Cecily von Ziegesar grew up in Manhattan and attended a small, private girls' school on the Upper East Side. She began writing poems and short stories as soon as she could hold a pen. Gossip Girl was her first novel. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, her daughter and son, and two Cornish Rex cats.  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, she commuted to Manhattan at 6 a.m. to attend The Nightingale-Bamford School. After graduating from Nightingale, Von Ziegesar attended Colby College. Then she spent a year in Budapest working for a local radio station. She then returned to the United States to study creative writing at the University of Arizona, only to drop out shortly thereafter.