Barbara Rogan was born in New York City and raised on Long Island. Restless in college, she took a year off to travel through Israel and Europe. After graduating from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, she headed back to New York for a job with Fawcett Books. Six months later, restless still, she moved to Israel, studied Hebrew, worked as a horse wrangler in the Galilee, a park ranger in Ein Gedi, and an editor in Tel Aviv. Two years after moving to Israel, she launched the Barbara Rogan Literary Agency, which represented American and European publishers and agents for the sale of Hebrew rights.
Within a few years the agency had become the largest in the country, supplying the lion’s share of the large Israeli market for translated books. Barbara had the pleasure of meeting many of the great writers she represented, including Nadine Gordimer, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Abba Eben, Irwin Shaw, Meyer Levin, and her childhood favorite, Madeleine L’Engle. At the age of 26, she was appointed to the board of directors of the Jerusalem Book Fair, the youngest director and only literary agent ever to serve on the board. During this period she met and married her husband, Ben Kadishson; and her first novel, CHANGING STATES, was published simultaneously in England, the U.S., and Israel.
For several years Barbara continued to write and run the agency, but eventually, after the birth of a son and the publication of a second novel, she felt compelled to choose between her two occupations. She loved the agency that she’d created and the exciting life that went with it, but writing was her passion. Making a radical break, she sold the agency and, with husband and child, returned to New York. She divided her time between an apartment in Brooklyn and a cottage in Old Chatham, NY, before moving back to where she’d started, Long Island.
Since then she has produced seven more novels and co-produced a second son. Her fiction has been translated widely and graciously reviewed. About SUSPICION, The Washington Post wrote, “If you can put this book down before you’ve finished it, it’s possible that your heart may have stopped beating.” “What Bonfire of the Vanities tried to be,” Library Journal wrote of SAVING GRACE; and CAFÉ NEVO was termed “unforgettable” by the San Francisco Chronicle and “an inspired, passionate work of fiction, a near-magical novel” by Kirkus Review.
Barbara has taught fiction writing at Hofstra University and SUNY Farmingdale, and currently teaches online courses on writing and revising fiction at Writers Digest’s online school and in her own Next Level Workshops.
As someone whose experience spans all aspects of publishing, from editor to agent to writer, Barbara is a frequent presenter at writers’ conferences, seminars, and retreats. Most recently she attended the Surrey International Writers’ Conference in Vancouver, B.C., where she taught a packed master class on revision based on her innovative Next Level Workshop. She is currently working on a new novel and an instructional book on revising one’s own fiction.