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Julie Gerstenblatt

Novelist, Essayist, & Educator


A Bit of My Story

For many years, I was a middle school English teacher. I loved my students and I loved reading YA literature with them, but I wanted to be a writer really, really badly, so I left teaching to work on a novel. Or two. Or three.

I probably wrote four or five novels - and worked with three different literary agents - before getting a traditional publishing deal with HarperCollins for my historical novel DAUGHTERS OF NANTUCKET.  After writing contemporary fiction for years, I realized that I love diving deep into the research of a past time and place - especially of a place I adore, like the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, where I’ve been going for vacation since the late 1970s.  (See my collage of new-and-old family photos below!)  Now I cannot imagine writing anything BUT historical fiction.  

When not writing, I take spin classes, practice yoga, take walks on the beach near my house, and read a lot.  I also coach high school students who are writing their college essays.  I like the balance of teaching while working on my own creative projects.  I can share the joys of the writing life with my students, and model for them what it means to walk around in the world with a story or an essay in your head – to mentally revise as you walk the dog or bake cookies – but I also know how hard it can be to find just the right words. 

Eventually, those words will arrive, I tell my students.  And, wow, what a celebration!  There’s nothing better than when you say something so clearly – so exactly right – that it surprises even you.


Thanks for visiting with me here.  I’d love to connect with you - whether you are in a book group and would like me to join you for a conversation or if you are looking for a writing tutor - so please click around my site and feel free to reach out.

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It took me a long time to realize that writing could be my career

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