Nebraska Authors

Carson Vaughan

Born 1987 Broken Bow, NE (USA)

Vaughan is a Broken Bow, Nebraska native. He has published widely in the national press, including New Yorker, The New York Times and others. Vaughan's 2019 book, Zoo Nebraska: The Dismantling of an American Dream has received extremely favorable reviews from a wide swath of American critics, including Nebraska's own Alexander Payne and Kurt Andersen, and critic and writer Susan Orlean. The book chronicles the rise and fall of the Royal, Nebraska (pop. 81) zoo.

Places Lived

Broken Bow, NE
Lincoln, NE
Wilmington, NC
Lincoln, NE
Chicago, IL

Author Of

  • Journalism
  • Nonfiction


Creative Nonfiction; Magazine Articles; Freelance Journalists


Broken Bow High School
Journalism, University of Nebraska--Lincoln
MFA in Creative Writing, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC, 2014


Freelance Writer

Places Worked


2018 John M. Collier Award for Forest History Journalism
2018 Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship recipient
2017 Equine Media Award, First Place, Feature Single Article
Nebraska Book Award winner, 2020


David Gessner advised him on the thesis that became Zoo Nebraska.
Workshops with writers Philip Gerard and Virginia Holman
Journalism professors: Charlyne Berens, Scott Winter, Tim Anderson, Rick Alloway and Joe Starita.


Zoo Nebraska : the dismantling of an American dream. 2019

Vaughan has published articles in New Yorker, the New York Times, the Guardian, Paris Review Daily, Outside, Pacific Standard, Slate, The Atlantic, Vice, and In These Times, among others.

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Carson Vaughan

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