|Born||February 11, 1939|
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Smith College|
|Genre||Fantasy, science fiction, folklore, children's fiction|
|Notable awards|| World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement |
Jane Hyatt Yolen (born February 11, 1939) is an American writer of fantasy, science fiction, and children's books. She is the author or editor of more than 350 books, of which the best known is The Devil's Arithmetic , a Holocaust novella.   Her other works include the Nebula Award−winning short story "Sister Emily's Lightship", the novelette "Lost Girls", Owl Moon , The Emperor and the Kite , the Commander Toad series and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight.  She has collaborated on works with all three of her children, most extensively with Adam Stemple. 
Yolen gave the lecture for the 1989 Alice G. Smith Lecture, the inaugural year for the series. This lecture series is held at the University of South Florida School of Information "to honor the memory of its first director, Alice Gullen Smith, known for her work with youth and bibliotherapy." In 2012 she became the first woman to give the Andrew Lang lecture.  Yolen published her 400th book in early 2021, Bear Outside. 
Jane Hyatt Yolen was born on February 11, 1939, at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan. She is the first child of Isabell Berlin Yolen, a psychiatric social worker who became a full-time mother and homemaker upon Yolen's birth, and Will Hyatt Yolen, a journalist who wrote columns at the time for New York newspapers,  and whose family emigrated from the Ukraine to the United States.  Isabell also did volunteer work, and wrote short stories in her spare time. However, she was not able to sell them. Because the Hyatts, the family of Yolen's grandmother, Mina Hyatt Yolen, only had girls, a number of the children of Yolen's generation were given their last name as a middle name in order to perpetuate it. 
When Yolen was barely one year old, the family moved to California to accommodate Will's new job working for Hollywood film studios, doing publicity on films such as American Tragedy and Knut Rockne . The family moved back to New York City prior to the birth of Yolen's brother, Steve. When Will joined the Army as a Second Lieutenant to fight in England during World War II, Yolen, her mother and brother lived with her grandparents, Danny and Dan, in Newport News, Virginia. After the war, the family moved back to Manhattan, living on Central Park West and 97th Street until Yolen turned 13. She attended PS 93, where she enjoyed writing and singing, and became friends with future radio presenter Susan Stamberg. She also engaged writing by creating a newspaper for her apartment with her brother that she sold for five cents a copy. She was accepted to Music and Art High School. During the summer prior to that semester, she attended a Vermont summer camp, which was her first involvement with the Society of Friends (Quakers). Her family also moved to a ranch house in Westport, Connecticut, where she attended Bedford Junior high for ninth grade, and then Staples High School.  She received a BA from Smith College in 1960 and a master's degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts in 1978.  After graduating she moved back to New York City. 
During the 1960s, Yolen held editorial positions at various magazines and publishers in New York City, including Gold Medal Books, Routledge Books, and Alfred A. Knopf Juvenile Books. From 1990 to 1996 she ran her own young adult fiction imprint, Jane Yolen Books, at Harcourt Brace. 
Although Yolen considered herself a poet, journalist and nonfiction writer, she became a children's book writer. Her first published book was Pirates in Petticoats, which was published on her 22nd birthday. 
Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens, Favorite Folktales From Around the World, Xanadu and Xanadu 2 are among the works that she has edited.
Her book Naming Liberty tells the story of a Russian girl and Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the designer of the Statue of Liberty. 
She has co-written two books with her son, the writer and musician Adam Stemple, Pay the Piper and Troll Bridge, both part of the Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale series.  She also wrote lyrics for the song "Robin's Complaint," recorded on the 1994 album Antler Dance by Stemple's band Boiled in Lead. 
Regarding the similarities between her novel Wizard's Hall and the Harry Potter series, Yolen has commented on J. K. Rowling, the author of that series:
I'm pretty sure she never read my book. We were both using fantasy tropes—the wizard school, the pictures on the wall that move. I happen to have a hero whose name was Henry, not Harry. He also had a red-headed best friend and a girl who was also his best friend—though my girl was black, not white. And there was a wicked wizard who was trying to destroy the school, who was once a teacher at the school. But those are all fantasy tropes ...There's even a book that came out way before hers where children go off to a witch school or a wizard school by going on a mysterious train that no one else can see except the kids, at a major British train station—I don’t know if it was Victoria Station or King's Cross. These things are out there ...This is not new. 
In 1962, Yolen married David W. Stemple. They had three children and six grandchildren. David Stemple died in March 2006. Yolen lives in Western Massachusetts. She also owns a house in Scotland, where she lives for a few months each year.  
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, doing business as Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association, commonly known as SFWA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization of professional science fiction and fantasy writers. While SFWA is based in the United States, its membership is open to writers worldwide. The organization was founded in 1965 by Damon Knight under the name Science Fiction Writers of America. The president of SFWA as of July 1, 2021 is Jeffe Kennedy.
