Gail Carson Levine Biography
Gail Carson Levine grew up in Washington Heights, Manhattan. From third grade through high school she wrote stories and poems, and a few of her poems were published in an anthology of student writing, but she never thought of becoming a writer. In college, first Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, then City College of New York, she majored in Philosophy and met and married her husband David.
After college she worked for New York State government, mostly in jobs that had to do with welfare. Meanwhile she starting writing for children and wrote the script for a musical called Spacenapped (her husband wrote the music and lyrics) which was performed by The Heights Players, a community theater in Brooklyn - but she still didn't think of herself as a writer.
She read novels constantly, then, one day while meditating, asked herself why, since she adored stories, she never made up any. That was the beginning of The King's Cure, an art appreciation book for kids, which she wrote and drew pencil illustrations of birds and used reproductions of famous art for the illustrations. Although no one would publish it, she became hooked on writing, and took writing classes, joined critique groups and The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (www.scbwi.org). She collected rejection letters for nine years until an editor accepted the manuscript for Ella Enchanted, which was a 1998 Newbery Honor
This biography was last updated on 11/25/2010.
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