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Gayle Forman

Author of the #1 New York Times bestseller If I Stay

Girls Write Now: “Guest Author Gayle Forman”
  • About Gayle Forman

    Gayle Forman is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller If I Stay, and an executive producer and writer on the hit 2014 film version. She is also the author of its New York Times bestselling sequel Where She Went, as well as Just One Day,  Just One Year, and the companion e-novella Just One Night. Her next novel, I Was Here, was released in January 2015 and hit the New York Times bestseller list soon after. Her first adult novel, Leave Me, was published in September 2016 and her most recent young adult novel, I Have Lost My Way,  was released March 2018. 

    Gayle Forman is an experienced and enthusiastic lecturer who has specially crafted talks for a wide-variety of audiences, including educators, teens and tweens, college students, and library groups. In her lectures, Forman speaks to her own life experiences as well as her craft and the building of a great story.

    Forman started her career as a journalist, and her first job was with Seventeen Magazine. Forman has been featured in many national publications including, The NationElle MagazineCosmopolitan Magazine and The New York Times.  Forman won the 2009 NAIBA Book of the Year Awards and is a 2010 Indie Choice Honor Award winner for If I Stay

    She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughters.

  • Speaking Topics

    Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Book?

    Why are young people drawn to "dark" themes in their books? Gayle Forman explains how dark themes help teens unravel life's big existential questions and how this can benefit educators, who can use these books to kickstart important conversation, or pair these works with more traditional/canonical texts to engage students on deeper personal and intellectual levels. This talk includes specific tips for educators on how best to use these texts/themes in the classroom and suggested pairings/texts.

    How To Build A Story

    An interactive presentation that uses audience participation to look at the core ingredients of story—premise, conflict, character, and setting, Gayle Forman engages her audience by writing a story together. As the story progresses, the discussion will look at how a narrative is self-generating: the questions it asks of the author eventually propel the book forward. This is a lively, rollicking speech for all ages. At the end, students and educators will be left with the beginnings of a story that they might wish to use as a jumping-off point for classroom work.

    Ten Ways I Failed At Life

    “Ten ways I screwed up in my life—and how these screw-ups were actually the smartest things I ever did.” Gayle Forman details her life choices, from not going to college until she was 21, to dropping out, to leaving a promising journalism career to travel around the world for a year, to writing a book that seemed unsellable, to walking away from a movie studio deal…the talk will touch on all the times she eschewed the more traditional path, and how it paid off. Touching on her publishing career and her experience as a film producer on If I Stay, this speech is an antidote to the messaging that tells young people that they have to be constantly on-point in order to succeed.

    Own Yourself, Own Your Story

    Gayle Forman spent a good amount of her twenties and early thirties pretending: pretending to be a kind of writer The New Yorker would hire, pretending to be the kind of person happy at Upper East Side cocktail parties, pretending to like people who, more often than not, made her feel kind of lousy, pretending to be happy when often times, she wasn’t. When she was 34, she wrote her first young adult novel and something started to change. She started to own her voice, own the person she actually was, instead of pantomiming the person she thought she should be. This speech is part craft talk, about finding the truth and authenticity in a story, and part personal history; because for Gayle Forman, it’s impossible to own the story without first owning the person.

  • Video

  • Praise for Gayle Forman

    Praise for I Have Lost My Way

    The beloved author returns to the genre that made her famous.


    Stunning doesn’t even begin to say it.

    Kirkus Reviews, starred review

    In Forman’s wonderfully deft hands, this story of friendship, love, loss and redemption becomes so much more. I Have Lost My Way is a beautifully written love song to every young person who has ever moved through fear and found themselves on the other side.

    Jacqueline Woodson, author of the National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming

    Praise for Leave Me

    How do we reinvent ourselves when we can’t even recognize the body we are in? Can you know where you’re headed if you don’t know where you came from? These are the questions faced by the prickly Maribeth, the complex and fascinating character at the center of Leave Me. In her first novel for adults, Forman reminds the reader that the answer to both questions involves getting to the heart of the matter.

    Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Leaving Time

    Gayle Forman is known for her dreamy but hard-hitting young adult novels, including the best-selling If I Stay. With her first foray into grown-up fiction, Leave Me, she doesn’t shy away from the tough questions in this deep-diving and highly entertaining read. It’s hard not to relate to — and root for — Maribeth even as she does the unthinkable: abandons her children.

    Family Circle

    Popular teen author Forman’s adult debut examines just what it means to be a working mother — beholden to everyone, seemingly obligated to forget who you really are. Maribeth’s search for her birth mother and the way she settles into her new — albeit temporary — life away from home will strike a chord with readers, especially those who enjoy Jennifer Weiner and Meg Wolitzer.

    Booklist (starred)

    YA author Forman’s successful foray into adult fiction…With humor and pathos, Forman depicts Maribeth’s complicated situation and her thoroughly satisfying arc, leaving readers feeling as though they’ve really accompanied Maribeth on her journey.

    Publishers Weekly

    Praise for If I Stay

    Forman follows the heroine’s movement, like a bow against the strings of her cello, between the two choices. The author endows the narrative with as much humor as poignancy and lays bare the challenges Mia has encountered in each of her relationships as well as the breakthroughs, leaving readers in suspense until the final bars.

    Shelf Awareness

    Original and exciting, it is a novel about relationships, life and the people involved in both. The characters are tangibly real, the plot is fascinating and will cause the pages to turn rapidly. Teens and adults will find themselves falling in love with Forman’s stunning novel.


    Forman excels at inserting tiny but powerful details throughout, including the realistic sounds, smells and vocabulary of a hospital, which will draw readers into this masterful text and undoubtedly tug at even the toughest of heartstrings.

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • Books by Gayle Forman

  • Media About Gayle Forman

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and Availability

  • 212 572-2013
  • Gayle Forman travels from New York, NY

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