I graduated from Barnard in May 1999!
A few basics:
Born: June 21, 1977, in Stanford, California
Raised: in the San Francisco Bay Area until I was nine and my parents divorced. Then my mom, sister, and I moved to New York City, where I've lived ever since.
Education: High School: The Spence School. College: Barnard College (part of Columbia University), where I majored in English with a writing concentration, and minored in Psychology and Sociology. Law School: Fordham School of Law (yeah, I know! Law school! And that's why sometimes my characters' parents are lawyers…and sometimes they need lawyers).
Siblings: one sister, Alyssa B. Sheinmel, plus a stepsister and two stepbrothers.
Favorite Color: I'm not sure I really have one, but I have to pick, I'd say yellow.
Favorite singers: Carly Simon, Sheryl Crow, and Madonna
Favorite song: What I Did for Love, from the soundtrack to "A Chorus Line"
Favorite food: macaroni and cheese. (If you visit New York, I'd recommend the mac & cheese here.)
Favorite dessert: Levain Bakery chocolate chip walnut cookies. I wrote about them here.
Least favorite foods: yogurt and olives
Writing routine: on a good day, 1000 words. (On a great day, even more.)
That's me with Carly Simon (She's 6 feet tall)!
Books I've written: My So-Called Family, Positively, Sincerely, All the Things You Are, the Stella Batts books
Quotes I live by:
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato
"Instructions for living a life: pay attention, be astonished, tell about it." - Mary Oliver
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou
Causes I support:
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
Mittens for Detroit
Train the Brain/Run for Brad
Courtney Sheinmel is a recovering attorney, chocolate-lover, mac & cheese expert, and the author of over a dozen books for kids and teens. Born in California, she always loved reading and writing; but after graduating with honors from Barnard College (part of Columbia University), she attended Fordham School of Law, and spent several years as a law firm associate. On the weekends, Courtney worked on what became her first middle grade novel, My So-Called Family (2008), which was praised for its heartfelt and insightful portrayal of what makes a family. Upon its publication, Courtney left the practice of law and began writing full time. The protagonist of her second novel, Positively (2009), was a teenager living with HIV, inspired by Courtney's own longtime involvement with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Courtney continued to delve into unique and sometimes difficult family situations in books like All the Things You Are (2011) and Edgewater (2015). She is also the author of the young readers series Stella Batts, the middle grade series The Kindness Club, and co-author of the emerging reader series Agnes & Clarabelle. In addition to writing, Courtney served as a judge on the national level for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and she received a National Scholastic Outstanding Educator Award for her work as a writing instructor at Writopia Lab, a non-profit organization serving kids ages 8-18. Courtney lives in New York City.