Cecily Brooke von Ziegesar (born June 27, 1970) is an American author best known for the young adult Gossip Girl series of novels.


Early life

Cecily von Ziegesar was born in New York City. Her childhood dream was to grow up to be a ballerina; she began lessons at age 3 and auditioned for the School of American Ballet at age 8, but was rejected. As a teenager, von Ziegesar commuted to Manhattan at 6 a.m. to attend the Nightingale-Bamford School. After graduating from Nightingale, von Ziegesar attended Colby College before spending a year in Budapest working for a local radio station. Von Ziegesar returned to the United States to study creative writing at the University of Arizona, but dropped out shortly thereafter. 

Gossip Girl 

Main article: Gossip Girl (novel series)

Back in New York, while working at book-packaging firm Alloy Entertainment, von Ziegesar became inspired to create the Gossip Girl series, which follows the lives of privileged teenagers in New York. The series climbed to the top of The New York Times best-sellers list in 2002. A spin-off series, The It Girl, made the list in 2005. The Constance Billard School for Girls in Gossip Girl is based upon an exaggerated version of von Ziegesar's alma mater, Nightingale. She also culled events from the book from the lives of her extremely wealthy friends, as well as her own life as a perpetual gossip.

Out of the Gossip Girl series, only nine of the books (plus the prequel) were written by von Ziegesar herself. The other novels, as well as the books in The It Girl and The Carlyles series, were penned by ghost writers.

Television adaption

Main article: Gossip Girl (TV series)

The Gossip Girl series was adapted for television in 2007. The show premiered to mixed reviews and lost more than a million viewers from episode one to two, from 3.65 million to 2.55 million. The rest of the season's viewers went up and down, the highest being 3 million viewers for the final episode of the season and the lowest being 1.80 million viewers for episode eleven. Controversy and criticism surrounding the show surfaced due to the fact that it failed to show much of the books' plots, character personalities, and other major and minor facts, thus disappointing many fans of the novels. Von Ziegesar told ABC News that her major plot lines were there and that "at least it takes place in New York."

Personal life

Von Ziegesar resides in Brooklyn with her husband Richard, the Deputy Director of the Public Art Fund, their children, Agnes and Oscar, and their cat, Pony Boy.

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