Ruta Sepetys (Rūta Šepetys) is an SCBWI success story. She is an internationally acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction published in over sixty countries and forty languages. Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Sepetys is considered a “crossover” novelist as her books are read by both students and adults worldwide. Her books have won or been shortlisted for over forty book prizes, are included on over thirty state reading lists, and are currently in development for film and television.
Ruta is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee. Born in Michigan, she was raised in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. Ruta is passionate about the power of history and story to foster global dialogue and connectivity. She has been invited to present at NATO, European Parliament, the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress, and Embassies worldwide. The New York Times Book Review declared, “Ruta Sepetys acts as champion of the interstitial people so often ignored—whole populations lost in the cracks of history.”
Ruta was bestowed the Cross of the Knight of the Order by the President of Lithuania for her literary contributions to education and memory preservation and was recently honored with a postage stamp containing her image. She is extremely proud to be of Baltic heritage, even if that means she has a name no one can pronounce.
Ruta lives with her family in the hills of Tennessee. Through SCBWI, and her Midsouth Regional chapter, she found her writing group, her agent, and began her path to publication and writing full time.