1. The best thing Carol ever did was have her daughters.

2. The first thing Carol remembers writing was a play about an alcoholic and a dancer at a bar. Costumes included her nana’s short nighties. Score included new words to to a well-known song (this ability to change up words comes in handy when Carol is old). There was dancing and a lot of crying. The audience of one (Nana), clapped . . .  a lot. And never guffawed.

3. On two different occasions, Carol used her daughters’ names, and the names of two boys as love interests. Years later, she made the connection that real life boyfriends were names in those early books.

4. One critique of The Chosen One was that someone thought that the use of books was a way of manipulating librarians. Carol says good books helped save her life. It was only natural for books to save Kyra’s life.

5. Carol is ready to start two new novels. She scared of both of them–but excited to get started.


What are the titles of your books?
Kelly and Me
Adeline Street
The True Colors of Caitlynne Jackson
If I Forget, You Remember
My Angelica
Christmas in Heaven
Carolina Autumn
A Mother to Embarrass Me
25 Games You Can Play on a Checkerboard
Pretty Like Us
The Chosen One
Miles from Ordinary (forthcoming)
10 plus titles for Latter-day Saints

What are the names of your daughters?
Sarah Elise
Laura Anne
Kyra Leigh
Caitlynne Victoria
Carolina Grace
(And yes, I have used their names in my books. So there.)

What are three good bits of advice for writers who want to publish?
Read like crazy.
Write every day.
Listen carefully  to criticism.

Was getting your MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults worth your time and money?
The further I get away from graduation (’08), the more happy I am that I pursued this degree. I had excellent teachers, wonderful classmates, and I laughed. A lot. I’m also quite glad that I went to school at Vermont College. Woot woot!!!!!

Is the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference still going on?
It sure is. Our next conference is the second full week of June. I’ll get info up as soon as I get things more confirmed.

What are a few of your awards?
Utah Arts Original Writing Contest, Nebraska Golden Sower Award, ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, PEN Award Nominee, Children’s Literature Choice List, “HM” for Newton Books Best Books of the Year, IRA Teacher’s Choice book, Selected Book for the Social Studies, Five-star Amazon Books Reader’s Review, Top Ten Romance Book for Booklist, Book for the Teen-Age New York Public Library List, Children’s Book Council Showcase, AML Winner Children’s Category, Top Ten Barnes and Noble Book, Book for the Teen-Age List New York Public Library List, PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship, Whitney Award, Scholastic Book Pick for Humor, Audie Winner, and has had books on many state reading lists.

31 responses to “Carol

  1. Hi, Carol! I just came across this paragraph in Acedia & Me, a book by Kathleen Norris, and it’s perfect for writers!

    It “…concerns a university professor who went on sabbatical to write a book, and resolved to keep to a strict work schedule. A colleague who drove by his house one day was surprised to see him in the yard, wearing coveralls and hauling a hose. ‘I started work this morning,’ the man explained, ‘and it suddenly occurred to me that I’ve lived here for over five years and have never washed the house.'”



  2. Carol

    Hahahaha! Love this!!!!

  3. I think I know your mother, Carol. I’ll be interested in following your blog.

  4. I love Carol Lynch Williams. And her books.

  5. Carol, you are my favorite person ever.

  6. Any dates and location for next year’s Conference for Writers for Young Readers conference?



  7. Hi Carol,

    I just recently discovered your work and am a huge fan of THE CHOSEN ONE. I am in grad school for Writing for Children and am also working on a YA book concerning an unusual religious community, so your book was particularly inspirational.

    In fact, I wrote a blog post about you and your book, and was wondering if you would consider having a brief email chat about how you tackled writing about a religious community in such a deft and graceful and captivating way.

    the blog is at:

    Thank you so much, and really lovely work!

  8. Christina

    Hi Carol,
    I recently discovered that I am a great fan of your work! 🙂
    I bought your book Glimpse yesterday night and finished it this morning! I absolutely love the writing style and the story line. I am a grade 12 student who is currently in a creative writing class and I would love to do a project on your writing style! If possible, I would love to ask you some further questions. Please e-mail me if you are interested, I would love to find out more about you and your writing style!
    thank you!! 🙂


  9. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I’m quite certain I will learn plenty of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  10. Greetings from Melbourne. Thanks for the useful content. I’m doing a project at uni and your stuff was quite useful. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. Carol, I’m sure “Marciea’s Melody” is far from the forefront of your mind, but I still think about that book all the time. I read the Latter-day Daughters books voraciously as a girl, probably fourteen or fifteen years ago. Whenever I check my car’s fuel efficiency, I think about Marciea’s mom driving about 40 mph down the freeway to save on gas. Smart lady!

