Press Kit


Meagan Church is the author of two emotionally-charged novels, The Last Carolina Girl and The Girls We Sent Away. After receiving a B.A. in English from Indiana University, Meagan built a career as a freelance writer. She helps authors tell their own stories through book coaching and editing. A Midwesterner by birth, she now lives in North Carolina with her high school sweetheart, three children and a plethora of pets. For more information and to follow her storytelling, visit

A more informal version for book events, interviews, etc.:

Meagan Church is the author of two emotionally-charged, empathy-inducing novels: The Last Carolina Girl and The Girls We Sent Away. She apologizes for the tears her stories sometimes cause. After receiving a B.A. in English from Indiana University, Meagan built a career as a freelance writer, and was the editor and publisher of a literary journal. She helps authors tell their own stories through book coaching and editing. A Midwesterner by birth, she now lives in North Carolina with her high school sweetheart, three children and a plethora of pets. She hopes to one day add an otter to the mix.


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Meagan Church,

Literary Agent
Rachel Cone-Gorham, RXD Agency, 

Molly Waxman, Sourcebooks, 
Anna Venckus, Sourcebooks,

Instagram: @mchurchwriter
Threads: @mchurchwriter
Facebook: mchurchwriter

News, Interviews, Posts & Media Coverage

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THE GIRLS WE SENT AWAY (releases 3/5/24)

What happens when the girl-who-has-it-all learns that love is conditional and her future may not be hers for the choosing?

It’s the 1960s in North Carolina and Lorraine Delford has it all – an upstanding family, a perfect boyfriend, and an idyllic home complete with a white picket fence. Yet every time she looks through her father’s telescope, she dreams of leaving it all behind to go to space. It’s ambitious, but Lorraine has always been exceptional.

But when this darling girl-next-door gets pregnant, she’s forced to learn firsthand the realities that keep women grounded.

To hide their daughter’s secret shame, the Delfords send Lorraine to a maternity home for wayward girls. But this is no safe haven – it’s a house with dark secrets and suffocating rules. And as Lorraine begins to piece together a new vision for her life, she must decide if she has the power to fight for the future she wants or if she must submit to the rules of a society she once admired.

Powerful and affecting, The Girls We Sent Away is a timely novel set during the intersection of the Baby Scoop Era and Space Race that explores autonomy, belonging, and a quest for agency when the illusions of life-as-you-know-it fall away.

Book Cover

The Girls We Sent Away

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“Church’s story gets deep inside Lorraine’s head with tenderness and compassion… This is a heartbreaking tale of prejudice, shame and secret-keeping within families, and a sincere and moving account of one teenager’s personal grief and inner strength…” — Historical Novel Society

“In this engaging, shocking, heart-wrenching story, readers are pulled along with Lorraine through the ups and downs of her pregnancy, optimistic for her future but saddened by its likely outcome. Fans of Church’s The Last Carolina Girl will be clamoring to read this one.” — Library Journal

Readers will be entranced as author Meagan Church steadily peels away the veneer of the era, revealing the dark underbelly of a secretive and unforgiving society.”
Tracey Enerson Wood, internationally bestselling author of The Engineer’s Wife and The War Nurse

Powerful and affectingThe Girls We Sent Away underscores both the worst and best of the human heart, and the resilience and courage of women forced to walk away from their dreams to piece together new ones. Meagan Church’s sophomore novel is another important masterpiece, shining a light on a horrible bit of women’s history that the world would rather keep in a darkened corner.” 
— Joy Callaway, internationally bestselling author of What the Mountains Remember

[A]n important and vital story. With exquisite writing, Church exposes a murky little pocket of history, and a reprehensible practice that surely had a generational impact on families. Through her captivating and thought-provoking scenes, I became wholeheartedly invested in the outcome of her remarkable heroine, Lorraine Delford, cheering for her all the way.”
— Donna Everhart, USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of The Saints of Swallow Hill

“With beautiful prose and delicate precision, Church transports readers to the tumultuous Baby Scoop era of the 1960s, providing a well-crafted and researched look into the struggles of women during this dark period in history, and evokes a lasting impression of empathy for young Lorraine. Heart-wrenching and thought provokingThe Girls We Sent Away is a captivating novel, impossible to put down and one which will be remembered long after you turn the last page.”
— Terah Shelton Harris, author of One Summer in Savannah and Long After We Are Gone

Read more praise here.


A searing book club novel for fans of Where the Crawdad’s Sing and The Girls in the Stilt House following one girl fighting for her family, her body, and her right to create a future all her own

Some folks will do anything to control the wild spirit of a Carolina girl…

For fourteen-year-old Leah Payne, life in her beloved coastal Carolina town is as simple as it is free. Devoted to her lumberjack father and running through the wilds where the forest meets the shore, Leah’s country life is as natural as the Loblolly pines that rise to greet the Southern sky.

When an accident takes her father’s life, Leah is wrenched from her small community and cast into a family of strangers with a terrible secret. Separated from her only home, Leah is kept apart from the family and forced to act as a helpmate for the well-to-do household. When a moment of violence and prejudice thrusts Leah into the center of the state’s shameful darkness, she must fight for her own future against a world that doesn’t always value the wild spirit of a Carolina girl.

Set in 1935 against the very real backdrop of a recently formed state eugenics board, The Last Carolina Girl is a powerful and heart-wrenching story of fierce strength, forgotten history, autonomy, and the places and people we ultimately call home.

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“[A] dynamic and wrenching tale of family secrets and eugenics. Church effectively dramatizes historical injustice in this searing tale… This author is off to a strong start.”

Publishers Weekly

“[A] stirring debut, THE LAST CAROLINA GIRL, follows the newly orphaned 14-year-old Leah Payne, highlighting the true meaning of family in this Carolina-set coming-of-age novel… An affecting and excellent depiction of family corruption and lies, THE LAST CAROLINA GIRL challenges Leah to remember who she is, where she came from, and get where she wants to go–back home.” 

Shelf Awareness STARRED review

The Last Carolina Girl is a heart-wrenching and authentically rendered glimpse into the portal of a state’s secret dark culture, family ties, and the fierce strength of a young girl’s grit and resilience. Church is electric in her delivery of loss, longing and place. Unforgettable, this is a powerful debut to savor.”

Kim Michele Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

“Meagan Church has written a compelling and aching debut. The Last Carolina Girl is both a story of love and a tale of abuse set in the shadow of the Depression. There, a girl’s blind obedience to her circumstances—a kind girl uprooted by her tender daddy’s death—comes with a devastating price. Leah’s life as an orphan takes her far from the comfort of sand and sea, yet she is armed with tenuous hope and a plan. Gradually, she puts together the puzzle pieces of her fractured life and uncovers truths: family can deceive and betray, but love offers salvation.”

– Leah Weiss, bestselling author of If the Creek Don’t Rise and All the Little Hopes

Read more praise here.