Born: August 23, 1975
Ohio connection: Birth
Curtis Sittenfeld was born August 23, 1975, in Cincinnati. The second child of four, she is the daughter of Paul G. Sittenfeld (an investment banker) and Elizabeth Curtis (an art history teacher). She attended Seven Hills School in Cincinnati through 8th Grade and then moved to the Groton School, a boarding school in Massachusetts graduating in 1993. In 1992, she won Seventeen magazine’s fiction contest. She attended Vassar College before transferring to Stanford where she studied creative writing, wrote for the school newspaper, and earned her B.A. in 1997. She later earned an M.F.A. from University of Iowa (Iowa Writers’ Workshop) in 2001. After college she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina where she wrote for The Charlotte Observer. She later moved north to Boston and worked for Fast Company magazine. She was the writer in residence (2002 – 2003) at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. and taught 9th grade there from 2003-2005.
Her articles have appeared in Teen People, People Weekly, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, and Real Simple. She has also reported for the public radio program This American Life. Sittenfeld’s debut novel, Prep, became a New Yorker Times bestseller list after being rejected 14 times before being picked up by Random House. Prep received rave reviews from The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and Publisher’s Weekly and has been optioned for film by Paramount. Sittenfeld has also interviewed Michelle Obama for Time magazine, and appears as a guest on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” and CBS’s, “Early Show.” Sittenfeld currently resides in Philadelphia.
1992 Fiction contest winner, Seventeen; 1998 Annual fiction contest winner, Mississippi Review; Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award; 2005 Ten Best Books of 2005 by The New York Times for Prep; 2005 nominee for UK’s Orange Prize for Prep; 2006 Winner New York Public Library Books for Teen Age; 2009 Ohioana Book Award (Fiction) Finalist for American Wife.