  12. Martine

    Congratulations, Carol, for coming up on the ALA Best Books for Young Adults list! So proud of you, and so proud to call you my friend.

  13. Pingback: Holly and Cari go to Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers a.k.a. WIFYR « Bookscoops

  14. Yvonne

    Hi Carol!
    I just read WAITING and I couldn’t put it down until the end. I cried a lot too. It was AMAZING! Honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read (and I read a lot!). I just wanted London’s story to never end! Thank you for such an incredible story!

  15. Hi ,

    My name is Laura and I am from Romania .
    I read about your book on goodreads and I love the description .
    I hope with all my heart that what I am asking will not bother you .
    Is it possible to send me a copy for review of The Chosen One or ,for Miles from Ordinary , some swags for my blog readers ?
    My blog is : .

    Congratulations for your amazing work !
    Have a wonderful day !

    Yours sincerely ,

  16. Dear Ms. Carol,

    Yesterday i read you book “Waiting.” I would have rather of said this in a personal email but not finding one i oppted to the comment. I would like to thank you for that wonderful book. Every word spoke to me. I just personally, recently lost my older brother. For many years he was sick and his death was unexpected. You book was perfect, you were able to write the words i am unable to speak. Thank you again for this book.

    A new and Wonderful Fan.

    Carlotta A. Alcon

    P.s. Loss is never easy but with friends we can always get throught it. Thank you again.

    • benschwensch

      What a wonderful, personal letter. We have all suffered losses, and Carol is a wonderful woman who knows how to approach touchy subjects . . . and SHE touches readers deeply as she goes. I only wish you might have the opportunity of meeting her some day. You would find her as warm, or warmer, in person as she is in her books!

    • CLW

      Dear Carlotta–
      This is one of the nicest comments I have ever received.
      I wish you and your family the best and I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish we were close enough I could hug your neck.

      Your friend,


    • CLW

      Dear Carlotta- Thank you for your very kind note. And I am so sorry about the loss of your brother. I send you so much love and many prayers. I wish i had seen this note sooner so i could have responded sooner.
      Thank you, thank you.



  17. Sierra Klemm

    Hey Carol,

    It’s Sierra Klemm, from one of your writing classes at BYU. Just wanted to drop a giant THANK YOU here for you. You helped me so much and were a great mentor to me. Haven’t published yet but I’m working hard to get there. You are awesome.

  18. Sierra Klemm


    This is Sierra Klemm from one of your writing classes at BYU. I just wanted to drop an enormous THANK YOU here for you. You were an amazing teacher and mentor for me and have inspired me to write and keep writing. Your help on my novel and on my writing overall is irreplaceable. You told me once that I should do writing for a living because I loved it and I was good enough at it; it sounds cheesy, but now because of you and how much you encouraged me I have decided to do so. I hope to one day be on an awards list with you. Thank you so much for everything. You rock.

    Your friend,


  19. sueburton

    Hi Carol,

    I want to thank you for the Critique 101 class you taught at the Provo Library on 15 March. It was wonderful. I am grateful for the generosity of writers sharing their insight and experience with the rest of us.

    Thanks for encouraging me to share the first page of my manuscript in the practice critique session. It was my first time sharing my writing with strangers (albeit friendlies). I consider it fortuitous (or diviner than fortuitous) that hardly anyone else had manuscripts to volunteer as I have a tendency to be timid (even if I do sing out when singled out). Next time I get the chance to be critiqued I will boldy go . . .

    I also want to say again that I loved your book Waiting. And it was a pleasure to briefly discuss your writing with your daughter, Caitlynne.

    I am inspired by you to always do my best writing and never settle for less. It’s not that I would ever do less than my best, but I get discouraged when I consider pursuing publication because there are a lot of less-than-worthy books that make it into print. When I think of giving up I will remember your example and press on.

    I look forward to seeing you again at WIFYR, if not before.

  20. Ben Grange

    Hi Carol! Just wanted to say that I think you are awesome and a wonderful person. Putting on the WIFYR conference is a huge responsibility, and for those of us who came, we greatly appreciate it. You rock. That’s all.
    P.S. I hope you remember me. I’m the guy with the blue shoes. 😉

  21. I love you. I fear you.

  22. Holly

    Hey, Carol. I read The Chosen One this summer and loved it! I plan on reading all of your books as quickly as possible. Also, do you teach classes at byu? I think i read something about it once and can’t remember where.

  23. Angel Cordray

    I just finished reading Signed, Skye Harper and it’s the best book ever. I think you should make a second one. How did you make such a great book? It’s so awesome. I think I would die if you don’t make av second one.

  24. Saundi Wayman

    What happened to the rest of the Just In Time Series? I would love for it to be finished!


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