Andre Alice Norton was an American writer of science fiction and fantasy, who also wrote works of historical and contemporary fiction. She wrote primarily under the pen name Andre Norton, but also under Andrew North and Allen Weston. She was the first woman to be Gandalf Grand Master of Fantasy, to be SFWA Grand Master, and to be inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden, known by her pen names Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm, is an American writer of speculative fiction. As Hobb, she is best known for her fantasy novels set in the Realm of the Elderlings, which comprise the Farseer, Liveship Traders and Tawny Man trilogies, the Rain Wild chronicles, and the Fitz and the Fool trilogy. Lindholm's writing includes the urban fantasy novel Wizard of the Pigeons and science fiction short stories, among other works. As of 2018, her fiction has been translated into 22 languages and sold more than 4 million copies.
The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award is a lifetime honor presented annually by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) to no more than one living writer of fantasy or science fiction. It was inaugurated in 1975 when Robert Heinlein was made the first SFWA Grand Master and it was renamed in 2002 after the Association's founder, Damon Knight, who had died that year.
Rebecca Guay is an artist known early in her career as an illustrator, commissioned for work on role-playing games, collectible card games, comic books, as well as work on children's literature. Guay subsequently turned primarily toward gallery work, opening her first solo exhibition in 2013 at the R.Michelson Gallery.
Robin McKinley is an American author best known for her fantasy novels and fairy tale retellings. Her 1984 novel The Hero and the Crown won the Newbery Medal as the year's best new American children's book. In 2022, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association named her the 39th Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master in recognition of her significant contributions to the literature of science fiction and fantasy.
Adam Stemple is a Celtic-influenced American folk rock musician, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is also the author of several fantasy short stories and novels, including two series of novels co-written with his mother, writer Jane Yolen.
Terri Windling is an American editor, artist, essayist, and the author of books for both children and adults. She has won nine World Fantasy Awards, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and the Bram Stoker Award, and her collection The Armless Maiden appeared on the short-list for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award.
Will Shetterly is an American writer of fantasy and science fiction best known for his novel Dogland (1997). The novel is inspired by his childhood at the tourist attraction Dog Land owned by his parents. He won the Minnesota Book Award for Fantasy & Science Fiction for his novel Elsewhere (1991), and was a finalist with Nevernever (1993); both books are set in Terri Windling's The Borderland Series shared universe. He has also written short stories for various Borderland anthologies.
Liavek is a series of five fantasy anthologies edited by Emma Bull and Will Shetterly set in a shared world.
Martin Harry Greenberg was an American academic and anthologist in many genres, including mysteries and horror, but especially in speculative fiction. In all, he compiled 1,298 anthologies and commissioned over 8,200 original short stories. He founded Tekno Books, a packager of more than 2000 published books. He was also a co-founder of the Sci-Fi Channel. Greenberg was also an expert in terrorism and the Middle East. He was a longtime friend, colleague and business partner of Isaac Asimov.
Holly Black is an American writer and editor best known for her children's and young adult fiction. Her most recent work is the New York Times bestselling young adult Folk of the Air series. She is also well known for The Spiderwick Chronicles, a series of children's fantasy books she created with writer and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi, and her debut trilogy of young adult novels officially called the Modern Faerie Tales. Black has won an Eisner Award, a Lodestar Award, a Award, a Nebula Award, and a Newbery honor.
The Devil's Arithmetic is a historical fiction time slip novel written by American author Jane Yolen and published in 1988. The book is about Hannah Stern, a Jewish girl who lives in New Rochelle, New York, and is sent back in time to experience the Holocaust. During a Passover Seder, Hannah is transported back in time to 1941 Poland, during World War II, where she is sent to a concentration camp and learns the importance of knowing about the past.
Jean Rabe is an American journalist, editor, gamer and writer of fantasy and mystery. After a career as a newspaper reporter, she was employed by TSR, Inc. for several years as head of the Role Playing Game Association and editor of the Polyhedron magazine. Rabe began a career as a novelist for TSR and Wizards of the Coast, and over the last 30 years has produced over three dozen books and scores of short stories, at first in the genres of game-related fantasy and science fiction and later as an author of mystery novels.
Catherynne M. Valente is an American fiction writer, poet, and literary critic. For her speculative fiction novels she has won the annual James Tiptree, Andre Norton, and Mythopoeic Fantasy awards. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine, the World Fantasy Award–winning anthologies Salon Fantastique and Paper Cities, along with numerous "Year's Best" volumes. Her critical work has appeared in the International Journal of the Humanities as well as in numerous essay collections.
Midori Snyder is an American writer of fantasy, mythic fiction, and nonfiction on myth and folklore. She has published eight novels for children and adults, winning the Mythopoeic Award for The Innamorati. Her work has been translated into French, Dutch, Italian and Turkish.
Writer J. K. Rowling cites several writers as influences in her creation of her bestselling Harry Potter series. Writers, journalists and critics have noted that the books also have a number of analogues; a wide range of literature, both classical and modern, which Rowling has not openly cited as influences.
Elise Matthesen is an American essayist, journalist, poet, and fiction writer, an award-winning maker of art jewelry and a long time Bisexual Rights activist. For 13 years she was the companion of the late John M. Ford, until his death in September 2006. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is a member of the First Universalist Church there.
Diana Wynne Jones was a British writer of fantasy novels for children and adults. She wrote a small amount of non-fiction.
List of works by or about fantasy writer Jane Yolen: