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.
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 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.
- 2007 — Story of a Girl
- 2008 — Sweethearts
- 2009 — Once Was Lost (Republished as What We Lost in 2013, then reverted to original title)
- 2011 — How to Save a Life
- 2013 — The Lucy Variations
- 2013 — Roomies co-written with Tara Altebrando
- 2017 — Gem & Dixie
- 2020 — Goodbye from Nowhere
- 2020 — Courageous Creativity: Advice and Encouragement for the Creative Life
- 2022 — A Song Called Home
Zarr has also read the audio versions of four of her books.
- "This Is My Audition Monologue" appears in Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci, 2009
- "Train" appears in the Spring 2016 issue of Relief: A Journal of Art and Faith
- "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
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
- "Class of 2k7 Sara Zarr". Archived from the original on January 1, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- "The National Book Foundation". Nationalbook.org. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
-  Archived March 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- "Characters, small events are focus of Utah author". Deseret Morning News. 2007-03-18.
- "Young adult novelist Sara Zarr finds third time with Mr. Media is the charm! (Or does she?)" (Interview). Mr. Media. 2007-03-18.
-  Archived March 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- "You searched for zarr - Image Journal". Image Journal. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
- "Sara Zarr - Lesley University". Lesley.edu. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
- "Sara Zarr | Kirkus Reviews". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
- "Don't Talk, Don't Trust, Don't Feel: Gem & Dixie, Lucy Barton, and Dysfunctional Family Systems (not at all tiny)". TinyLetter. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
- Story of a Girl (TV Movie 2017), retrieved 2017-05-29
- "Best Books for Young Adults 2008". Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- "The 2008 Cybils" (PDF). Dadtalk.typepad.com. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
-  Archived April 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived January 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- "This Creative Life with Sara Zarr: Corey Ann Haydu and Adult Children of Alcoholics - Ep 48". thiscreativelife.libsyn.com. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
- "A Prayer for my Father". Image Journal. 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
- "Married, No Children". Image Journal. 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2017-05-29.