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Koren  Zailckas

Koren Zailckas

Substance Abuse Advocate

Koren Zailckas

Substance Abuse Advocate


Koren is an internationally bestselling author, best known for her memoir Smashed, which helped change national policy on underage drinking and was hailed by Entertainment Weekly as “one of the best accounts of the college experience or even what it means to be a teenage girl in America.”

Her novels include Mother, Mother, which won an ALA Alex Award for books that have a special appeal to young adults, and The Drama Teacher, which will soon be a limited television series by Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Director Amy Sherman Palladino.

Koren holds a journalism degree from Syracuse University, where she was a protégé of PEN Award-winning memoirist Mary Karr. She also studied MFA fiction at Bennington College. She has guest lectured at over forty-five American universities, including Harvard, Brown and Yale.

Speaker Videos


Insight Into Fury

Smashed: Addiction Fuels Memoir

Speech Topics

Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood

Addressing the problem of underage drinking, Koren Zailckas brings to light scientific evidence on how alcohol affects the still-developing teenage brain. She informs audiences of how the younger the age one starts drinking alcohol, the more likely that person is to become addicted.

Most compelling, however, is her personal story, the description of her downward spiral, and the experiences that she wishes she had never had. Zailckas shares powerful passages from her book, Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood, followed by a frank question and answer session. This unforgettable presentation is sure to leave a lasting impression – especially on young audiences.