Cori McCarthy is the author of four YA books and a forthcoming nonfiction picture book about Kahlil Gibran. She is an Irish-Lebanese American who resides in the midwest and spends most of her time playing guitar, reading poetry, raising her son, running a teen writing group, and working as a freelance editor at Yellow Bird Editors. Like many of her characters, she is a member of the LGBTQ community.
Cori started writing when she was thirteen. She earned a BA in Creative Writing from Ohio University, focusing in memoir writing and poetry. After graduation, she completed UCLA’s Professional Program in Screenwriting and served as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Appalachian Ohio. In 2011, she earned an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
In geographical history, Cori was born on Guam, grew up in New England and the Midwest, studied abroad in Ireland, and now lives in Michigan. She’s traveled everywhere from Scotland to St. Petersburg, Albania to Montenegro. Like her hero Walt Whitman, her favorite city on the planet is Washington, D.C., and her favorite off-planet city is Entra.
Kirkus called her debut novel, THE COLOR OF RAIN, “[an] elegantly written and emotionally cathartic page-turner.” Her second novel, BREAKING SKY, received starred review from School Library Journal and the Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books and is in development to become a film by Sony Pictures. Kirkus reviewed it as “smart, exciting, confident–and quite possibly the next Big Thing.” Her third book, YOU WERE HERE, is a contemporary mixed media novel including word art poetry and graphic novel sections. The novel earned starred reviews from the Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books and VOYA, and made the 2016 Texas Library Association’s 2017 Tayshas Reading List.
Cori’s fourth young adult novel, NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, will be released in April 2018 from Sourcebooks Fire.
Cori’s fifth title, HOPE IS AN ARROW, a nonfiction picture biography about famed Lebanese American poet Kahlil Gibran, is forthcoming from Candlewick in 2019.
Cori’s novel in verse, Name Me America, won the Middle Grade category for the 2014 Katherine Paterson Prize. Cori is also the co-founder of Rainbow Boxes, a charitable initiative aiming to bring LGBTQIA fiction to community libraries and GSAs across America.
Cori is an editor and writing coach. Hire her through Yellow Bird Editor.
Did you dig through all of this trying to figure out if YA author Amy Rose Capetta is her girlfriend? If so, your ship is canon.