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Carolyn Cohagan began her writing career as a stand-up comic, performing in comedy clubs all over the world, including New York, Chicago, London, and Amsterdam. After studying physical theater at the Ecole International de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, she began to write and perform one-woman shows, traveling to theater festivals from Edinburgh to Adelaide. In Los Angeles, Carolyn wrote and directed short films, worked for Slamdance and the LA Film Festival and was a red carpet host for the Independent Spirit Awards.

    Carolyn has published five novels and two activity books for children. Her first book, The Lost Children, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2010, became part of the Scholastic Book Club in 2011, and was nominated for a Massachusetts Children's Book Award in 2014. The second book in the series, Ida and the Unfinished City, was released in December of 2020. 

    Carolyn's Time Zero YA trilogy has won over ten literary honors, including the 2017 Readers' Favorite Award and 2017 International Book Award. The entire Time Zero trilogy is a feminist dystopian series set in a future Manhattan.

    Carolyn and her mother, painter Lynn Cohagan, published a writing workbook full of prompts for kids in March of 2020. It is free for teachers.


Need information about Girls With Pens, school visits, writing consultations, or my novels? Send me an email. 


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What do teachers say about Carolyn's school visits?

My school had the privilege of having Carolyn Cohagan visit!  She helped students develop a deeper appreciation for the writing process by sharing her own process and sharing the importance of editing.  Students were thrilled to hear her read from her original manuscript and talk about how her ideas evolved into the final story they know and love.  She kept the students engaged as she shared about her life experiences that influenced her to become a writer.  All students had read "The Lost Children" before her visit and I've never seen a book capture children's imaginations and create a desire to write as much as this novel.  After hearing about where her ideas came from and asking her all their wonderings about the characters, they were inspired to write even more.  Thank you for sharing your love of writing with us Ms. Cohagan and for inspiring us to write as well!
                                       - Elizabeth Petty, Meridian Middle School

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