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Jonathan Friesen


2014 ECRAC McKnight Fellowship Artist

Artist Statement
Artist Statement

I write coming of age novels for young adults.  Since 2008, it has been my full-time occupation.  My readership ranges from middle grade readers to the upper age bracket of young adults, sixteen to nineteen, and my titles have been both best sellers and award winners.  

Most of my eight works have a strong Minnesota connection and my writing is often described as real, raw and emotionally charged.  I have been published by Penguin (New York), Blink/HarperCollins (New York) and Zonderkidz (Grand Rapids.)  My career as a novelist affords me the chance to speak about writing and the arts to tens of thousands across the nation.  I truly feel blessed to be this ambassador.  

Jonathan Friesen is a young adult (YA) author, speaker, and youth writing coach from Mora, Minnesota. His first YA novel, JERK, CALIFORNIA, was about a teen coming to terms with Tourette’s Syndrome and was released in September of 2008 (Penguin/Puffin) and he received the ALA Schneider Award.  Since then he has published another 6 novels.

He loves writing for the younger crowd and regularly contributes to Clubhouse Magazine and Clubhouse Jr. His 2014 ECRAC McKnight Fellowship project is enabling him to edit a new manuscript and to work on finding his next literary agent.  You can learn more about his writing online at:  Jonathan Friesen's website.