Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Claire Zulkey  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Young Adult;

Born: 1979 in Evanston, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Zulkey was born and raised in Evanston. She still resides there today.

Biographical and Professional Information

Claire Zulkey is an advertising copywriter. She graduated from Georgetown University and Northwestern University's Creative Writing Masters program. Her work has appeared in print in the Chicago Tribune, online at McSweeney's Internet Tendency, on stage at Second City, and over the airwaves on NPR. She also produces the Chicago literary humor reading series ''Funny Ha-Ha''. She and fellow friend and young adult author, John Green, started the series together.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Girls! Girls! Girls!
ISBN: 0972763619

So New Media. 2004

As the title of this book should indicate, Claire Zulkey doesn't really care about gender stereotypes or the unspoken and sensitive rules of chick lit. After all, this book is named after a strip club slogan (and Motley Crue song). Claire Zulkey wants you to know that literary humor from and about women doesn't have to involve menstrual issues, floods of tears, retail therapy, over-consumption of tequila-based drinks, bonbon binging, or even the phrase "You go, girl!" In fact, even men enjoy her humor.

Girls! Girls! Girls!, Zulkey's first book for So New Media, features sixteen short pieces that explore a variety of hard-hitting issues, such as Playboy Bunnies, spam email, women in Major League Baseball, shower caddies, and of course, the startling expose "Fat: The New Thin." Girls! Girls! Girls! encompasses genres from short story, interview, letter, and list, all in one fell, and very witty, swoop.

AN Off Year
ISBN: 0525421599

Dutton Books for Young Readers. 2009

Cecily has always done everything as she was supposed to: taken the right classes, gotten the right grades, applied to the right colleges. But after a lifetime of following the rules, she surprises everyone by arriving for her freshman year of college . . . and turning around. There are infinite possibilities for Cecily's unexpected gap year. She could volunteer, or travel around the world - but, for now, Cecily is content to do absolutely nothing. What follows is a year of snarkily observed self-doubt and selfdiscovery during which Cecily must ask herself, for the first time, what does she really want to do with her life?

Picture Perfect #3: Best Frenemies
ISBN: 0062318454

HarperCollins. 2015

Being one half of a BFF heart necklace is serious business—and in the Picture Perfect series, each story tackles a tough friendship challenge. Through the ups and downs of life in middle school, through braces and boy bands, family feuds and fashion disasters, your best bud is there. But what happens when friendship suddenly gets complicated? Tween readers will adore these sweet, accessible stories about the power of friendship.

Alice Kinney shouldn't be nervous about starting middle school. She's got her best friend, Cassidy, by her side, so it can't be that bad, right? Except, Cass isn't at her side. For the first time since kindergarten, Alice and Cassidy aren't in any of the same classes, and Alice is stuck with a brand-new crew in honors class! The girls try to stay in touch from across the hallway with the help of a shared notebook—but when Alice accidentally befriends not-so-nice Nikki from Cassidy's dance class, she keeps it to herself. Cass will never understand.

Alice juggles both friendships, waiting for the right moment to tell everyone the truth. But then, disaster strikes: Cass's play and Nikki's math competition are fall on the same night. Neither girl will ever forgive Alice if she misses their big day. What is Alice supposed to do when her two best friends are total enemies?


An Off Year

  • Indie Next List, 2009
  • Best Books for Young Adults, ALA, 2010

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (No)