Carrie Mac

Award Winning Young Adult Novelist
Youth Advocate
Travels from: Vancouver, BC

“At turns heartbreaking, joyful, and frightening. An affecting combination of wilderness adventure and poignant teen angst.”–Kirkus

Carrie Mac has read a million books, and happily sat at the feet of a legion of storytellers. She has been making things up for as long as she can remember. She wants to hear all the stories and read all the books and meet all the storytellers and see all the places, but that would take a thousand lifetimes, and so she writes in her little corner, telling the stories within reach, and wanders too–talking to people and watching the world as she goes.

Carrie Mac knows how to work a crowd of kids. Whether it’s pulling them in with a gory story from her days of being a paramedic that she fictionalized to include in her work, a tale from her global adventures that sparked the story for a novel, or from her own life as a Queer outsider growing up weird and in a dangerous home, aspects of which she often gives her characters, because she writes novels that SHE would’ve wanted to read as a teen.

After being a high school drop out, she now holds an MFA in Creative Writing — after thirteen novels, she figured, why not?– is a widow, a mama to two unschooled kids, and lives in a diverse urban neighbourhood she wouldn’t trade for anything, except the world, to travel it, come home, and travel it again. Carrie Mac is the award-winning author of thirteen novels, most recently Wildfire, published by Knopf in 2020.

Prepare an Invitation for:

Wildfire

Knopf Books for Young Readers |
Young Adult

Into the Wild meets The Serpent King in this story about Annie and Pete, two best friends on a dangerous and emotional trek through the woods.

Annie and Pete have been best friends since they were little. They know each other better than anyone, and they’ve been on more adventures than they can count–they even have a notebook filled with all the times they’ve almost died. But they always survive, because together, they’re invincible.

And they’ve always been just friends. But lately, Annie has been thinking that maybe friendship is just the beginning, and she’s been mentally replaying all the times they were almost something more.

Now they’re heading out on their next great quest: a ten-day backpacking trip through the mountains of Washington State, ending at Fire Camp, where they’ll learn to fight the area’s growing wildfire problem. The woods spark with the promise of adventure, but a freak climbing accident interrupts their progress, and as the wildfires close in and smoke envelops them, Annie and Pete wander farther from the trail. Carrie Mac’s gripping story of the power of unrequited love and the danger of the elements is harrowing, beautiful, and unforgettable.

A Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year

“Mac is as comfortable writing about the wilderness as she is exploring the internal world of a teenage girl, and the combination of the two is enthralling and devastating.”–Quill and Quire, Starred review

“At turns heartbreaking, joyful, and frightening. An affecting combination of wilderness adventure and poignant teen angst.”–Kirkus

“For a novel so introspective, the pace is remarkably quick…Recommend to fans of John Green, Adam Silvera, or Sarah Dessen. Advise readers to have tissues on hand for this riveting tale of friendship, grief, and survival.”–SLJ

10 Things I Can See From Here

Knopf Books for Young Readers |
Young Adult
Perfect for fans of John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down and Nina LaCour’s We Are Okay, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.
 
Think positive.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.

Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.

Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?

An ALA Rainbow Book List selection
A Bank Street Best Book of the Year

“With Maeve, Mac delivers a character who’s heartwarmingly real and sympathetic, and her story provides a much needed mirror for anxious queer girls everywhere.”—Kirkus, Starred review

“This is a good companion book for other anxiety-riddled stories, such as The Shattering by Karen Healey, and Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella.”—Booklist

“This hopeful offering will resonate with young people for their own lives, even if the journey is hard and takes time and patience…[a] compelling portrait of a teen’s experiences with anxiety and challenging family dynamics.”–SLJ

“Mac carefully makes clear that Maeve is plenty able to find joy other places than the perfect girl and that she’s working at dealing with her own problems; the romance is therefore lovely and cozy and free from overtones of dependency. The descriptions of anxiety are true and powerful, and romance buffs will likely revel in a book celebrating deep connection.”—The Bulletin

“Mac is good at showing how a dread-filled mind works… [An] affecting story.”—Publishers Weekly

The Way Back

Orca Book Publishers |
Young Adult

 

Colby Wyatt has had a rough year. Her dad disappeared, she doesn’t have a place to live, and she’s addicted to meth. Thankfully, her best friend Gigi’s grandma takes her in, and Colby helps out with the family business, selling stolen goods in Gram’s pawnshop–stuff that Colby and Gigi along with Gigi’s brother Milo steal when they break into people’s houses, which Colby is pretty good at.

Now she’s pregnant. Colby doesn’t tell anyone who the dad is. Instead, she checks herself into rehab so she can get clean and figure out how to keep the baby. Though Colby isn’t sure how to make a family, she’s determined to make things work, and she’s sure she can save Gigi too. But sometimes, no matter how hard you wish for something, it just doesn’t come true.

Writing Workshops (Topics Vary)

Carrie will lead workshops that include introductions, excercises to get loosened up, and then focus on topics such as: world-building (realistic worlds, fantastic worlds, alternate worlds); character development (how not to piss off your best friends’ unique traits by using them in your story); story plotting; imperfectly perfect (don’t wait to start writing your story, just start writing): why write (finding story and inspiration in your own life); how to catch a story (observing the world and being a snoop); how to write a sad story and make it a good one; working in pairs or threes for world-building and story plotting; working solo for character development, and then pairs to share and “interview” each other’s character. Use of visuals is a big part of Carrie’s workshops, as is music. Images and songs that inspire the students are welcome, or she brings some as prompts. She’s also stuck to oral storytelling in groups where the kids seem to gravitate to that more than paper/laptop work.

Parent/Teacher Workshops

Carrie holds workshops for parents, teachers, and youth advocates on topics such as queer inclusivity, censorship, mental health in YA fiction, death, grief, suicide, “dark” or “difficult” subjects.

Honors, Awards & Recognition

CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize
Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize
Arthur Ellis Award

Media clips

Media Kit

By clicking the link below your will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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