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Lena Coakley



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Lena Coakley was born near the beach in Milford Connecticut, and she still loves the ocean. Her family tree is crowded with English professors, and the grandmother who raised her founded and directed a cooperative nursery school. How could she help but love children's books?

She studied writing at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and writing for children with Peter Carver in Toronto, Canada. Her first picture book, On the Night of the Comet, was published in 2004, followed closely by Mrs Goodhearth and the Gargoyle in 2005. Her short stories have been widely anthologized, especially the young-adult science fiction story, "Mirror Image." She has twice won second prize in the Sunday Star Short Story Contest.

Lena's first novel, a high fantasy called Witchlanders, was published in fall 2011 by Atheneum (S&S). It soon garnered 4 starred reviews as well as a Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award nomination, an OLA White Pine nomination, and the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for her region.

Her second novel, Worlds of Ink and Shadow (Amulet Books, US; HarperCollins, Canada) debuted on the Globe & Mail bestseller list and was on both the CBC and Quill and Quire's list of the best books of the year.

Lena's first middle-grade novel, Wicked Nix, received a starred review from BookList and was a CBC best book of the year. It was nominated for the Silver Birch Express Award, the Rocky Mountain Book Award, and the MYRCA Sundogs Award.
Available For
Readings, performances and workshops.
Wicked Nix
Amulet Books (US), Harper Collins Canada (Canada)

Worlds of Ink and Shadow
Amulet Books (US), Harper Collins Canada (Canada)

Atheneum Books for Young Readers (S&S), 2011

"Mirror Image"
Short Stories from Canada by Cornelsen, Imprints by Gage and others, 2005

"Snow and Apples"
Up All Night from Thistledown Press, 2001

Mrs. Goodhearth and the Gargoyle
Orca Book Publishers, 2005
illustrated by Wendy Bailey

On the Night of the Comet
Orca Book Publishers, 2004
illustrated by Leslie Elizabeth Watts
For Wicked Nix
A Junior Library Guild selection
CBC Best Books of the Year 2018
Junior Library Guild Selection
Diamond Willow Award Nomination
Rocky Mountain Book Award Nomination
Silver Birch Express Nomination
Cartwheel Book Award Nomination
MYRCA Sundogs Nomination

For Worlds of Ink and Shadow
2017 White Pine Award Nomination
OLA Best Bet
Quill and Quire Best Books of the Year 2016
CBC Best Books of the Year 2016
CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens, starred selection

For Witchlanders
SCBWI Crystal Kite Award
Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award nomination
OLA White Pine nomination
A Junior Library Guild selection
Scholastic Book Club selection
CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens, starred selecti

For Mrs. Goodhearth and the Gargoyle
2005 Resource Links Best Books

For On the Night of the Comet
2004 Resource Links Best Books
2004 CCBC Our Choice Selection

For Up All Night (with various authors)
2001 White Pine Nomination
Other Memberships
SFWA, The Bronte Society

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